Ketosis and ketoacidosis both affect the production of ketones in the body. However, while the state of ketosis is typically safe, ketoacidosis can have serious consequences.



The state of ketosis occurs in the body when the body starts burning fat instead of glucose. Inducing the state of ketosis is the purpose of the keto diet which, thanks to its low carbohydrate content, can help people lose weight in the long term.

The ketoacidosis instead happens when the body produces dangerous levels of ketones and is often a complication of type 1 diabetes.

In today’s post we talk about the fundamental differences between ketosis and ketoacidosis, starting with the symptoms. Often the two conditions are confused and cause for concern when it comes to the Keto diet. However, it is good to know the two topics and to know what we are talking about.




The dietary ketosis occurs when the body uses fat to glucose place to produce energy. The liver converts these fats into chemicals called ketones and releases them into the bloodstream. The body is therefore now ready to use ketones as an energy source.

The purpose of the ketogenic or keto diet is to induce food ketosis. You can do this by choosing a diet consisting of foods that are high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is experiencing a moment of great popularity due to its ability to lose excess weight.



Originally the ketogenic diet was born as a therapy for children suffering from epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation stated that some studies show that following this type of diet, 50 percent of children see the occurrence of episodes reduced by half or less, while 10-15 percent are eliminated.

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Doctors still don’t know why ketogenic nutrition reduces the symptoms of epilepsy. Some research suggests that this type of diet can also help other patients suffering from other neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.



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Unlike ketosis, ketoacidosis occurs when the body thinks it is in a state of hunger alert and begins to metabolize fats and proteins too quickly. This is a potential complication of type 1 diabetes.

If a person does not have enough insulin, the body does not have enough resources to move glucose from blood vessels to cells, where they are needed for energy. This condition, which involves the resulting presence of glucose and high levels of ketones in the blood, is known as ketoacidosis.

Through a urine test, a doctor is able to diagnose the state of ketosis or ketoacidosis.

During food ketosis, it is normal for ketone levels to be between 0.5 and 3.0 millimole per liter (mmol / L). According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), a person should check ketone levels if their glucose level is above 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL).

People with diabetes with high blood ketone levels have an increased risk of suffering from ketoacidosis.


Symptoms of ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis is a potential complication of type 1 diabetes and can occur when a person is not getting the right amount of insulin at the right time. Even if the right amount of food is not consumed, this can sometimes lead to ketoacidosis.

Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • High blood sugar levels
  • High levels of ketones in the urine
  • Thirst and frequent urge to urinate
  • Fatigue
  • Dry or red skin
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As the state of ketoacidosis progresses, other symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomit
  • Stomach pain
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • bad breath
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating
  • unconsciousness

Symptoms of ketosis

For most people, ketosis is a temporal disease in which the level of ketones in the blood rises and the body switches from burning glucose to using fat as an energy source.

People who eat ketogenic induce this condition with the intention of spending a lot of time in this state. It is also possible to enter the state of ketosis by fasting.

Ketosis can manifest symptoms such as bad breath and headaches, thirst, and intestinal complications in some people.

Although induced ketosis is generally safe, it can include a number of nutritional disorders that can be corrected with the help of dietary supplements or by controlling the ingredients placed on the table. Some symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • The weakness
  • Poor ability to concentrate
  • Mood
  • Anemia
  • Sensitivity

Some of these symptoms may be part of the so-called keto flu and part of the adaptation phase to the ketogenic diet in the first two weeks after feeding the ketogenic style. However, the keto flu can be offset by a number of measures that I list in this article.



As explained above, a doctor can easily determine whether a patient is in a state of ketosis or ketoacidosis. A simple blood test can be used to show the body’s level of ketones, glucose, and acidity.

Food ketosis is not a disease and does not require a diagnosis. However, ketoacidosis is a much more serious condition and anyone with symptoms should see a doctor right away. People with symptoms of malnutrition or an unbalanced diet should always see a doctor.

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Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious and rapidly progressing disease, but fortunately, it is treatable. Doctors often treat patients who report this condition with insulin, fluid, and electrolyte therapy. Often, patients with diabetic ketoacidosis can be kept in the hospital to monitor their condition. Once blood ketone levels return to normal, other tests can be arranged to determine if other episodes of ketoacidosis may occur in the patient due to other factors.



People with diabetes can reduce the risk of ketoacidosis by:

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels and notify your doctor immediately of abnormal levels
  • Ketone level test when glucose levels are above 240 mg / dL
  • Avoid physical activity if ketones are present in the urine and blood sugar levels are high.
  • Taking insulin according to a doctor’s prescription
  • Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
  • Avoid skipping meals

Final Words

While ketosis and ketoacidosis are both consequences of the presence of blood ketones, these two states are absolutely NOT the same.

Food ketosis is the purpose of the ketogenic and generally safe diet, while ketoacidosis is potentially dangerous and is a complication of type 1 diabetes.

People with diabetes should follow their doctor’s recommendations for preventing ketoacidosis.

The ketogenic diet is an amazing weight loss aid and can offer many health benefits. However, it’s always best to check with your doctor before starting a new diet, especially if it, like Keto, interferes with your diet plan.


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