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What Is Alcoholic Ketoacidosis?

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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, Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. lauraj

    Hiya, my son Ryan has had d since 6/08 but today is the first time i have had positive test for large ketones. He has had a bit of a fever for a couple of days and has had mainly high sugars.
    I am really worried tonight as i have never had a positive result like this. He is on Twice daily injections but i have given him a bit of extra Novorapid before bed and just wondered if anybody could help give me a clearer idea of what may happen? Thanks

  2. Lee

    I do not really understand the two shots a day theory, so I cannot helpout much with that - but I urge you to be in contact with your endo team!!!!
    Other then that, push non-carbed liquids - lots of them, and he will need extra insulin to clear up the ketones!

  3. lauraj

    Thanks, i rang them and they said to see how he goes through the night but i am still worried sick. I have been trying to get him to drink loads but he is tired so asleep now. I just hope the rest helps his blood sugar come down

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