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Ketones are produced when your body starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose.
Dangerously high levels of ketonescan lead to diabetic coma or death.
Know the warning signs and check urine for ketones, especially when sick.
Ketoacidosis (key-toe-ass-i-DOE-sis) is a serious condition that can lead todiabetic coma (passing out for a long time) or even death. When your cells don't get the glucose they need for energy, your body begins to burn fat for energy, which produces ketones. Ketones are acidsthat build up in the blood and appear in the urine when your body doesn't have enough insulin. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick. High levels ofketones can poison the body. When levels get too high, you can develop diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
Ketoacidosis may happen to anyone with diabetes, though it is rare in people with type 2. Someolder people with type 2 diabetes may experience a different serious condition called hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (hi-per-oz-MOE-lar non- key-TOT-ick KO-ma) in which the body tries to get rid ofexcess sugar by passing it into the urine.
Treatment for ketoacidosis usually takes place in the hospital. But you can help prevent ketoacidosis by learning the warning signs and checking your urine andblood regularly.
What are the warning signs of ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis usually develops slowly. But when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours. Earlysymptoms include the following:
Thirst or a very dry mouth
High blood glucose (sugar) levels
High levels of ketones in the urine
Then, other symptoms appear:Constantly feeling tired
Dry or flushed skin
Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
(Vomiting can be caused by many illnesses, not just ketoacidosis. If vomiting continues for more...