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Can Alcohol Cause Metabolic Acidosis?

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis Damian Baalmann, 2nd year EM resident A 45-year-old male presents to your emergency department with abdominal pain. He is conscious, lucid and as the nurses are hooking up the monitors, he explains to you that he began experiencing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting about 2 days ago. Exam reveals a poorly groomed male with dry mucous membranes, diffusely tender abdomen with voluntary guarding. He is tachycardic, tachypneic but normotensive. A quick review of the chart reveals a prolonged history of alcohol abuse and after some questioning, the patient admits to a recent binge. Pertinent labs reveal slightly elevated anion-gap metabolic acidosis, normal glucose, ethanol level of 0, normal lipase and no ketones in the urine. What are your next steps in management? Alcoholic Ketoacidosis (AKA): What is it? Ketones are a form of energy made by the liver by free fatty acids released by adipose tissues. Normally, ketones are in small quantity (<0.1 mmol/L), but sometimes the body is forced to increase its production of these ketones. Ketones are strong acids and when they accumulate in large numbers, their presence leads to an acidosis. In alcoholics, a combination or reduced nutrient intake, hepatic oxidation of ethanol, and dehydration can lead to ketoacidosis. Alcoholics tend to rely on ethanol for their nutrient intake and when the liver metabolizes ethanol it generates NADH. This NADH further promotes ketone formation in the liver. Furthermore, ethanol promotes diuresis which leads to dehydration and subsequently impairs ketone excretion in the urine. Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: How do I recognize it? Typical history involves a chronic alcohol abuser who went on a recent binge that was terminated by severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These folk Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

What is alcoholic ketoacidosis? Cells need glucose (sugar) and insulin to function properly. Glucose comes from the food you eat, and insulin is produced by the pancreas. When you drink alcohol, your pancreas may stop producing insulin for a short time. Without insulin, your cells won’t be able to use the glucose you consume for energy. To get the energy you need, your body will start to burn fat. When your body burns fat for energy, byproducts known as ketone bodies are produced. If your body is not producing insulin, ketone bodies will begin to build up in your bloodstream. This buildup of ketones can produce a life-threatening condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis, or metabolic acidosis, occurs when you ingest something that is metabolized or turned into an acid. This condition has a number of causes, including: shock kidney disease abnormal metabolism In addition to general ketoacidosis, there are several specific types. These types include: alcoholic ketoacidosis, which is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which mostly develops in people with type 1 diabetes starvation ketoacidosis, which occurs most often in women who are pregnant, in their third trimester, and experiencing excessive vomiting Each of these situations increases the amount of acid in the system. They can also reduce the amount of insulin your body produces, leading to the breakdown of fat cells and the production of ketones. Alcoholic ketoacidosis can develop when you drink excessive amounts of alcohol for a long period of time. Excessive alcohol consumption often causes malnourishment (not enough nutrients for the body to function well). People who drink large quantities of alcohol may not eat regularly. They may also vomit as a result of drinking too Continue reading >>

