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What Diabetics Need to Know About Ketoacidosis

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is critical for diabetics. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics can develop ketoacidosis. Sufferers of ketoacidosis demonstrate high levels of blood ketones and can develop an acidity in their blood, which can be deadly if left untreated. The keto diet, which guides users into a state of ketosis, is very different from ketoacidosis.

Not Ketosis

Ketoacidosis is not ketosis. The latter is a state you can force your body into by eating lean proteins, high levels of fat, and few carbs. When in ketosis, athletes and those trying to lose weight move beyond burning glucose and start to burn ketones, or fats released by the liver as a response to low glucose levels and high physical activity levels. While forced ketosis can be a healthy way to burn fat in short bursts of time, ketoacidosis is never healthy and can be extremely dangerous. With ketoacidosis, the body produces dangerously high amounts of ketones and starts breaking down fats and proteins too quickly. For diabetics, this means that your body isn’t producing enough insulin and can be dangerous if not dealt with quickly. 


Those suffering from ketoacidosis have generally had dangerously high levels of blood glucose for an extended period of time. Many times, people who don't realize they have diabetes find out because they develop ketoacidosis. Symptoms include blurry vision, fatigue and confusion. Individuals in the early stages of ketoacidosis will also be extremely thirsty. They may lose weight rapidly and will likely be urinating a great deal. While high blood sugar can, over time, cause damage to your eyes and kidneys, once your blood sugar is over 240-250 mg/dL, your condition goes from quietly damaging to extremely dangerous. Ketoacidosis changes blood pH levels, which causes significant harm to other vital organs. It should be noted that regular exercise can help you lower your blood sugar levels, but if your sugar every gets above 240-250 mg/dL, you should not exercise but seek medical help immediately.


Diabetes is a condition that must be balanced on a daily basis. Over the course of the day, as directed by your doctor, you need to check your blood sugar and administer medications as directed by your physician. It's also critically important to either start or continue with an exercise program that can help your cells be more responsive to insulin and thus keep your glucose levels in a safe range. Walking, working with weights and other activities that get your body moving can help you put the insulin in your system to the most efficient use. You also need to pay special attention to your stress levels and get proper rest to allow your body and brain to recover fully every night.

If you've recently been diagnosed, rather than setting yourself up for a challenging diet on top of the challenges of having to check your blood sugar at regular intervals, focus instead on a manageable eating plan that contains plenty of fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Set up a testing and eating schedule to make sure that your food intake and portion size are working well with your blood sugar goals. This will help to make sure that you keep your health in check.

Here’s another article you might like: 3 Dangers Of Diabetes You May Not Have Known About

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