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Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: Difference Between? Who Is Good?

Ketosis and ketoacidosis – You must have heard about these terms if you follow some kind of diet to lose weight.  But don’t assume that the terms have similar meaning just because they have similar spellings. So, what exactly do these terms mean? Here we will take you through the difference between both the terms and why it is important for you to be aware of it.

Ketosis and ketoacidosis both involve the production of ketones in the body. However, while ketosis is usually safe, ketoacidosis can be serious.

Ketosis is a state of body which functions on food intake consisting of almost fat. It takes place when the body starts burning fat instead of glucose.  

On the other hand, ketoacidosis occurs when the body triggers alarmingly high levels of ketones which is often observed as a complication of type 1 diabetes.

Thus it is imperative for you to know when to draw a line when it comes to following a certain diet regime and how you can prevent ketoacidosis.


Let’s try understanding once again what exactly ketosis is:

Ketosis typically takes place when you’re eating very few carbs like in the famous keto diet.  The proportion of nutrition divided is something like 60 to 75 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs.

So how does your body work with this kind of nutrition? When your carb consumption is such low, your body can’t burn glucose or the sugar obtained from carbs for producing energy. So it is left to pick fat for fuelling out energy and as a part of this process it releases ketones too. 

This process leads to drastic reduction of weight loss seen in the people on keto diet.

While the initial phase of ketosis can show some side effects termed as keto flu showing sigs like headache, diarrhea, weakness etc., ketosis is generally considered safe if you are eating properly as per keto diet.


Now, let’s learn what is ketoacidosis?

In case of being diabetic (Type 1) your body does not have sufficient insulin and thus it is not able to transfer glucose from the blood into cells, where it is required for energy.  Also your body will keep burning fats for formation of energy which leads to production of ketones as a by-product. This result is high levels of both glucose and ketones which gets accumulated in the blood and the condition is referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis in medical terms.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a possible complication of type 1 diabetes, and it can occur if you don’t manage enough insulin at the right times. Not eating enough food can also at times lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • High blood glucose levels
  • Increasing levels of ketones in the urine
  • Feeling thistly frequently
  • Frequent urination
  • Exhaustion 

Over the period of time, ketoacidosis can show signs like below:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in Stomach
  • Discomfort in Breathing
  • Concentration Difficulty
  • Loss of consciousness

So now you know how these terms have different meanings but are loosely related. The relation is due to common occurrence of ketones in the body.  If you want to know the levels of ketones in your body for some kind of doubt, you should visit your doctor who can suggest blood or urine test to measure the levels of ketones and glucose and provide you timely treatment.