Prevention of another episode of diabetic ketoacidosis is an important part of the treatment of DKA. Most patients after treatment of DKA need lifetime insulin therapy. Some strategies for the prevention of DKA include:
- Taking medications: Taking insulin for blood sugar control as advised by the doctor is important to maintain blood sugar within the target range. If your blood sugar readings become normal, do not stop taking your medications. Take all your insulin doses regularly and do not make changes without consulting your doctor.
- Blood glucose monitoring: Your doctor will advise you regarding glucose monitoring at home if you are on insulin therapy to maintain blood sugar levels. All the blood sugar values with date and time after meal should be recorded. This record can help your doctor determine if your treatment plan (diet and insulin) is enough to maintain your blood sugar levels. Your doctor can teach you to monitor blood glucose with a glucose meter using a drop of your blood. You may need to do the test several times (before and after meals) in a day. In addition to frequent blood sugar monitoring, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) gives a good indication about long term blood sugar level control in diabetic patients. Your aim should be to maintain blood sugar and ensure that the HbA1c levels are normal as possible.
- Sick-day management: Control of blood sugar within target range is important to prevent complications of diabetes including DKA. After you are diagnosed with diabetes, ask your doctor for specific instructions in terms of the doses for medication (s) and monitoring of blood sugar and urinary ketone level whenever you become ill. When you are sick, eat easily digestible liquid diets and consult your doctor to know more on what to eat when you are sick.
- Eat healthy: People with diabetes should eat food that do not cause rapid rise in blood glucose such as whole grain food products, fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed, fatty and food with simple carbohydrates. Your doctor can advise you more regarding food that should be taken or avoided. Apart from eating healthy, taking care of portion size is also important as an excess of calories tends to increase body weight and blood sugar levels.
- Exercise regularly: Sedentary lifestyle makes taking control of blood sugar more difficult. Regular physical activity or exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week is considered adequate. Do any exercise that you like and can easily do on a daily basis. Children with type 1 diabetes should be encouraged to play actively (such as swimming, cycling etc).
- Educate yourself: Ask your doctor about symptoms that are suggestive of DKA or for which you should consult a doctor. Discuss with your doctor a plan of management in case your blood sugar goes higher than the target range.
These are some strategies to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis. Your doctor can advise you more on measures that can help you prevent diabetic ketoacidosis.
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