Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: What to Know About This Medical Emergency

If your doctor suspects that you’ve developed this condition, they may order additional tests to rule out other possible conditions. After these test results are in, they can confirm the diagnosis. Diabetes, once diagnosed, is mostly managed with changes in diet, lifestyle, and medication adherence. The goal is to prevent high glucose levels, which alcoholic ketoacidosis smell helps prevent diabetic complications. Patients with DKA may have a myriad of symptoms on presentation, usually within several hours of the inciting event. Symptoms of hyperglycemia are common, including polyuria, polydipsia, and sometimes more severe presentations include unintentional weight loss, vomiting, weakness, and mentation changes.

  • Diabetes self-management education (DSME) and diabetes self-management support (DSMS) are recommended at the time of diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes and throughout the lifetime of the patient.
  • Your cells need insulin to use the glucose in your blood for energy.
  • The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
  • Patients can have a long-standing history of alcohol use and may also present following binges.
  • Typical characteristics of the latter may include rhinophyma, tremulousness, hepatosplenomegaly, peripheral neuropathy, gynecomastia, testicular atrophy, and palmar erythema.

Read more and starvation Overview of Undernutrition Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition. (Malnutrition also includes overnutrition.) Undernutrition can result from inadequate ingestion of nutrients, malabsorption, impaired metabolism, loss… Whether a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, an acetone-like scent in the breath can indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life threatening complication that requires immediate medical attention. When your body burns fat for energy, byproducts known as ketone bodies are produced.


Your breath smell can indicate a lot more than when you last brushed your teeth. For example, breath that has a fruity or acetone-like scent may be a sign of ketosis from your diet, excessive alcohol intake, or liver disease. Alcoholic ketoacidosis is attributed to the combined effects of alcohol Alcohol Toxicity and Withdrawal Alcohol (ethanol) is a central nervous system depressant. Large amounts consumed rapidly can cause respiratory depression, coma, and death.

Lactic acid levels are often elevated because of hypoperfusion and the altered balance of reduction and oxidation reactions in the liver. Mental status may be normal or slightly impaired as a result of derangements in electrolytes or vital signs. Severe obtundation; fixed, dilated pupils; and finally, death may occur.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

In some cases, these chemicals can cause a fruity or acetone smell. Gum diseases, including gingivitis, can cause bad breath, but not breath that smells like acetone. Having diabetes can also make a person more likely to develop oral health problems. DKA can cause the blood to become acidic and affect how the organs function.

Type 1 diabetes with disordered eating (T1DE) or diabulimia is an eating disorder that only affects people with type 1 diabetes. It’s when someone reduces or stops taking their insulin to lose weight. If you are unable to test your blood sugar and ketones, go to the emergency room. In order to experience alcoholic ketoacidosis, a person often has to drink large quantities of alcohol, while also being malnourished. As your body breaks down food and fat in different ways, it releases chemicals that are then expelled when you breathe out.


This allows the body to meet energy requirements in the absence of carbohydrates and protein; however, it results in a larger than usual amount of acids in your body. Toxicity from methanol or ethylene glycol is an important differential diagnosis. Toxic metabolites of both substances result in severe metabolic acidosis with wide anion gap and wide osmolal gap.18 Neither, however, causes ketosis.

  • The alcoholic ketoacidosis smell is like acetone or nail polish remover, noticeable when someone exhales ketone molecules.
  • Medically supervised detoxification can reduce the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms (which can contribute to AKA development) and the risk of relapse.
  • Initial IV fluids should contain added water-soluble vitamins and magnesium, with potassium replacement as required.
  • Serum sodium is usually relatively low because of shifts of solvent (water) from the intracellular to extracellular spaces because of the osmotic pull of hyperglycemia.
  • If you or someone else has symptoms of alcoholic ketoacidosis, seek emergency medical help.
  • Given the frequency with which the condition is seen in other countries, the possibility exists that many cases may be unrecognised and misdiagnosed in UK EDs.

Tham gia thảo luận

Compare listings

So sánh