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 >>
Ketosis Signs & Appetite
Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which the body begins breaking down fats, thus releasing carbon fragments known as ketones from the liver. The liver produces ketones as a byproduct of breaking down fatty acids. When your body is in a state of ketosis, your appetite is typically reduced. For this reason, some diets -- such as a low-carbohydrate diet -- aim to trigger a state of ketosis in your body. If too many ketones are released, however, this can have harmful consequences. Video of the Day Having diabetes, not eating or eating a low carbohydrate diet can induce ketosis. This is because ketosis occurs when your body does not have or is not able to use glycogen, which is the body’s stored form of carbohydrate. Because your body does not have glycogen, it switches to its next option: burning fat. This fat releases ketones in the body, inducing a state of ketosis. Because ketones are sweet by nature, one sign of ketosis is fruity-smelling breath. Nausea, fatigue and water and muscle loss are other symptoms. Another sign is an initial boost in appetite, followed by a loss of appetite. This is because when ketosis is induced, this signals the body that it is in a state of starvation. The liver and stomach send signals to the brain that it is starving, and keeps you from feeling satiated. However, over time the body becomes accustomed to its fat burning mode and adapts. Your hunger is then reduced after about a two- to four-week time period. If you are trying to lose weight, inducing a state of ketosis and reducing your appetite can be beneficial. This is because ketosis does not completely reduce your appetite, but instead helps to reduce your cravings for food that can sometimes lead you to overeat. The heart, brain and other muscle tissues “prefer” to burn keto Continue reading >>
What Are Ketone Bodies And How Are They Related To Diabetes?
What are ketones? The human body normally runs on glucose that’s produced when the body breaks down carbohydrates. But when your body doesn’t have enough glucose or insulin to use the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones are byproducts of this breakdown. Those with type 1 diabetes are especially at risk for making ketones. Ketones can make your blood acidic. Acidic blood can cause a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Because the presence of ketones is often one of the signs that a person needs medical help, those with diabetes are often encouraged to check ketones in urine or blood regularly. Ketone levels can range from negative or none at all to very high levels. While individual testing may vary, some general results for ketone levels can be: negative: less than 0.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) low to moderate: between 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L high: 1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L very high: greater than 3.0 mmol/L Call your doctor if your ketones are low to moderate, and seek emergency medical attention if your ketone levels are high to very high. What are the symptoms of ketone buildup? If you have diabetes, you need to be especially aware of the symptoms that having too many ketones in your body can cause. Examples of early symptoms of ketone buildup include: a dry mouth blood sugar levels greater than 240 milligrams per deciliter strong thirst frequent urination If you don’t get treatment, the symptoms can progress. The symptoms that occur later can include: confusion extreme fatigue flushed skin a fruity breath odor nausea vomiting stomach pain trouble breathing You should always seek immediate medical attention if your ketone levels are high. What causes ketones to build up? Ketones are the body’s alternate way of fueling. T Continue reading >>
#25: Master Hyperglycemia And Dka
Master the management of hyperglycemia, DKA, and learn to avoid common pitfalls. This episode is packed with clinical pearls from repeat guest, Endocrinologist, Dr. Jeffrey Colburn. Recommend a guest or topic and give feedback at [email protected] Rate us on iTunes. Clinical Pearls: Type 1 diabetes (DM1) occurs by autoimmune destruction of beta cells occurs at any age Typically lean body type and normal lipid profiles Type 2 diabetes (DM2) Typically obese and insulin resistant Eventually fat deposition in pancreas destroys insulin production 15-20 years after onset of DM2 leading to absolute insulin deficiency Triad of DKA = hyperglycemia, ketonemia, acidemia DKA occurs w/total lack of insulin leads to inability to utilize glucose (hyperglycemia) Simulated starvation occurs Counter regulatory hormones kick in Free fatty acids are broken down for fuel Keto acids are made as a by product (ketonemia) Acidemia occurs DKA can occur in DM2 if overwhelming infection, or infarction (MI or CVA) Even just a little bit of insulin can keep patient out of DKA! Dehydration is a cardinal issue in DKA from osmotic diuresis Often 6-8 liters depleted! Sick day rules for Type 1 diabetes Early contact with healthcare team Reduce, but do not discontinue insulin during the illness (see #8) Check frequent fingersticks Use antipyretics to manage fever Push the fluids Educate family members about signs/symptoms of DKA If sick, then drop basal insulin by 20% whether SQ or basal rate on insulin pump Keep mealtime insulin dose the same, but skip if not eating Ketones Beta hydroxybutyrate is the predominant ketone in DKA Urine ketones measure acetoacetate (strongly) and acetone (weakly) NOT beta hydroxybutyrate Serum ketones measure acetoacetate and acetone NOT beta hydroxybutyrate Thus, che Continue reading >>
Euglycemic Diabetic Ketoacidosis: An Easily Missed Diagnosis
SESSION TITLE: Critical Care Student/Resident Case Report Posters I SESSION TYPE: Student/Resident Case Report Poster INTRODUCTION: A 47 year-old woman with type 1 diabetes presented with euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) that initially went undiagnosed. Recognition and treatment with insulin resulted in rapid resolution of her clinical condition. CASE PRESENTATION: A 47 year-old woman presented to our hospital with four days of fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy and malaise. She had a history of type 1 diabetes mellitus managed with an insulin pump. Her blood pressure was 88/51. She was disoriented with a diffusely tender but soft abdomen. Laboratory studies revealed blood glucose of 109 mg/dL, bicarbonate of 15 mmol/L, anion gap of 27 mmol/L, lactic acid of 2.4 mmol/L, and a bandemia of 11%. Rapid flu test was positive. She was admitted to the intensive care unit, resuscitated with intravenous fluid, and started on oseltamivir, cefepime and vancomycin. Hemodialysis was initiated soon thereafter. The patient received no insulin due to her euglycemia. Influenza A was detected by PCR on the second hospital day and antibiotics were discontinued. Her gastrointestinal symptoms improved but her mental status remained poor. Furthermore, while her lactate normalized and blood glucose remained under 120 mg/d, her anion gap persisted at 23-36 mmol/L and her bicarbonate remained low at 15-17 mmol/L. Beta hydroxybutyrate was found to be 4.88 mmol/L. An insulin infusion was started, along with dextrose 5% in water, and her mental status rapidly improved as her acidemia and anion gap normalized. DISCUSSION: Euglycemic DKA is a rare condition that can easily go undiagnosed. It has been previously described in the context of critical illness.1 The pathoge Continue reading >>
Ketosis: Symptoms, Signs & More
Every cell in your body needs energy to survive. Most of the time, you create energy from the sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream. Insulin helps regulate glucose levels in the blood and stimulate the absorption of glucose by the cells in your body. If you don’t have enough glucose or insufficient insulin to get the job done, your body will break down fat instead for energy. This supply of fat is an alternative energy source that keeps you from starvation. When you break down fat, you produce a compound called a ketone body. This process is called ketosis. Insulin is required by your cells in order to use the glucose in your blood, but ketones do not require insulin. The ketones that don’t get used for energy pass through your kidneys and out through your urine. Ketosis is most likely to occur in people who have diabetes, a condition in which the body produces little or no insulin. Ketosis and Ketoacidosis: What You Need To Know Ketosis simply means that your body is producing ketone bodies. You’re burning fat instead of glucose. Ketosis isn’t necessarily harmful to your health. If you don’t have diabetes and you maintain a healthy diet, it’s unlikely to be a problem. While ketosis itself isn’t particularly dangerous, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on, especially if you have diabetes. Ketosis can be a precursor to ketoacidosis, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which you have both high glucose and high ketone levels. Having ketoacidosis results in your blood becoming too acidic. It’s more common for those with type 1 diabetes rather than type 2. Once symptoms of ketoacidosis begin, they can escalate very quickly. Symptoms include: breath that smells fruity or like nail polish or nail polish remover rapid breat Continue reading >>
Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>
Ketoacidosis During A Low-carbohydrate Diet
