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Alcoholic ketoacidosis is the build up of ketones in the blood. Ketones are a type of acid that form when the body breaks down fat for energy.
The condition is an acute form of metabolic acidosis.
Alcoholic ketoacidosis is caused by excessive alcohol use. It is most often seen in a malnourished person who drinks large amounts of alcohol every day.
- Abdominal pain
- Altered level of alertness, which may lead to coma (unresponsiveness)
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
- Irregular deep, rapid breathing (Kussmaul's sign)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness and light-headedness
Treatment may involve fluids (salt and sugar solution) given through a vein. You may need to have your blood taken frequently.
People with this condition are admitted to the hospital, often to the intensive care unit (ICU).
Prompt medical attention improves the overall outlook.
Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink may help prevent this condition.