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Ketoacidosis is a type of metabolic acidosis which is caused by high concentrations of keto acids most commonly formed by the break down of amino acids, and of ketone bodies traditionally formed by the metabolism of fatty acids. This type of internal environment is most common in untreated type one diabetes mellitus, when the liver lacks glucose, but needs metabolic fuel. The body metabolizes fat and proteins to create a solution for the deficit, and ketoacidosis begins.

The acidity results from the dissociation of the H+ ion from the ketone bodies acetoacetate and B-hydroxybutyrate, produced by ketogenesis in fatty acid breakdown. Since this Hydrogen ion dissociation means a higher concentration of H+ in the body, the physiological pH (normally around 7.4) is lowered to acidic levels. Normally, when ketone bodies are produced, they do not accumulate enough to change the body's pH. When "abnormal" levels of these ketone bodies are made, the body is in ketosis, and when the levels become so high that the pH is changed, this is when ketoacidosis occurs. The acid concentration is further increased by dehydration.

Although many low-carb diets (such as the Atkins diet) are accused of causing ketoacidosis, the condition can only be caused by more extreme conditions, such as in excessive alcohol consumption or in insulin impairment (as in diabetes).

ketoacidosis symptoms

Although not indicative of ketoacidosis alone (these symptoms are associated with many potential disharmonies), these symptoms of ketoacidosis are often found as the environment develops:

  • thirst with a desire to drink
  • frequent micturition (urination)
  • lack of strength
  • disorientation
  • shortness of breath
  • dry skin
  • dry mouth
  • increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • low blood pressure
  • increased rate of breathing

ketoacidosis solutions

Short of treating the diabetes, which is a requirement if this is found to be the cause of the acidic state, there are many therapies available to help lower internal acid levels. Of course, removing the cause, be it sugar or alcohol, is the first step. For most situations, you can try solutions such as those offered at: Snyder Health. There are many positive reports on those following both dietary protocols and utilizing the micro-clustered water systems.

looking at the causes of ketosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is the result of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. In a diabetes sufferer, the spiral begins with a physiologic stress that causes release of catecholamines, glucagon, and cortisol. This stress may be emotional or physical, although the most common cause by far is infection (e.g., pneumonia or urinary tract infection). Simply having uncontrolled hyperglycemia may be sufficient to trigger an attack if significant dehydration occurs.

This process is vastly more common in diabetes mellitus type 1 than in type 2. A key component of Diabetic Ketoacidosis is that there is essentially no circulating insulin. Normally, the balance between storing and releasing energy in the body is controlled by the insulin to glucagon ratio.

Posted by Staff at June 17, 2005 4:42 AM

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I am 58. This past year I have had a need to eat something about every 2 hours or else I get weak and sweaty. I have begun a new job cashiering. Last night I cashiered for 3 hours, took a 15 minute break (ate a bannana) and returned to cashiering. Less than 2 hours later, I just about passed out. I was so weak, and parched with thirt that I had to leave, barely making it to a chair before colapsing. I took a 30 minute break,drank some water, and ate a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 a pear and 2 pieces of candy. I was tired, but able to return to cashier for the rest of my shift. Does this sound like diabetes or hyperglycemia? Thank you.

Posted by: Carol at March 13, 2006 2:56 PM