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What causes ketoacidosis?

Ketoacidosis is the result of a lack of insulin. The cause is interrupted insulin supply or a sharp increase in the required amount of insulin.

The most common reason for ketoacidosis is new type 1 diabetes that has gone undetected for a longer time.

Other underlying causes of ketoacidosis include:

  • Recent, previously undetected insulin-dependent diabetes

  • An increase in the required amount of insulin resulting from a sudden inflammatory disease

  • An increase in the required amount of insulin resulting from large doses of cortisone

  • Forgetting to inject basal insulin

  • The use of alcohol or drugs may lead to a situation where person forgets to inject insulin

  • Loss of the insulin product’s efficacy if the insulin has become too warm or frozen

If basal insulin injection are repeatedly forgotten, there is not enough insulin in the system and the sugar balance is high. In this case, a sudden disease that increases the need for insulin can quickly lead to increase of insulin deficiency and ketoacidosis.

Insulin pumps use rapid acting insulin, which means that the subcutaneous storage of insulin is meagre. If the supply of insulin is interrupted for one reason or another, ketoacidosis may occur in a matter of hours. The possible causes include:

  • Absorption of insulin from the site of the cannula is poor

  • The cannula under the skin is bent

  • The catheter is blocked

  • The catheter has become loose

  • Malfunction of the pump

Updated 30.9.2023