Alcoholism And Lactic Acidosis

Alcoholism And Lactic Acidosis

Learn more about the SDN Exhibition Forums for exclusive discounts and contests. So the way I understood this is that both alcohol metabolism and latcate to pyrvuate conversion require NAD, and with too much alcohol consumption the body uses up all the NAD for alcohol metabolism right? The part that I'm a bit troubled with this mechanism is that unless we are doing extreme exercise, we don't really generate lactic acid. In most cases, the body uses oxidative phosphorylation, right? So lactic acidosis will most likely occur when you drink alcohol and then do extreme exercise, correct? SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads. My understanding is that high NADH levels from EtOH metab drives the pyruvate -> lactate conversion. So you don't need to be exercising +drinking, either will do it on their own. I actually enjoy your questions, though some things are really easily looked up. The several different causes of lactic acidosis: I actually enjoy your questions, though some things are really easily looked up. The several different causes of lactic acidosis: But the reasons behind why lactic acidosis occurs for these is significantly different.... For example, in exercise- lactic acidosis- due to depletion of ATP such that the ability to generate ATP via oxidation is overwhelmed. This leads to high levels of ADP> than the O2 intake from respiration. When the ADP/ATP ratio are elevated but O2 is no longer sufficient the body switches to anaerobic metabolism to quickly generate ATP= leading to lactic acidosis. In alcoholism, the NADH levels are elevated. Why does this take place? because degeneration of alcohol to acetic acid (the final state) is via transferring electrons from ETOH to aldehyde DEHYDROGENASE and alcohol DEHYDROGENASE to NAD- the elevation to NADH forces Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic ketoacidosis is a common reason for admission of alcohol dependent persons in hospitals emergency rooms. The term refers to a metabolic acidosis syndrome caused by increased ketone levels in serum . Glucose concentration is usually normal or a little lower. In 1940, Drs Edward S. Dillon, W. Wallace, and Leon S. Smelo, first described alcoholic ketoacidosis as a distinct syndrome . They stated that "because of the many and complex factors, both physiologic and pathologic , which influence the acid-base balance of the body, a multitude of processes may bring about the state of acidosis as an end result." [1] In the 1971, David W. Jenkins and colleagues described cases of three nondiabetic patients with a history of chronic heavy alcohol misuse and recurrent episodes of ketoacidosis . This group also proposed a possible underlying mechanism for this metabolic disturbance, naming it alcoholic ketoacidosis. [2] Patients regularly report nausea , vomiting, and pain in abdomen which are the most commonly observed complaints. This syndrome is rapidly reversible and, if taken care of has a low mortality. Other patients present tachypnoea , tachycardia , and hypotension . [3] The main differences between patients with diabetic ketoacidosis is that patients with alcoholic ketoacidosis are usually alert and lucid despite the severity of the acidosis and marked ketonaemia. [4] However, there are cases where alcoholic ketoacidosis can cause death of the patient if not treated with administration of dextrose and saline solutions. [5] Dillon, E.; Dyer, W. Wallace; Smelo, L. S. (November 1940). "Ketone Acidosis in Nondiabetic Adults". Medical Clinics of North America. 24 (6): 18131822. doi : 10.1016/S0025-7125(16)36653-6 . Jenkins, David W.; Eckel, Robert E.; Craig, James W. Continue reading >>

What Is Metabolic Acidosis?

What Is Metabolic Acidosis?

Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood gets thrown off. Your body: Is making too much acid Isn't getting rid of enough acid Doesn't have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don't work right. Although severe episodes can be life-threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what's causing it. Causes of Metabolic Acidosis Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood. Ketoacidosis. When you have diabetes and don't get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don't eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren't eating at all, too. Lactic acidosis. The cells in your body make lactic acid when they don't have a lot of oxygen to use. This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you're exercising intensely. Big drops in blood pressure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it. Renal tubular acidosis. Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them in your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood. Hyperchloremic acidosis. Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood. Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that's too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbon dioxide because of a problem with your lungs. Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Background In 1940, Dillon and colleagues first described alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) as a distinct syndrome. AKA is characterized by metabolic acidosis with an elevated anion gap, elevated serum ketone levels, and a normal or low glucose concentration. [1, 2] Although AKA most commonly occurs in adults with alcoholism, it has been reported in less-experienced drinkers of all ages. Patients typically have a recent history of binge drinking, little or no food intake, and persistent vomiting. [3, 4, 5] A concomitant metabolic alkalosis is common, secondary to vomiting and volume depletion (see Workup). [6] Treatment of AKA is directed toward reversing the 3 major pathophysiologic causes of the syndrome, which are: This goal can usually be achieved through the administration of dextrose and saline solutions (see Treatment). Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis In A Patient With Isopropyl Alcohol Intoxication: A Case Report

Metabolic Acidosis In A Patient With Isopropyl Alcohol Intoxication: A Case Report

