Ketosis / Ketonuria / Ketoacidosis

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Overview of Ketosis / Ketonuria / Ketoacidosis

Ketosis is characterized by abnormally high level of ketone bodies in the body. Ketone bodies are synthesized by the liver from fatty acids. Ketone bodies are produced as a source of energy when body becomes energy deficient due to low nutrient intake. Ketone bodies are released as a result of gluconeogenesis in conditions of starvation, carbohydrate restricted diet, eating disorder, intense exercise and Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is considered as the most common pathological reason for increase in ketone body in blood. Ketosis lead to ketonuria. Ketonuria is the presence of high amount of ketone bodies in the urine. Ketosis lead to increase in acid concentration in the blood, a condition termed as ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a complication of untreated Type 1 and rarely, of Type II diabetes. Ketoacidosis can be life threatening and require immediate and proper medical attention.

Causes and Risk Factors of Ketosis / Ketonuria / Ketoacidosis

There are different factors that lead to the buildup of ketones in the blood. Poor eating habits, lack of carbohydrate intake and prolonged starvation lead to the risk of ketosis in the blood. Stress is also considered as a trigger factor for the production of ketone bodies, especially in diabetic individuals. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) also occurs if diabetic patient misses a dose of insulin. Certain infections, including pneumonia and urinary tract infection (UTIs) can lead to ketoacidosis. Physical or emotional trauma also lead to ketosis. High fever, heart attack or stroke can lead to ketoacidosis and are considered as important risk factors. Other factors that can lead to ketone toxicity include smoking, alcohol abuse and certain drug addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Ketosis / Ketonuria / Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis, especially in diabetic individuals have very distinct and acute symptoms. They include increased thirst, frequent urination (polyuria), nausea, vomiting, pain in abdomen, fruity smell breath and urine, confusion, fatigue, dry skin and mouth, increased breathing, high level of glucose and ketones in blood, high level of ketones in urine, and flushed face.