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Diabetic Ketoacidosis

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my 71 year father came home Tuesday with flu like symptoms, 103 fever, chills, body aches. We called the doctor and they said he had the flu. He had gotten a flu shot in Oct. He is diabetic, takes insulin 3-4 times a day. Also had quadruple bypass 7 years. ago. His sugar has been as high as 444 this morning and as low a 296 the other night. He has no appetite but we are forcing him eat soup crackers and oatmeal and drink water and low sugar gatorade. Last night he could hardly move. he couldn't raise his arms and was complaining of severe leg cramps and lower back pain. He doesn't seem to be getting better. He has not been to the doctor even though we have been in constant contact with her. He's in a lot of pain, weak and all he wants to do is sleep. I want to take him to the emergency room but he refuses to go. The lower back pain and his bloated stomach worries me. he's not coughing, has no sore throat and no headache or fever. ???

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

Your father is in imminent danger of Diabetic Ketoacidosis and its complications. And he HAS to get medical help. Although the chances are 20-30% it has to be taken care as it is a high risk condition.

The symptoms are not suggestive of a Flu. It could be bacterial infection (as in a wound , cellulitis, urinary tract infection etc). This infection could have precipitated high blood sugar which can result in a condition called Diabetic Keto acidosis. This could account for the symptoms of the bloated stomach and leg cramps.

He will need continuous monitoring of blood sugar, Insulin infusion (or shots). An antibiotic for the infection might be also needed. S. potassium values need to be monitored.

At home he should take libreal fluids (provided there is good urine output). Do continue the insulin. If you are experienced with Insulin dosage you can titrate it up for a couple of points if the sugar values are high.

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followup questions
Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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