Health A-Z

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If you have type 1 diabetes, you usually can prevent diabetic ketoacidosis by following the insulin regimen and diet prescribed by your doctor and by testing your blood glucose regularly. If your body is stressed by an infection, ketoacidosis can develop within hours, and you may not be able to prevent it. It is important for you to check your blood sugar more frequently during an infection, so you can adjust your treatment. It is also important for you to recognize that vomiting and abdominal pain may be signs of ketoacidosis, so that you can get medical help quickly.

To help make sure that you receive proper emergency treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis if you are away from home, wear a medical identification necklace or bracelet that identifies you as a diabetic. This will help emergency personnel to recognize your problem quickly if you are among strangers and you are too sick to speak for yourself.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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