Frequent urination is one of several symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include excessive thirst, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue or weakness. Some patients develop fruity-scented breath or experience confusion. Additional signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include high blood sugar levels and ketone levels in urine. Diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal and requires emergency medical attention. Diabetic ketoacidosis is also referred to as diabetic ketosis, diabetic acidosis and DKA, states ClinicalKey.
Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin and begins to break down fat for fuel, causing a buildup of ketones in the bloodstream, explains Mayo Clinic. The trigger is usually an illness or infection that causes the body to produce high amounts of hormones such as cortisol or adrenaline, or it may result from inadequate insulin therapy. Other potential triggers include physical or emotional trauma, drug or alcohol abuse, heart attack and certain medications, such as diuretics or corticosteroids.
Treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis typically includes fluid replacement, electrolyte replacement and insulin therapy, according to Mayo Clinic. To prevent ketoacidosis, diabetics must carefully monitor their blood sugar levels and take diabetes medications or insulin as directed. Diabetics can check ketone levels with an over-the-counter urine test.