Metabolic Acidosis in a Patient With Isopropyl Alcohol Intoxication: A Case Report Xiaomei Meng, MD, PhD; Suman Paul, MBBS, PhD; Douglas J. Federman, MD From University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio; and University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, Ohio. From University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio; and University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, Ohio. From University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio; and University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, Ohio. Author, Article, and Disclosure Information From University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio; and University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, Ohio. Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterest Forms.do?msNum=L14-0336 . Background: An elevated plasma osmolal gap is common in all forms of alcohol intoxication. Methyl alcohol and ethylene glycol are metabolized to compounds that produce metabolic acidosis. Isopropyl alcohol, however, is metabolized to acetone, which does not cause metabolic acidosis and cannot be metabolized to compounds that do ( 1 ). Therefore, the presence of metabolic acidosis is used to rule out isopropyl alcohol intoxication. This distinction is important because fomepizole is used to treat methyl alcohol and ethylene glycol intoxication but is contraindicated in isopropyl alcohol intoxication because it reduces the clearance of isopropyl alcohol and thus prolongs its effects ( 2 ). Continue reading >>

Toxic Alcohol Ingestions: Clinical Features, Diagnosis, And Management

Toxic Alcohol Ingestions: Clinical Features, Diagnosis, And Management

Abstract Alcohol-related intoxications, including methanol, ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and propylene glycol, and alcoholic ketoacidosis can present with a high anion gap metabolic acidosis and increased serum osmolal gap, whereas isopropanol intoxication presents with hyperosmolality alone. The effects of these substances, except for isopropanol and possibly alcoholic ketoacidosis, are due to their metabolites, which can cause metabolic acidosis and cellular dysfunction. Accumulation of the alcohols in the blood can cause an increment in the osmolality, and accumulation of their metabolites can cause an increase in the anion gap and a decrease in serum bicarbonate concentration. The presence of both laboratory abnormalities concurrently is an important diagnostic clue, although either can be absent, depending on the time after exposure when blood is sampled. In addition to metabolic acidosis, acute renal failure and neurologic disease can occur in some of the intoxications. Dialysis to remove the unmetabolized alcohol and possibly the organic acid anion can be helpful in treatment of several of the alcohol-related intoxications. Administration of fomepizole or ethanol to inhibit alcohol dehydrogenase, a critical enzyme in metabolism of the alcohols, is beneficial in treatment of ethylene glycol and methanol intoxication and possibly diethylene glycol and propylene glycol intoxication. Given the potentially high morbidity and mortality of these intoxications, it is important for the clinician to have a high degree of suspicion for these disorders in cases of high anion gap metabolic acidosis, acute renal failure, or unexplained neurologic disease so that treatment can be initiated early. Effect of Alcohols on Serum Osmolality and the Osmolal Gap The normal serum Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic acidosis occurs when the body produces too much acid. It can also occur when the kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body. There are several types of metabolic acidosis. Diabetic acidosis develops when acidic substances, known as ketone bodies, build up in the body. This most often occurs with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. It is also called diabetic ketoacidosis and DKA. Hyperchloremic acidosis results from excessive loss of sodium bicarbonate from the body. This can occur with severe diarrhea. Lactic acidosis results from a buildup of lactic acid. It can be caused by: Alcohol Cancer Exercising intensely Liver failure Medicines, such as salicylates Other causes of metabolic acidosis include: Kidney disease (distal renal tubular acidosis and proximal renal tubular acidosis) Poisoning by aspirin, ethylene glycol (found in antifreeze), or methanol Continue reading >>

Severe Metabolic Acidosis In The Alcoholic: Differential Diagnosis And Management

Severe Metabolic Acidosis In The Alcoholic: Differential Diagnosis And Management

