What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
It’s a very serious condition in both types of diabetes that stems from a combination of high blood glucose and low levels of insulin, which prompts your body to produce an overload of ketones, something that can be toxic to your organs. Learn about the big differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Who’s at risk
Among people with diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is most frequently seen in people who have type 1 diabetes. “After a while in type 1, the body essentially produces no insulin,” says Louis Philipson, MD, PhD, director of the Kovler Diabetes Center at the University of Chicago. When insulin is low, it makes your liver and other tissues think that you’re starving. “Your liver tries to step in and save the day by making ketones,” he continues. Your body uses these ketones in an effort produce energy, and when insulin drops as in the case with type 1 diabetes, your liver keeps generating more and more ketones. DKA can also, though less commonly, happen in patients with type 2 diabetes if they have severe insulin resistance. Check out this step-by-step plan to reverse type 2 diabetes.