Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state which exists once the body’s ketone concentration becomes abnormally excessive, which is a result of poor monitoring of ketone bodies, especially when on the ketogenic diet. Primarily this is only a risk factor in cases where there is a lack or absence of insulin being secreted by the pancreas, which usually is only a concern in diabetics. It is important, however, to acknowledge the severity of this state and it should be avoided at all costs. In severe cases, ketoacidosis can result in death. This is the reason ketone monitoring, which can be done through urinalysis with the use of ketone test strips, is essential. The technology behind urinalysis using ketone test strips functions by utilizing reagents that indicate with a color scale as to what level of ketosis in which your body currently resides. Ketoacidosis is a metabolic state that is pathological. It is a form of ketosis, but just an extreme and uncontrolled variation. When in this state the body fails to regulate the production of ketones in the body which results in a build up of these keto acids in the bloodstream. This causes the pH level of the bloodstream to be decreased and makes the acidity of the blood fall below safe parameters. The two most common types of ketones produced in the human body are hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetic acids. When the latter extemporaneously decomposes, the resulting byproduct is acetone. This enables ketoacidosis to be detected on a persons breath. It is usually described as smelling similar to nail polish remover, which ultimately is primarily composed of acetone, or smelling reminiscent to acidic fruits. Ketosis (also referred to as benign dietary ketosis) can release a similar smell, although the intensity is significantly decreased due to a more regulated level of ketones in the bloodstream, which of course also contains a lower acetone level. Again, ketoacidosis is more common in cases of untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus, which results in the liver breaking down fats and proteins as a response to some perceived need for a respiratory substrate, (a respiratory substrate being a compound in the blood, such as a ketone body, upon which an enzyme acts.) Excessive alcohol abuse can also result in an increased susceptibility to alcoholic ketoacidosis. It is also important to know that the excessive ketones themselves are not the problem. A problem only arises when these ketones are in the blood when the blood has an abnormally acidic pH level. The danger ketoacidosis represents is related to the amount of ketone bodies being produced and utilized by the body. Ketone bodies are slightly acidic, therefore ketoacidosis causes a buildup in the bloodstream of these compounds, which has a dangerous affect on the pH level of the blood. All of this can be easily avoided by ketone monitoring using a variety a methods and materials including, but not limited to ketone urinalysis test strips.