Skip to content

10 Fast facts about ketoacidosis

What is ketoacidosis?

Ketones and ketoacidosis are often mentioned in relation to diabetes, but what are they exactly?

  1. Ketones result when your body burns fat for energy.
  2. They are formed when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose for fuel.
  3. A urine test is traditionally used to test for ketones: some blood glucose meters can also test for ketones.
  4. Ketones make the blood more acidic.
  5. Ketones in the urine combined with high blood sugar are a warning sign that your diabetes isn’t under control.
  6. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is caused by a combination of high blood sugar that causes a rise in ketones. The ketones are an indication of how acidotic the patient is, and the acidosis can be fatal.
  7. DKA is serious and can lead to diabetic coma.
  8. DKA is rare in Type 2 diabetics and more common in Type 1 diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar.
  9. Symptoms of DKA are thirst, frequent urination, high blood glucose, constant tiredness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dry/flushed skin, breathing difficulty and confusion.
  10. If these symptoms ring a bell, see a doctor as soon as possible to get your blood sugar under control.
Published inFacts

Join our diabetes community



  1. Sonel Sonel

    My husband was admitted a week ago with DKA and it is NO joke people. I wish there is a cheaper way to get onto a Low Carb No Sugar diet as we are a family of 5 that will have to change to support my husband’s new lifestyle.

    • Oh Sonel, so sorry to hear that! How scary for you, and your husband… I hope he gets better as soon as possible.
      I know Tim Noakes does a lot about how to afford low carb on a budget, maybe that will help? It’s so difficult.

What do you think?