The patient, a 16-year-old high-school football player, was brought to the emergency room in a coma. His mother said that during the past month he had lost 12 pounds and experienced excessive thirst associated with voluminous urination that often required voiding several times during the night. There was a strong family history of diabetes mellitus (DM). The results of physical examination were essentially negative except for sinus tachycardia and Kussmaul respirations. Studies Results Serum glucose test (on admission), p. 227 1100 mg/dL (normal: 60–120 mg/dL) Arterial blood gases (ABGs) test (on admission), p. 98 pH 7.23 (normal: 7.35–7.45) PCO2 30 mm Hg (normal: 35–45 mm Hg) HCO2 12 mEq/L (normal: 22–26 mEq/L) Serum osmolality test, p. 339 440 mOsm/kg (normal: 275–300 mOsm/kg) Serum glucose test, p. 227 250 mg/dL (normal: 70–115 mg/dL) 2-hour postprandial glucose test (2-hour PPG), p. 230 500 mg/dL (normal: <140 mg/dL) Glucose tolerance test (GTT), p. 234 Fasting blood glucose 150 mg/dL (normal: 70–115 mg/dL) 30 minutes 300 mg/dL (normal: <200 mg/dL) 1 hour 325 mg/dL (normal: <200 mg/dL) 2 hours 390 mg/dL (normal: <140 mg/dL) 3 hours 300 mg/dL (normal: 70–115 mg/dL) 4 hours 260 mg/dL (normal: 70–115 mg/dL) Glycosylated hemoglobin, p. 238 9% (normal: <7%) Diabetes mellitus autoantibody panel, p. 186 insulin autoantibody Positive titer >1/80 islet cell antibody Positive titer >1/120 glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody Positive titer >1/60 Microalbumin, p. 872 <20 mg/L Diagnostic Analysis The patient’s symptoms and diagnostic studies were classic for hyperglycemic ketoacidosis associated with DM. The glycosylated hemoglobin showed that he had been hyperglycemic over the last several months. The results of his arterial blood gases (ABGs) test on admission indicated metabolic acidosis with some respiratory compensation. He was treated in the Case Studies Copyright © 2018 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 2 emergency room with IV regular insulin and IV fluids; however, before he received any insulin levels, insulin antibodies were obtained and were positive, indicating a degree of insulin resistance. His microalbumin was normal, indicating no evidence of diabetic renal disease, often a late complication of diabetes. During the first 72 hours of hospitalization, the patient was monitored with frequent serum glucose determinations. Insulin was administered according to the results of these studies. His condition was eventually stabilized on 40 units of Humulin N insulin daily. He was converted to an insulin pump and did very well with that. Comprehensive patient instruction regarding selfblood glucose monitoring, insulin administration, diet, exercise, foot care, and recognition of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia was given. Critical Thinking Questions
1. Why was this patient in metabolic acidosis?
2. Do you think the patient will eventually be switched to an oral hypoglycemic agent?
3. How would you anticipate this life changing diagnosis is going to affect your patient according to his age and sex?
4. The parents of your patient seem to be confused and not knowing what to do with this diagnoses. What would you recommend to them?
- This patient was in metabolic acidosis because of hyperglycemia. When there is excess glucose in the bloodstream, the body tries to get rid of it by urinating frequently, which leads to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. In addition, the body starts breaking down fats for energy, which produces ketones that increase the acidity of the blood.
- It is unlikely that this patient will be switched to an oral hypoglycemic agent. Type 1 diabetes, which is characterized by insulin deficiency, usually requires insulin injections or an insulin pump for treatment. Oral hypoglycemic agents are usually used in patients with type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by insulin resistance.
- A diagnosis of diabetes can have a significant impact on a 16-year-old high-school football player. It may affect his ability to participate in sports and other physical activities, as well as his social life. He may also need to make significant changes to his diet and lifestyle to manage his condition. It is important to provide him with emotional support and help him develop coping strategies to manage the challenges of living with diabetes.
- It is important to provide the parents of this patient with comprehensive education and support. They should be given clear instructions on how to help their son manage his diabetes, including how to administer insulin, monitor blood glucose levels, and recognize the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. They should also be encouraged to ask questions and seek help from healthcare professionals when needed. It may be helpful to connect them with support groups or other resources for families of children with diabetes.