Print Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can't produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated. If you have diabetes or you're at risk of diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. Symptoms Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms often develop quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. For some, these signs and symptoms may be the first indication of having diabetes. You may notice: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Nausea and vomiting Abdominal pain Weakness or fatigue Shortness of breath Fruity-scented breath Confusion More-specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — which can be detected through home blood and urine testing kits — include: High blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) High ketone levels in your urine When to see a doctor If you feel ill or stressed or you've had a recent illness or injury, check your blood sugar level often. You might also try an over-the-counter urine ketones testing kit. Contact your doctor immediately if: You're vomiting and unable to tolerate food or liquid Your blood sugar level is higher than your target range and doesn't respond to home treatment Your urine ketone level is moderate or high Seek emergency care if: Your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 mill Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
The Difference Between Ketosis And Ketoacidosis
When you hear these two terms it’s easy to see how they can be confused. The confusion also stems from the fact that the two are both metabolic processes involving the breakdown of fats in the body (plus they look and sound like similar words). The truth is ketosis and ketoacidosis are two completely different things. Ketosis and the Ketogenic Diet Ketosis is a normal metabolic process in which the body has a high fat-burning rate. It is a healthy and natural state your body enters when your body is running on fat rather than glucose1. The state of ketosis occurs when ketone levels are raised in the blood due to the conversion of fats into fatty acids and ketones. This happens when the body runs out of carbohydrates – usually because a person hasn’t eaten in a while, for example during fasts, or they eat a very low-carbohydrate diet – leaving little sugar to convert into glycogen. Without glycogen, the body breaks down fat cells for energy. A low-carb, high fat diet, also known as a ketogenic diet, is necessary to enter and stay in ketosis long-term. When you eat a low-carbohydrate diet, your body enters the metabolic state of ketosis within 2 days but it can vary from person to person. There are many benefits2 to being in longer-term ketosis including: lowered triglycerides levels no spikes in blood glucose levels greater mental clarity lowered blood pressure and cholesterol reduced food and sugar cravings weight loss Ketoacidosis – The Body in a State of Toxicity Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state of toxicity. It occurs when the body fails to regulate ketone production resulting in severe accumulation of keto acids which cause the pH of the blood to decrease substantially making the blood more acidic. The most common causes for ketoacidosis are Type 1 Diabete Continue reading >>
Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis: What You Should Know
Despite the similarity in name, ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things. Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is a complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus. It’s a life-threatening condition resulting from dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar. This combination makes your blood too acidic, which can change the normal functioning of internal organs like your liver and kidneys. It’s critical that you get prompt treatment. DKA can occur very quickly. It may develop in less than 24 hours. It mostly occurs in people with type 1 diabetes whose bodies do not produce any insulin. Several things can lead to DKA, including illness, improper diet, or not taking an adequate dose of insulin. DKA can also occur in individuals with type 2 diabetes who have little or no insulin production. Ketosis is the presence of ketones. It’s not harmful. You can be in ketosis if you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet or fasting, or if you’ve consumed too much alcohol. If you have ketosis, you have a higher than usual level of ketones in your blood or urine, but not high enough to cause acidosis. Ketones are a chemical your body produces when it burns stored fat. Some people choose a low-carb diet to help with weight loss. While there is some controversy over their safety, low-carb diets are generally fine. Talk to your doctor before beginning any extreme diet plan. DKA is the leading cause of death in people under 24 years old who have diabetes. The overall death rate for ketoacidosis is 2 to 5 percent. People under the age of 30 make up 36 percent of DKA cases. Twenty-seven percent of people with DKA are between the ages of 30 and 50, 23 percent are between the ages of 51 and 70, and 14 percent are over the age of 70. Ketosis may cause bad breath. Ket Continue reading >>
Ketoacidosis Associated With Low-carbohydrate Diet In A Non-diabetic Lactating Woman: A Case Report
