Definition of Ketoacidosis

Ketoacidosis: A feature of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus characterized by a combination of ketosis and acidosis. Ketosis is the accumulation of substances called keytones and ketone bodies in the blood. Acidosis is increased acidity of the blood.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis include slow, deep breathing with a fruity odor to the breath; confusion; frequent urination (polyuria); poor appetite; and eventually loss of consciousness.

The treatment of ketoacidosis is a matter of urgency and is usually done in a hospital. It may require the administration of intravenous fluids, insulin, and glucose, and the institution of changes in the person's diet.

See also diabetes mellitus and ketone bodies.


Last Editorial Review: 10/30/2013

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