To the Editor: It is believed that low-carbohydrate diets work best in reducing weight when producing ketosis.1 We report on a 51-year-old white woman who does not have diabetes but had ketoacidosis while consuming a “no-carbohydrate” diet. There was no family history of diabetes, and she was not currently taking any medications. While adhering to a regimen of carbohydrate restriction, she reached a stable weight of 59.1 kg, a decrease from 72.7 kg. After several months of stable weight, she was admitted to the hospital four times with vomiting but without abdominal pain. On each occasion, she reported no alcohol use. Her body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) was 26.7 before the weight loss and 21.7 afterward. Laboratory evaluation showed anion-gap acidosis, ketonuria, and elevated plasma glucose concentrations on three of the four occasions (Table 1). She had normal concentrations of plasma lactate and glycosylated hemoglobin. Screening for drugs, including ethyl alcohol and ethylene glycol, was negative. Abdominal ultrasonography showed hepatic steatosis. On each occasion, the patient recovered after administration of intravenous fluids and insulin, was prescribed insulin injections on discharge, and gradually reduced the use of insulin and then discontinued it while remaining euglycemic for six months or more between episodes. Testing for antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase and antinuclear antibodies was negative. Values on lipid studies were as follows: serum triglycerides, 102 mg per deciliter; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, 50 mg per deciliter; and calculated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, 189 mg per deciliter. The patient strictly adhered to a low-carbohydrate diet for four Continue reading >>
Case Of Nondiabetic Ketoacidosis In Third Term Twin Pregnancy | The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism | Oxford Academic
We provided appropriate management with fluid infusion after cesarean delivery. The patient and her two daughters survived, and no disabilities were foreseen. Alcohol, methanol, and lactic acid levels were normal. No signs of renal disease or diabetes were present. Pathological examination revealed no abnormalities of the placentae. Toxicological tests revealed a salicylate level of less than 5 mg/liter, an acetaminophen level of less than 1 mg/liter, and an acetone level of 300 mg/liter (reference, 520 mg/liter). We present a case of third term twin pregnancy with high anion gap metabolic acidosis due to (mild) starvation. Starvation, obesity, third term twin pregnancy, and perhaps a gastroenteritis were the ultimate provoking factors. In the light of the erroneous suspicion of sepsis and initial fluid therapy lacking glucose, one wonders whether, under a different fluid regime, cesarean section could have been avoided. Severe ketoacidosis in the pregnant woman is associated with impaired neurodevelopment. It therefore demands early recognition and immediate intervention. A 26-yr-old patient was admitted to our hospital complaining of rapid progressive dyspnea and abdominal discomfort. She was pregnant with dichorial, diamniotic twins for 35 wk and 4 d. Medical history showed that she was heterozygous for hemochromatosis. Two years before, she had given birth to a healthy girl of 3925 g by cesarean section, and 1 yr before, she had had a spontaneous abortion. Her preadmission outpatient surveillance revealed slightly elevated blood pressure varying from 132158 mm Hg systolic and 7995 mm Hg diastolic. Glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin were tested at 24 wk and were normal at 4.6 mmol/liter and 5.4% (36 mmol/mol), respectively. Urine analysis at the outpatient obstetri Continue reading >>
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Ketoacidosis: A Complication Of Diabetes
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition that can occur as a complication of diabetes. People with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) have high blood sugar levels and a build-up of chemicals called ketones in the body that makes the blood more acidic than usual. Diabetic ketoacidosis can develop when there isn’t enough insulin in the body for it to use sugars for energy, so it starts to use fat as a fuel instead. When fat is broken down to make energy, ketones are made in the body as a by-product. Ketones are harmful to the body, and diabetic ketoacidosis can be life-threatening. Fortunately, treatment is available and is usually successful. Symptoms Ketoacidosis usually develops gradually over hours or days. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: excessive thirst; increased urination; tiredness or weakness; a flushed appearance, with hot dry skin; nausea and vomiting; dehydration; restlessness, discomfort and agitation; fruity or acetone smelling breath (like nail polish remover); abdominal pain; deep or rapid breathing; low blood pressure (hypotension) due to dehydration; and confusion and coma. See your doctor as soon as possible or seek emergency treatment if you develop symptoms of ketoacidosis. Who is at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis? Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. It rarely affects people with type 2 diabetes. DKA may be the first indication that a person has type 1 diabetes. It can also affect people with known diabetes who are not getting enough insulin to meet their needs, either due to insufficient insulin or increased needs. Ketoacidosis most often happens when people with diabetes: do not get enough insulin due to missed or incorrect doses of insulin or problems with their insulin pump; have an infection or illne Continue reading >>
The Paleo Guide To Ketosis
Ketosis is a word that gets tossed around a lot within the Paleo community – to some, it’s a magical weight-loss formula, to others, it’s a way of life, and to others it’s just asking for adrenal fatigue. But understanding what ketosis really is (not just what it does), and the physical causes and consequences of a fat-fueled metabolism can help you make an informed decision about the best diet for your particular lifestyle, ketogenic or not. Ketosis is essentially a metabolic state in which the body primarily relies on fat for energy. Biologically, the human body is a very adaptable machine that can run on a variety of different fuels, but on a carb-heavy Western diet, the primary source of energy is glucose. If glucose is available, the body will use it first, since it’s the quickest to metabolize. So on the standard American diet, your metabolism will be primarily geared towards burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel. In ketosis, it’s just the opposite: the body primarily relies on ketones, rather than glucose. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that some organs in the body (especially the brain) require a base amount of glucose to keep functioning. If your brain doesn’t get any glucose, you’ll die. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need glucose in the diet – your body is perfectly capable of meeting its glucose needs during an extended fast, a period of famine, or a long stretch of very minimal carbohydrate intake. There are two different ways to make this happen. First, you could break down the protein in your muscles and use that as fuel for your brain and liver. This isn’t ideal from an evolutionary standpoint though – when you’re experiencing a period of food shortage, you need to be strong and fast, 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 >>
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).  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 >>
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 >>
What Causes High Ketones In A Canine?
A dog with a high level of ketones in his urine suffers from a condition known as ketonuria, usually resulting from a buildup of these substances in the dog's blood. A ketone is a type of acid, which, if allowed to accumulate in the blood, can lead to ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition. The main health conditions that can cause high ketone levels in a canine are starvation and diabetes. A dog's body breaks down the food that he eats into sugars, also called glucose, that the cells of the body use for energy. The dog's pancreas then produces the hormone insulin to regulate the amount of glucose that the body will absorb. If the insulin to regulate the glucose is insufficient, typically due to chronic diabetes mellitus, the body breaks down alternate sources of fuel for its cells; a dog's body that is starved of nutrition will do the same. One of these sources is the fat stored in the dog's body. When the body breaks down this fat, it produces as a by-product toxic acids known as a ketones. These ketones then build up in the dog's blood and also his urine, leading to ketoacidosis. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet. A dog suffering from high ketone levels in his blood and urine exhibits symptoms of weight loss, vomiting, increased thirst, decreased appetite, increased urination, lethargy, low body temperature and yellowing of the skin and gums, according to PetMD. The dog's breath may also have a sweet, fruity smell due to the presence of acetone caused by ketoacidosis, says VetInfo. To properly diagnose high ketone levels and ketoacidosis in your dog, a veterinarian will take blood tests and a urinalysis, which will also check your dog's blood glucose levels. Depending on the dog's physical condition, hospit Continue reading >>