Go to: Case presentation A 32-year-old white woman presented to our county hospital with a history of nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, trembling and extremity spasms. She had started a strict LCHF diet, with an estimated carbohydrate intake of less than 20g per day, 10 days before admittance, lost 4 kilograms and had felt growing malaise. She was breastfeeding her son of 10 months of age. She continuously denied any alcohol or drug intake. She had a past medical history of hypothyreosis and had a family history of high blood pressure but not for diabetes. She took acetaminophen occasionally but no other medications. The initial examination in the emergency department revealed an unaffected woman with respiratory rate of 12 breaths per minute, oxygen saturation 96% on room air, body temperature 36.3°C, pulse 102 beats per minute and blood pressure of 110/80mmHg. Nothing abnormal was revealed on examination of her heart, lungs, abdomen and thyroid gland. An arterial blood gas was taken. It revealed pH 7.20, base excess (BE) −19, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) 2.8 kPa, glucose 3.8mmol/l and lactate 1.0mmol/l. Her blood ketones were 7.1mmol/l (reference 0 to 0.5mmol/l). No genetic testing of any kind was performed. The primary diagnosis was thought to be ketoacidosis due to starvation induced by the LCHF diet but blood samples for s-paracetamol, s-salicylate, s-ethanol, s-methanol, s-ethylene glycol, kidney function, diabetic autoantibodies, plasma cortisol (p-cortisol) and tests for thyroid function were added. She was admitted to our medical ward, given an intramuscular vitamin B injection and started on a 10% glucose infusion. In total 3L of glucose were infused, with an infusion rate of 125mL/hour, during 48 hours. The following day, after glucose inf Continue reading >>
Ketoacidosis Versus Ketosis
Some medical professionals confuse ketoacidosis, an extremely abnormal form of ketosis, with the normal benign ketosis associated with ketogenic diets and fasting states in the body. They will then tell you that ketosis is dangerous. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com Ketosis is NOT Ketoacidosis The difference between the two conditions is a matter of volume and flow rate*: Benign nutritional ketosis is a controlled, insulin regulated process which results in a mild release of fatty acids and ketone body production in response to either a fast from food, or a reduction in carbohydrate intake. Ketoacidosis is driven by a lack of insulin in the body. Without insulin, blood sugar rises to high levels and stored fat streams from fat cells. This excess amount of fat metabolism results in the production of abnormal quantities of ketones. The combination of high blood sugar and high ketone levels can upset the normal acid/base balance in the blood and become dangerous. In order to reach a state of ketoacidosis, insulin levels must be so low that the regulation of blood sugar and fatty acid flow is impaired. *See this reference paper. Here's a table of the actual numbers to show the differences in magnitude: Body Condition Quantity of Ketones Being Produced After a meal: 0.1 mmol/L Overnight Fast: 0.3 mmol/L Ketogenic Diet (Nutritional ketosis): 1-8 mmol/L >20 Days Fasting: 10 mmol/L Uncontrolled Diabetes (Ketoacidosis): >20 mmol/L Here's a more detailed explanation: Fact 1: Every human body maintains the blood and cellular fluids within a very narrow range between being too acidic (low pH) and too basic (high pH). If the blood pH gets out of the normal range, either too low or too high, big problems happen. Fact 2: The Continue reading >>
What’s The Difference Between Ketosis And Diabetic Ketoacidosis?
Ketosis and ketoacidosis sound similar and are sometimes confused, but don’t mistake these conditions for one another. These involve two different sets of circumstances with considerably different outlooks. Both are triggered by an increase of ketones in the body, which are acids released into the bloodstream when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. But it’s how the body responds to this increase that sets ketosis and ketoacidosis apart from each other. RELATED: How to Tell the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs What Is Ketosis and How Does the Process Work? “Ketosis is a natural state that occurs when you start to metabolize fat instead of sugar,” says Michael Greenfield, MD, endocrinologist and chief medical officer at El Camino Hospital in Palo Alto, California. “It occurs often when people fast and use up the stores of sugar in their body." To understand ketosis, it helps to understand how the body burns energy. Carbohydrates and fat are both energy sources, and the body typically burns carbs (sugar or glucose) first, and then fat. If there aren’t enough carbohydrates in your system, it begins to break down fat for energy, which puts your body into a state of ketosis. While in this state, the body becomes a fat-burning machine. For this reason, ketosis is the goal of many diets, particularly those that restrict carbohydrate intake and rely on fat for energy, such as the ketogenic diet. Understanding the Relationship Between the Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis “The ketogenic diet is a high-fat (60 to 80 percent of your total daily calories), moderate-protein (10 to 15 percent of your total daily calories), and low-carbohydrate diet (less than 10 percent of your total daily calories) that forces your body into ketosis, where it burns fa Continue reading >>
Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis (dka): What Is The Difference?
