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What is ketoacidosisand what are the most common types of it?

In order to understand what exactly ketoacidosis is, it isnecessary to know what the ketosis and ketone bodies are. In plain words, ketosis isthe state of the body characterized by the increased levels of ketone bodies inthe blood, which are formed during the process of breaking down fatty acids, inorder to transform them into energy. This process takes place in the liver andkidneys, and ketones are a source of energy for two very important organs in thebody, the heart and the brain.

Ketoacidosis is a condition in which the body is not able toregulate the production of ketones, which leads to the accumulation of ketoacids in the blood, resulting further in the decreased pH of the blood and itsincreased acidity. Since the body cannot produce enough insulin, which wouldslow down this production, ketoacidosis is very common in people who usealcohol excessively, as well as in those who suffer from type 1 diabetes, or inthose who fast. This is why two most frequent types of ketoacidosis arediabetic and alcoholic ketoacidosis.

What are the mostcommon causes of ketoacidosis?

Diabetic ketoacidosis may be caused by several factors, andamong them the most usual are either infection or an illness that results inthe production of certain hormones that work against insulin. For example,pneumonia, very high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and infection of the urinarytract are such causes. Skipping insulin therapy may lead to the inadequate amountof insulin in the body, which will also result in ketoacidosis. On the otherside, some kind of trauma, either physical or emotional, heart attack, stroke,stress, abuse of drugs or alcohol may also lead to ketoacidosis. The person with this condition will experience constantthirst, loss of appetite, pain in the abdomen, shortness of breath, smellybreath or tiredness. It is possible to feel nausea as well, or more frequenturge to urinate. Parameters that indicate this condition are high level of sugarin the blood and ketones in the urine. However, whichever the cause of ketoacidosis may be, thetreatment will require fluid and electrolyte replacement, as well as insulintherapy, and after that, the doctor will consider all the possible causes, andsee if it is necessary to include some other therapy in the process of the treatment.

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