Clinical Communications: Adults| Volume 45, ISSUE 3, e63-e65, September 2013

An Unusual Case of Butcher's Broom Precipitating Diabetic Ketoacidosis



      Herbal medicines are readily available and commonly perceived to be relatively harmless. Butcher's Broom is used in various medicinal preparations and contains substances having α-adrenergic−stimulating properties.


      Our aim was to report a case of toxicity associated with Butcher's Broom in a diabetic patient.

      Case Report

      A 39-year-old woman developed diabetic ketoacidosis 5 days after beginning therapy with Butcher's Broom for mild ankle swelling. Her diabetic ketoacidosis was complicated by hyperkalemia and acidosis with a pH of 7.02. After management with intravenous fluid, insulin, and calcium gluconate, her condition stabilized and she was discharged several days later.


      This case represents a small but potentially serious public health concern in a diabetic woman taking Butcher's Broom.


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