How are the vital signs assessed in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Sep 13, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with established diabetes and autonomic neuropathy may have orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic vital signs may be useful in assessing volume status and in suggesting the presence of an autonomic neuropathy. Measurement of the pulse is important, in that relative tachycardia is a typical finding in autonomic neuropathy, often preceding the development of orthostatic hypotension. If the respiratory rate and pattern suggest Kussmaul respiration, DKA must be considered immediately, and appropriate tests must be ordered.


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