1 A chronic alcoholic with severe metabolic acidosis presents a difficult diagnostic problem. The most common cause is alcoholic ketoacidosis, a syndrome with a typical history but often misleading laboratory findings. This paper will focus on this important and probably underdiagnosed syndrome. 2 The disorder occurs in alcoholics who have had a heavy drinking-bout culminating in severe vomiting, with resulting dehydration, starvation, and then a β- hydroxybutyrate dominated ketoacidosis. 3 Awareness of this syndrome, thorough history-taking, physical examination and routine laboratory analyses will usually lead to a correct diagnosis. 4 The treatment is simply replacement of fluid, glucose, electrolytes and thiamine. Insulin or alkali should be avoided. 5 The most important differential diagnoses are diabetic ketoacidosis, lactic acidosis and salicylate, methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning, conditions which require quite different treatment. 6 The diagnostic management of unclear cases should always include toxicological tests, urine microscopy for calcium oxalate crystals and calculation of the serum anion and osmolal gaps. 7 It is suggested here, however, that the value of the osmolal gap should be considered against a higher reference limit than has previously been recom mended. An osmolal gap above 25 mosm/kg, in a patient with an increased anion gap acidosis, is a strong indicator of methanol or ethylene glycol intoxication. Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Alcoholic ketoacidosis is a metabolic complication of alcohol use and starvation characterized by hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis without significant hyperglycemia. Alcoholic ketoacidosis causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Diagnosis is by history and findings of ketoacidosis without hyperglycemia. Treatment is IV saline solution and dextrose infusion. Alcoholic ketoacidosis is attributed to the combined effects of alcohol and starvation on glucose metabolism. Alcohol diminishes hepatic gluconeogenesis and leads to decreased insulin secretion, increased lipolysis, impaired fatty acid oxidation, and subsequent ketogenesis, causing an elevated anion gap metabolic acidosis. Counter-regulatory hormones are increased and may further inhibit insulin secretion. Plasma glucose levels are usually low or normal, but mild hyperglycemia sometimes occurs. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion; similar symptoms in an alcoholic patient may result from acute pancreatitis, methanol or ethylene glycol poisoning, or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In patients suspected of having alcoholic ketoacidosis, serum electrolytes (including magnesium), BUN and creatinine, glucose, ketones, amylase, lipase, and plasma osmolality should be measured. Urine should be tested for ketones. Patients who appear significantly ill and those with positive ketones should have arterial blood gas and serum lactate measurement. The absence of hyperglycemia makes DKA improbable. Those with mild hyperglycemia may have underlying diabetes mellitus, which may be recognized by elevated levels of glycosylated Hb (HbA1c). Typical laboratory findings include a high anion gap metabolic acidosis, ketonemia, and low levels of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Detection of acidosis may be com Continue reading >>

Metabolic Abnormalities In Alcoholic Patients: Focus On Acid Base And Electrolyte Disorders

Metabolic Abnormalities In Alcoholic Patients: Focus On Acid Base And Electrolyte Disorders

1Department of Nephrology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece 2Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 451 10, Ioannina, Greece *Corresponding Author: Moses Elisaf Professor of Internal Medicine Department of Medicine, Medical School University of Ioannina 451 10 Ioannina, Greece Tel: +302651007509 Fax: +302651007016 E-mail: [email protected], [email protected] Citation: Moses Elisaf MD, Rigas Kalaitzidis MD (2015) Metabolic Abnormalities in Alcoholic Patients: Focus on Acid Base and Electrolyte Disorders. J Alcohol Drug Depend 3:185. doi:10.4172/2329-6488.1000185 Copyright: ©2015 Moses Elisaf MD, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Visit for more related articles at Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Abstract Alcoholic patients commonly develop a variety of acid-base and electrolyte disturbances. The aim of this review is to describe the most commonly encountered abnormalities and their significant role in the patients’ morbidity and mortality. Physicians should be aware of these clinically important disturbances caused by alcohol abuse and their underlying pathophysiological mechanisms involved for their appropriate management. Alcoholic Keto Acidosis (AKA) is a medical emergency is more common than previously thought and is characterized by an increased anion gap metabolic acidosis. However, in AKA mixed acid-base disorders are commonly observed. Alcoholic patients also exhibit severe electrolyte derangements. Multifactorial origin hypomagnesaemia is the most common electrolyte abnormality observed. Hypocalca Continue reading >>

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: A Case Report And Review Of The Literature

Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: A Case Report And Review Of The Literature

Alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) is a condition that presents with a significant metabolic acidosis in patients with a history of alcohol excess. The diagnosis is often delayed or missed, and this can have potentially fatal consequences. There are a variety of non-specific clinical manifestations that contribute to these diagnostic difficulties. In particular, cases of AKA can be misdiagnosed as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Subsequent mismanagement can lead to increasing morbidity and mortality for patients. AKA typically presents with a severe metabolic acidosis with a raised anion gap and electrolyte abnormalities, which are treatable if recognized early and appropriate management instituted. Given the increasing epidemic of alcohol-related healthcare admissions, this is an important condition to recognize and we aim to offer guidance on how to approach similar cases for the practising clinician. We present a 64-year-old female who presented with generalized abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. Arterial blood gas analysis showed significant acidaemia with a pH of 7.10, bicarbonate of 2.9 mmol/l and lactate of 11.7 mmol/l. Serum ketones were raised at 5.5 mmol/l. Capillary blood glucose was noted to 5.8 mmol/l. The anion gap was calculated and was elevated at 25 mmol/l. The diagnosis of DKA was queried after initial triage. However, following senior medical review, given a recent history of drinking alcohol to excess, the diagnosis of AKA was felt more likely. Whilst a decreased conscious level may have been expected, our patient was lucid enough to report drinking one to two bottles of wine per day for the past 30 years, with a recent binge the day prior to admission. Subsequent fluid resuscitation and monitoring were instituted. Further biochemical i Continue reading >>

Metabolic Acidosis In The Alcoholic: A Pathophysiologic Approach.

Metabolic Acidosis In The Alcoholic: A Pathophysiologic Approach.

Metabolic acidosis in the alcoholic: a pathophysiologic approach. Halperin ML , Hammeke M , Josse RG , Jungas RL . The purpose of this paper is to review the acid-base abnormalities in patients presenting with metabolic acidosis due to acute ethanol ingestion and to review the theoretical constraints on ethanol metabolism in the liver. Alcohol-induced acidosis is a mixed acid-base disturbance. Metabolic acidosis is due to lactic acidosis, ketoacidosis and acetic acidosis but the degree of each varies from patient to patient. Metabolic alkalosis is frequently present due to ethanol-induced vomiting. However, it could be overlooked because of an indirect loss of sodium bicarbonate (as sodium B-hydroxybutyrate in the urine). Nevertheless, the accompanying reduction in ECF volume may play an important role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic acidosis because it could lead to a relative insulin deficiency. Treatment of alcohol acidosis should include sodium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and thiamine replacements along with attention to concomitant clinical problems. Unless hypoglycemia is present, glucose need not be given immediately. We feel that insulin should be withheld unless life-threatening acidemia is present or expected. Lastly, alcohol need not be detected on admission to make the diagnosis of this metabolic disturbance. However, when present, it could contribute directly to the lactic, acetic and B-hydroxybutyric acidoses. With respect to the theoretical constraints on ethanol metabolism, it appears that "overproduction" of NADH in the liver is best averted by converting ethanol to B-hydroxybutyric acid. Continue reading >>

Fasting Ketosis And Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Fasting Ketosis And Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

INTRODUCTION Ketoacidosis is the term used for metabolic acidoses associated with an accumulation of ketone bodies. The most common cause of ketoacidosis is diabetic ketoacidosis. Two other causes are fasting ketosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. Fasting ketosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis will be reviewed here. Issues related to diabetic ketoacidosis are discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Epidemiology and pathogenesis" and "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Clinical features, evaluation, and diagnosis" and "Diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state in adults: Treatment".) PHYSIOLOGY OF KETONE BODIES There are three major ketone bodies, with the interrelationships shown in the figure (figure 1): Acetoacetic acid is the only true ketoacid. The more dominant acid in patients with ketoacidosis is beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which results from the reduction of acetoacetic acid by NADH. Beta-hydroxybutyric acid is a hydroxyacid, not a true ketoacid. Continue reading >>

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