People with Type 1 Diabetes, or people with
advanced Type 2 Diabetes, do not produce,
enough, or any Insulin at all and Insulin
is a pancreas produced hormone that is required to metabolise the blood
sugar and when the body has insufficient Insulin, it cannot get glucose
from the blood into the body's cells to use as energy.
Glucose is the primary fuel that the body uses for energy and a lack
of energy makes the body think that you do not have enough glucose present
in the blood, so the body starts to burn body fat in order to create
more glucose; however, this does not create more Insulin and so the
body still cannot get glucose from the blood into the body's cells to
use as energy; this creates a vicious circle, in which the body burns
even more fat.
Unfortunately, when the body burns too much fat, it also creates Ketones,
which is an acid that is released into the bloodstream and if there
is insufficient Insulin present to help fuel the body’s cells, the Keytones
start to build up; therefore, high levels of Ketones are more common
in people with Type 1 Diabetes, or people with advanced Type 2 Diabetes.
The Symptoms Of Ketoacidosis:
Symptoms of Ketoacidosis include Slow, Deep Breathing; Ketones give
the breath a sickly, fruity odour like nail varnish remover or pear
drops; Confusion; Frequent Urination 'Polyuria'; Poor Appetite and eventually
Loss of Consciousness; a good indication is if you can taste nail varnish
or pear drops when licking your lips.
How Do I Test For Ketones?
Ketone testing can be carried out at home; there are several products
that test for Ketones in the urine and there are blood glucose meters
which can also test for Ketones as well as test the blood glucose levels;
although, you will probably only need to use ketone testing if you are
ill or have sustained high blood sugar levels; all the test will do
is tell whether, or not, you have Ketones and if you have high levels
of Ketones for more than a few days, you will need to seek medical advice;
Ketone testing may be advisable for pregnant diabetics and women who
have developed Type 4 Diabetes 'Gestational Diabetes'.
The above process of burning more fat, to create a supposed lack of
glucose in your body, also leads to high blood sugar levels known as
Hyperglycemia; if the blood sugar levels
go up and Insulin, or other medication isn't used, the levels will continue
to rise and your going to get very thirsty and need to go to the toilet
a lot; under extreme conditions you may even vomit and require medical
attention; high blood sugar levels do not necessarily mean that you
will also have a build up of Ketones; however, the higher the blood
sugar levels and the longer it is sustained, the more likely it is that
you will have a build up of Ketones.
Ketones are not a good thing, you do not want them to build up in your
body; when Ketone levels become too high, the risk of Ketoacidosis is
raised and this emergency condition can lead to Coma, Brain Damage and
even Death in serious cases; the opposite of Ketoacidosis is Alkalosis;
there is a delicate balance between these two conditions.