Let’s break it down so that you can understand exactly what ketosis is and how it differs from ketoacidosis. But the states they refer to are nothing alike. In this case, maybe mistakes are understandable. Many people who believe that ketosis is dangerous are mixing it up with another state called "ketoacidosis." The two words do sound very similar. And some people simply make mistakes. Profit motives tend to muddy up the works when it comes to getting clear, factual information about your health. Well, there are a lot of individuals and companies which all have their own goals and motivations. Where do these misperceptions come from? Here’s the thing though … that is all misinformation. You then Googled something like, "low carb dangerous" and found a list of link-bait articles informing you that low-carb is a ketogenic diet, and ketosis is a dangerous metabolic state which can be fatal. And then maybe someone said something to you like, "What are you thinking? Low-carb is a dangerous diet." If you are thinking about starting a low-carb diet, maybe you have mentioned it to some of your family or friends. By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand why low-carb is a safe diet. Continue reading >>
Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis: Is Keto Healthy?
Because the two terms look and sound similar, many people often confuse ketoacidosis with ketosis. These conditions have very different meanings and effects on the body. One is a highly dangerous condition while the other has been shown to help you lose weight, prevent disease, and improve cognitive function. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis. What is Ketoacidosis? Ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition that results as a complication of type one diabetes. It occurs when there are dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar present at the same time. Ketones are compounds that are produced when the body uses fat instead of sugar as fuel. The combination of having too many ketones and too much glucose present in your blood makes it become highly acidic. This can result in damage to the normal functioning of your kidney and liver. Ketoacidosis can develop in the body within 24 hours and requires immediate care. The condition commonly affects people with type one diabetes who do not produce enough or any insulin. People with type two diabetes can also develop the condition. Ketoacidosis can be triggered by improper diet, infection or illness, and not taking proper doses of insulin (in diabetic patients). Symptoms of ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms may include a fruity odor on the person’s breath. A person’s breathing may also become rapid and shallow (1). Ketoacidosis is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes under the age of 24. Approximately 36 percent of the people who develop ketoacidosis are under the age of 30 while 27 percent are between 30 and 50, 23 percent are between 51 and 70, and 14 percent are over 70. Studies Continue reading >>
What Is Ketoacidosis? A Comprehensive Guide
Ketoacidosis is lethal. It is responsible for over 100,000 hospital admissions per year in the US with a mortality rate of around 5%. In other words, ketoacidosis is to blame for about 5,000 deaths per year. The cause? A deadly combination of uncontrolled hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis, and increased ketone body levels in the blood (more on this deadly combination later). Luckily, this lethal triad rarely affects individuals who don’t have diabetes. However, the majority (80%) of cases of diabetic ketoacidosis occur in people with a known history of diabetes mellitus (any form of diabetes). Ketoacidosis vs. Diabetic Ketoacidosis — What’s The Difference? At this point, you may have noticed that I used ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis interchangeably. This is because it is difficult for the body to get into a state of ketoacidosis without the blood sugar control issues that are common in people with diabetes. Hence, the term diabetic ketoacidosis. (However, there is another form of ketoacidosis called alcoholic ketoacidosis. This occurs in alcoholics who had a recent alcohol binge during a period of time when they didn’t eat enough.) Ketoacidosis tends to occur the most in people who have type 1 diabetes. Somewhere between 5 and 8 of every 1,000 people with type 1 diabetes develops diabetic ketoacidosis each year. Type 2 diabetics also run the risk of ketoacidosis under stressful situations, but it is much rarer because type 2 diabetics have some remaining insulin production (type 1 diabetics do not). If you are not part of the 422 million people worldwide that have diabetes, your risk of getting ketoacidosis is negligible. You would have to put yourself through years of stress, inactivity, and unhealthy eating habits before you experience ketoacidosis. ( Continue reading >>
Why Dka & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same
There’s a very common misconception and general misunderstanding around ketones. Specifically, the misunderstandings lie in the areas of: ketones that are produced in low-carb diets of generally less than 50 grams of carbs per day, which is low enough to put a person in a state of “nutritional ketosis” ketones that are produced when a diabetic is in a state of “diabetic ketoacidosis” (DKA) and lastly, there are “starvation ketones” and “illness-induced ketones” The fact is they are very different. DKA is a dangerous state of ketosis that can easily land a diabetic in the hospital and is life-threatening. Meanwhile, “nutritional ketosis” is the result of a nutritional approach that both non-diabetics and diabetics can safely achieve through low-carb nutrition. Diabetic Ketoacidosis vs. Nutritional Ketosis Ryan Attar (soon to be Ryan Attar, ND) helps explain the science and actual human physiology behind these different types of ketone production. Ryan is currently studying to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in Connecticut and also pursuing a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition. He has interned under the supervision of the very well-known diabetes doc, Dr. Bernstein. Ryan explains: Diabetic Ketoacidosis: “Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones. Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.” “In normal individuals, or those with well controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and sto Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Dangerous?
