Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis imageKetoacidosis is a serious condition associated with illness or very high blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes. It develops gradually over hours or days. It is a sign of insufficient insulin.  Most cases of ketoacidosis occur in people with type 1, it very rarely occurs in people with type 2.

Without enough insulin, the body’s cells cannot use glucose for energy. To make up for this, the body begins to burn fat for energy instead. This leads to accumulation of dangerous chemical substances in the blood called ketones, which also appear in the urine.

Symptoms

High blood glucose levels and moderate to heavy ketones in the urine with:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweet acetone (similar to paint thinner or nail polish remover) smell on the breath
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration.

This is a serious medical emergency and can be life threatening if not treated properly. If these symptoms are present, contact your doctor or go to hospital immediately.