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Dehydration and it’s More Insiduos Companion – DKA

Did a change to my blood pressure meds just over a week ago and we replaced the single med I have been on with two generics.  One is HCT which can have a side-effect of frequent urination. I had actually been on HTC once before as part of a combo medication.  Went off that particular med because insurance moved it to the highest co-pay.  But don’t get me started on that.

I knew that the frequenting the bathroom was a common side effect for the first few weeks.  What I forgot was what that really means.  It is basically a diuretic, which removes liquid from the blood stream and with less liquid for the heart to pump the pressure required to pump it decreases.

Ok so there I am at work one day last week, going to the bathroom alot, numbers a little higher than normal but nothing to worry about and totally not realizing that I really should be replacing all that liquid that is so frequently wanting to leave my body.  **wow, run-on sentence or what?

For me, DKA produces an odd sensation, I’m not sure what others feel.  A not-quite-tingly-not-quite-burning sensation through out my body, sleepiness, a “heaviness”, and an annoying metallic taste in my mouth.  If I get to the point where I’m nauseous and smelling ammonia, I had better do something quick.

So I finally start to notice that sensation, check my glucose and got “WTF?”, it was in the 150-range…  Looking in my supply bag, I see a tube if keto-stix.  Luckily, they only expired two years ago.  And sure enough, I was spilling a “large” amount.  At that point it finally all clicked together and three or four big glasses of water later, I am feeling much better.

Of course, those glasses of water did have their usual effect.

So now, I am getting random, short-term DKA episodes.  I’m trying to drink as much water as I can, but they still hit me.  And yes, they can happen in the middle of the night.  Which I find particularly annoying since I have to stay up long enough to drink a lot of water and then try to go back to sleep knowing that I’ll just have to get up in an hour or two to pee.

And you remember those slightly higher than normal readings?  Take the same amount of glucose, reduce the amount of fluid that it suspended in and what do you get?  A higher than normal reading.  I hope this all stabilizes soon…

Just another annoyance in the “aw crap” portion of the life of a diabetic…

Oh and remember, lots of things can cause dehydration so make sure you drink enough fluids!  Hopefully, Diet Coke counts, right?.

© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Wow, that’s crazy to have them at normal BGs. I just had my first DKA experience last week and noticed my ketone test strips had just expired last November. So your comment made me literally LOL. Glad to hear you’ve been able to remedy at home.

  • I feel your pain, my friend. I am on a combo that includes HCT. My worst problem is timing the taking of the pill so I’m already at work when I have to pee & not stuck in traffic. 😛

    • stuck in traffic is never good, esp when one must take care of business

  • Yikes man – annoyance indeed. Glad you were on top of it.

  • Jaimie Roberts

    I hope things balance out quickly for you… ((HUGS))… do you like coconut water? good for hydrating…

  • Sara

    After almost 9 years with no ketones, I’ve started getting them at random times with normal BGs and nothing but some odd stomach pain.

    I thought we just had to test our BGs and take some insulin, right?! LOL! 😀

    • I’m starting to think this diabetes thingamajigger is kinda complicated or something