You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation. First, some semantics. Our body can produce, from fat and some amino acids, three ketone bodies (a “ketone” refers to the chemical structure where oxygen is double-bonded to carbon sandwiched between at least 2 other carbons). These ketone bodies we produce are: acetone, acetoacetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB). [For anyone who is interested, they are the 3 most right structures on the figure, below.] Why do we make ketones? For starters, it’s a vital evolutionary advantage. Our brain can only function with glucose and ketones. Since we can’t store more than about 24 hours’ worth of glucose, we would all die of hypoglycemia if ever forced to fast for more than a day. Fortunately, our liver can take fat and select amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and turn them into ketones, first and foremost to feed our brains. Hence, our body’s ability to produce ketones is required for basic survival. What is diabetic ketoacidosis? When diabetics (usually Type I diabetics, but sometimes this occurs in very late-stage, insulin-dependent, Type II diabetics) fail to receive enough insulin, they go into an effective state of starvation. While they may have all the glucose in the world in their bloodstream, without insulin, they can’t get any into their cells. Hence, they are effectively going into starvation. The body does what it would do in anyone – it starts to make ketones out of fat and proteins. Here’s the problem: the diabetic patient in this case can’t produce any insulin, so there is no feedback loop and they continue to produce more and more ketones withou Continue reading >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Dangerous? No, Because Ketosis Is Not Ketoacidosis.
At this point, I consider myself pretty immune to what internet trolls say to me. I have a pretty tough skin, usually laugh off nonsensical comments, and carry on with my day. This last time was different. When checking the social media account for my ketosis supplement company, Perfect Keto, I noticed a rather ridiculous comment. To the best of my memory, the comment said something like this: “How dare you promote ketosis?! I HATE KETOSIS! My daughter is a diabetic and had to be brought to hospital the other day because she was in ketoacidosis! Shame on you and everyone like who you recommends a dangerous diet that kills people! You are killing people! AGHHH!” Not only is this comment wildly misinformed and ignorant, I think comments like this are more dangerous than the promoting the ketogenic diet. When people make comments like this, they use the same scare tactics and lack of facts that have recently overtaken our political system to influence people in not using very beneficial tools to their advantage. Sometimes you just have to use your brain. The unfortunate truth is that this lady isn’t the only delusional and misinformed one instilling fear into people who are trying to gain benefit from their nutritional choices. Plenty of mainstream doctors also think the ketogenic diet is life threatening. I’ve recommended the ketogenic diet to many of my patients trying to fix weight and metabolic issues they haven’t been able to correct for years. One of them mentioned this change to their primary care physician, who was reviewing the statins and several other medications they have this patient on, who reacted with disbelief. Ketosis! How could I recommend such a life threatening intervention?! They were told not to see such a quack like myself any more before Continue reading >>
Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis
Is Keto Healthy? Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis When looking at a ketogenic diet and ketosis, it’s common for some people to confuse the process with a harmful, more extreme version of this state known as diabetic ketoacidosis. But there are a lot of misconceptions out there about ketosis vs ketoacidosis, and it’s time to shed some light on the subject by looking at the (very big) differences between the two. An Overview of Ketosis A ketogenic, or keto, diet is centered around the process of ketosis, so it’s important to understand exactly what ketosis is first before we get into whether or not it’s safe (spoiler: it is): Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose. This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel. Those eating a ketogenic diet purposely limit their carb intake (usually between 20 and 50 grams per day) to facilitate this response. That’s why the keto diet focuses on very low carb intake, moderate to low protein intake, and high intakes of dietary fats. Lower protein is important because it prevents the body from pulling your lean muscle mass for energy and instead turns to fat. Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later. But first, let’s address a common mi Continue reading >>