Ketoacidosis vs. Ketosis: What’s the Difference?

Although there is a similarity between names, ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things. Nutritional ketosis is the main goal of the ketogenic diet.

Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: What’s the Difference?

What Is Ketoacidosis or DKA ?

Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is a principal complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus. It is a potentially fatal disease resulting from dangerously high levels of ketones and sugar in the blood.

This combination makes your blood too acidic, which can affect the normal functioning of internal organs like your liver and kidneys.

You must consult your doctor, in this case, to get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

DKA can happen very quickly. And also It can develop in less than 24 hours. It mainly occurs of people with type 1 diabetes whose body does not produce insulin.

Several factors can lead to DKA, including illness, a Poor diet (Unhealthy eating), or not taking an adequate dose of insulin.

DKA can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes who produce little or no insulin.

Did you know?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and one of the most popular discussions this time of year, the relevance of which for this article will soon become evident.

We wanted to discuss perhaps one of the most necessary details that should do in the context of diabetes.

Such as The difference between nutritional ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis.

One is a natural and healthy response to a low carbohydrate diet and the other being a health-threatening condition that includes patients with type 1 diabetes.


Ketones, or ketone bodies, are molecules produced by the breakdown of fat in the liver.

These are then carried in the blood, act as efficient energy sources for the cells of the body, especially in the brain.

Our body produces three different types of ketones: beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate (AcAc), and acetone.

BHB is the primary ketone produce, Is measured with a blood ketone test, the most accurate way to measure ketones. (AcAc) is measured by urine sticks and acetone, Is measured by ketone breathalysers, but these methods are less accurate and informative than blood tests.

What is ketosis?

Ketosis is the presence of ketones. It is not dangerous.

You can be in ketosis if you are on a low-carb diet or if you are fasting, or if you’ve consumed too much alcohol.

If you are in ketosis, your blood or urine ketone levels are higher than usual, but not high enough to cause acidosis.

Ketones are a chemical produced by your body when it burns stored fat.

Become many people choose a low-carb diet to help with weight loss. While there is some controversy over their safety and long-term durability, low-carb diets are generally good. Talk to your doctor before starting any different diet.

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Ketoacidosis Statistics

DKA is the leading cause of death in people under the age of 24 with diabetes. The overall death rate from ketoacidosis is 2-5%.

People under the age of 30 accounts for 36% of diabetic ketoacidosis cases. Twenty-seven per cent of people with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is between 30 and 50 years old, 23 per cent are between 51 and 70 years old, and 14 per cent are over 70 years old.

8 Symptoms Of DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis)

The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis should be taken very seriously because of how quickly ketoacidosis can progress.

The first symptoms of hyperglycemia that can precede the development of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • Thirst and dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination

If left untreated, more serious symptoms can develop quite quickly, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain and stomach
  • Respiratory problems
  • Confusion and extreme fatigue

Identifying symptoms early can be essential for a person’s health and safety.

Symptoms of DKA can also be the first sign of diabetes. In a study of hospital admissions for DKA, 27% of people admitted for the disease had a new diagnosis of diabetes.

What Triggers Ketosis and Ketoacidosis?


A low-carb diet can trigger ketosis.

Is because a low-carb diet will cause you to have less glucose in your blood, which in turn causes your body to burn fat for energy instead of depending on sugars.


Illness or infection, as well as certain medications, can also prevent your body from using insulin properly can lead to DKA. For example, pneumonia and urinary tract infections are common triggers for DKA.

Other possible triggers include:

  • stress
  • a heart attack
  • abuse of alcohol
  • fasting and malnutrition in people with a history of binge drinking
  • drug abuse, especially cocaine
  • some drugs
  • severe dehydration
  • severe acute illnesses, such as sepsis, pancreatitis or myocardial infarction

Risk Factors Related To Ketosis and Ketoacidosis


Eating a low-carb diet is a risk factor for ketosis. Can be useful, for example, as a weight-loss strategy. People on a restrictive diet or those with an eating disorder may be at a higher risk for ketosis.


Type 1 diabetes is one of the main risk factors for diabetic ketoacidosis. A recent study proved from [Strong Evidence], That the People with Diabetic Ketoacidosis that 47% had known type 1 diabetes, 26% had known type 2 diabetes, and 27% had newly diagnosed diabetes.

If you have diabetes, Is not following the blood sugar management routine recommended by your doctor.

Researchers studied diabetes in children and adolescents. They found that one in four participants had DKA when a doctor first started diagnosing diabetes.

  Additional risk factors include:

  • Have an alcohol use disorder
  • Drug abuse
  • Skip meals
  • Not eating enough

Treatment Of Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

If you have ketosis, You will not need treatment.

You may need to go to the emergency room or stay in the hospital for a few time if you have DKA.

  • fluids through the mouth or a vein
  • replacement of electrolytes, like chloride, sodium, or potassium
  • intravenous insulin until your blood sugar is below 240 mg/dL
  • testing for other problems you may have, such as an infection.

Final recommendations:

Diet ketosis is the main target of the ketogenic diet, and it is generally safe.

Whereas, ketoacidosis is among the most serious potential complications of type 1 diabetes.

People with diabetes should avoid ketoacidosis and follow the doctor’s treatment directions to prevent ketoacidosis.

Plus, ketogenic diets help many people lose weight and offer some other health benefits.

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