Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis Caused by Alcoholic Pancreatitis and Starvation Ketosis

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Journal of general internal medicine


Starvation ketosis and pancreatitis are uncommon and underrecognized etiologies of euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Euglycemic DKA is associated commonly with pregnancy, use of insulin en route to the hospital, and use of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. A 58-year-old male with past medical history of type II diabetes mellitus and alcoholism presented with chief complaint of nausea, vomiting, and poor oral intake for several weeks. Despite extensive history of diabetes and no recent SGLT-2 inhibitor use, his labs were consistent with euglycemic DKA. His imaging and clinical history also confirmed alcoholic pancreatitis. The patient was admitted for euglycemic DKA secondary to starvation ketosis and alcoholic pancreatitis. His anion gap and beta-hydroxybutyrate rapidly cleared with initiation of the DKA protocol. This case teaches us that clinicians should consider early initiation of the DKA protocol even in the setting of euglycemia, when a patient presents with high-anion-gap metabolic acidosis, a high beta-hydroxybutyrate level, and a clinical picture of pancreatitis and starvation.

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ePub ahead of print

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