Why Does Ketoacidosis Cause Vomiting

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Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka) - Topic Overview

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar (glucose) they need for energy because there is not enough insulin. When the sugar cannot get into the cells, it stays in the blood. The kidneys filter some of the sugar from the blood and remove it from the body through urine. Because the cells cannot receive sugar for energy, the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy. When this happens, ketones, or fatty acids, are produced and enter the bloodstream, causing the chemical imbalance (metabolic acidosis) called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis can be caused by not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection or other illness, becoming severely dehydrated, or some combination of these things. It can occur in people who have little or no insulin in their bodies (mostly people with type 1 diabetes but it can happen with type 2 diabetes, especially children) when their blood sugar levels are high. Your blood sugar may be quite high before you notice symptoms, which include: Flushed, hot, dry skin. Feeling thirsty and urinating a lot. Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack Continue reading >>

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  1. AMZMD

    The human body is in a constant process of maintaining equilibrium. The byproducts of burning fat for energy (ketones) are deposited in the blood for excretion. As the ketones build up in your system, the pH of your blood drops and you become acidotic. As stated above, your body is trying to maintain equilibrium, so it will do certain things to eliminate as much acid from your system as possible, as quickly as possible. One way is to vomit, which dumps huge amounts of H+ instantly. Other reactions are increased respirations to eliminate CO2, as well as dumping the ketones and H+ out through your urine.
    As a side note, the dumping of H+ through urine causes the retention of potassium and you become hyperkalemic (aka "too-much-potassium-emia"). This inhibits myocardial function and can put you into cardiac arrest. This is why extreme no-carb diets are a very bad thing!
    Hope that helps!

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