Some things just sound bad. Real bad. Like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). There is nothing in those ten syllables that hints of good times or optimal outcomes. Nor should there be, because DKA is serious business, often leading to hospital admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) stays and even death. But other things just sound good. Real good. Like the continuous glucose-ketone monitor Abbott is developing to help reduce how often DKA episodes occur and the damage they can cause. With this innovation, our monitors will be the only continuous glucose monitor (CGM) capable of measuring two analytes on the same sensor. We spoke to one of Abbott's top diabetes experts to learn more about DKA, its impact on people and medical systems and the possible benefits of a dual glucose-ketone monitor. What Is DKA? DKA is a potentially life-threatening condition in which ketone numbers rise to dangerous levels in the blood. 'The way the body works is that cells have a way of letting blood sugar (glucose) into them. There is a door between the cell and the blood and insulin is the key that opens that door. Insulin allows the cell to 'see' the glucose and use it as a fuel source,' said Dr. Mahmood Kazemi, divisional vice president, medical and scientific affairs and chief medical officer, Diabetes Care, Abbott. 'If you don't have insulin, that glucose can't get into the cell. It's like being outside your house without a key to get in. So, there could be a lot of glucose out in the blood, but inside the cell, it does not appear there is. Naturally, this impacts people with type 1 diabetes to a greater degree because they have no insulin, as opposed to type 2, where there is merely an insulin deficiency. 'While most of your body can find alternative fuel sources, the brain cells are pickier. The only two fuel sources they will let in are glucose and ketones. So when the lack of insulin hides the presence of glucose, the body generates ketones in an effort to feed the brain. The problem is that as more ketones are generated, blood pH starts going down, causing acidity to rise. Ketones can be toxic and high levels can poison the body.'