Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. This can cause you to have 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. Ketones are chemicals that the body creates when it breaks down fat to use for energy. The body does this when it doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose, the body’s normal source of energy. When ketones build up in the blood, they make it more acidic. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick.

Many fad diets now use the bodies ketones as a way to “burn” fat, however starving your body of nutrients is not safe. Forcing your body into starvation mode can lead to very high levels of ketones in the blood. High levels of ketones can poison the body. When levels get too high, you can develop Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Treatment for DKA usually takes place in the hospital.


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The Social and Health Research Center