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Yocan / Sober living  / Can Alcoholic Ketoacidosis kill You?

Can Alcoholic Ketoacidosis kill You?

Diabetics who abuse alcohol can also develop alcoholic ketoacidosis, though there is no documented connection between diabetic and alcoholic ketoacidosis. In exceptional cases, the two conditions can be co-existent (Höjer, 1996; Tanaka et al., 2004). Some of the patients who develop alcoholic ketoacidosis appear to be prone to repeated episodes (Höjer, 1996).

alcoholic ketoacidosis death

All relevant ethical issues were identified and discussed with the local Ethical Committee. All cases collected for this study underwent medico-legal alcoholic ketoacidosis symptoms autopsies as requested by the public prosecutor. Biochemical analyses were performed as part of the medico-legal investigations.


If you are a chronic alcoholic, you should seek professional help. You can reduce your alcohol consumption in a variety of ways, including completely eliminating it. Femoral blood samples were collected by aspiration with a sterile needle and a syringe from the femoral vein(s) during autopsy. Blood samples were drawn after clamping the vein(s) at the proximal end and lifting the lower limb(s) for several minutes. Femoral blood was stored in tubes containing sodium fluoride (for ethanol, acetone, acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and isopropyl alcohol determination) and tubes containing ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (for glycated hemoglobin determination). All samples were transferred to the laboratories immediately post collection.

What is the cause of death of alcoholic ketoacidosis?

Alcoholic ketoacidosis can be a fatal outcome of initial high alcohol intake or binge drinking, followed by a lack of food or water for more than 24 hours. It differs from alcohol poisoning in that the BAC may be low or even zero.

If you’re a frequent heavy drinker, it can be helpful to know what alcoholic ketoacidosis is so you can watch out for the warning signs. If a person is already malnourished due to alcoholism, they may develop alcoholic ketoacidosis. This can occur as soon as one day after a drinking binge, depending on nutritional status, overall health status, and the amount of alcohol consumed. When your body burns fat for energy, byproducts known as ketone bodies are produced. If your body is not producing insulin, ketone bodies will begin to build up in your bloodstream.

Alcoholism and ketoacidosis

When your body produces too much acid, your body can develop metabolic acidosis, which can cause unpleasant and potentially fatal conditions. Alcohol ketoacidosis can manifest as a variety of symptoms depending on how much alcohol is consumed, how much food is consumed, and how much hydration is provided. People who engage in chronic, excessive alcohol consumption after a binge drinking episode are more likely to develop this condition. Chronic alcoholic ketoacidosis is usually caused by frequent binge drinking and nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It is known that several situations may be encountered in forensic pathology routine with negative autopsy and histology findings.

Subsequent mismanagement can lead to increasing morbidity and mortality for patients. AKA typically presents with a severe metabolic acidosis with a raised anion gap and electrolyte abnormalities, which are treatable if recognized early and appropriate management instituted. Given the increasing epidemic of alcohol-related healthcare admissions, this is an important condition to recognize and we aim to offer guidance on how to approach similar cases for the practising clinician. If you can’t eat for more than a day, your liver will use up the glucose stored in your system. When you convert a ketone acid to a ketone, your cells produce some energy. You may be able to become too acidic if you consume too much of it.

Non-diabetic ketoacidosis: A case of alcoholic ketoacidosis accompanied by hyperglycemia

The key tenants to management of AKA include fluid resuscitation and electrolyte correction. Alcoholic ketoacidosis seems to occur mostly in people who are heavy drinkers, who then become dehydrated and malnourished. This can occur due to dehydration from drinking, low glucose levels from not eating and throwing up after binge drinking and a buildup of ketones in the body from frequent drinking. Excessive drinking damages the pancreas, impacting insulin production.

  • If you develop any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention.
  • A series of laboratory parameters were measured in order to obtain a more general overview on the biochemical and metabolic changes occurring during alcoholic ketoacidosis.
  • Cortisol levels in subjects with fast-induced ketosis have been reported as unchanged or only mildly increased, in contrast to patients with either alcoholic or diabetic ketosis, whose cortisol levels tend to be high-normal or elevated.

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