Ketoacidosis: See diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
Ketone bodies: Often simply called ketones, one of the products of fat burning in the body. When there is not enough insulin to use blood sugars, your body breaks down its own fat and protein for energy instead of glucose. When fat is used, ketone bodies, an acid, appear in your urine and blood. A large amount of ketones in your system can lead to a serious condition where acids build up in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketones can be detected and monitored in your urine at home using products such as Ketostix, Chemstrips, and Acetest. When your blood sugar is consistently greater than 250 mg/dl, if you are ill or if you are pregnant and have diabetes, ketones should be checked regularly.
Kidney disease (nephropathy): In a person with diabetes, nephropathy is any one of several conditions caused by changes in the very small blood vessels in the kidneys. These changes cause scarring of the kidneys which can eventually lead to kidney failure. People who have had diabetes for a long time may develop nephropathy. An early sign of nephropathy is when proteins can be detected in the urine.
Kidney threshold: See renal threshold.
In type 2 diabetes, the body stops responding efficiently to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. To compensate for the insensitivity to insulin, many diabetes drugs work by boosting insulin levels; for example, by injecting more insulin or by increasing the amount of insulin secreted from the pancreas. The new study, published in the June 9 issue of PLoS ONE, showed that a different approach could also be effective for treating diabetes — namely, blocking the breakdown of insulin, after it is secreted from the pancreas.
Although accurate and convenient for detecting type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in adults, current HbA1c cutoffs may not be enough to diagnose diabetes in children.
A 2010 clinical practice guideline from the American Diabetes Association recommends that physicians exclusively use the HbA1c assay to detect diabetes. The guidelines recommend a cutoff of 6.5% or greater for diagnosis.
However, researchers for two recent studies highlight significant vulnerabilities in the recommended test’s ability to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes in children.