Ketosis VS Ketoacidosis

Couple years ago after our family vacations, our daughter got Ketoacidosis. At that time, I didn’t know anything about ketosis. But I remember reading somewhere that every time a woman hears “ketone bodies” they go crazy and get scared.

I still remember the moment when I told my wife that I was planning to experiment with a ketogenic diet. She said I was crazy and that I would die as it was very dangerous, etc. And I got a bit confused at that moment….

I carried out some deep research on the keto diet and could not find any evidence about the danger of ketone bodies. I even went to see our family doctor and asked what she thinks about ketosis. And while she was explaining to me what ketone bodies are, she mentioned ketoacidosis. “You mean ketosis”, I double checked. “No, I mean ketoacidosis”, she answered.

I went back home to investigate. It turns out ketosis and ketoacidosis (actually it’s called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA) are different things.

Here are the basics you need to know about ketosis and ketoacidosis (spoiler alert: ketosis is good, and ketoacidosis is dangerous). First, let’s break the terms down….


A metabolic state where the body is primarily using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the default function of the body, so if glucose is available, the body will use that first. But during ketosis, the body is using ketones instead of glucose.

This is an amazing survival adaptation by the body for handling periods of famine or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything else that leaves the body without enough glucose for fuel.Ketone bodies are released during ketosis and are created by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are then used by the body to power all of its biggest organs, including the brain, and they have many benefits for the body we’ll get into later.

Ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

An extreme dangerous metabolic state that is most commonly seen in people with type 1 diabetes and sometimes type 2 diabetics if they aren’t properly managing their insulin and diet.

Many people, including doctors, can still confuse ketosis as DKA or assume they’re the same thing. But they aren’t. With DKA, the ketone amount in the body is extremely high, leading the blood to turn acidic.

“While low-carb diets are a great way to get into ketosis, they generally won’t induce ketoacidosis, a severe form of ketosis typically seen in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Dietary ketosis is harmless, according to a 2004 review published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, while ketoacidosis is not.

That’s because people in ketoacidosis produce ketone bodies so quickly they overwhelm their natural buffering systems, throwing off their delicate blood pH. Because your organs only work at a certain blood pH level, ketoacidosis can cause coma or even death. If you’re noticing early signs of ketoacidosis, like vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive thirst and frequent urination, seek immediate medical attention.”

(Source: Live Strong)

And this infographic below answers all questions about difference between ketosis and Ketoacidosis …



Nothing much to add. All information above applies for canines too. However, dogs can’t talk so it is very important to see symptoms of ketoacitosis.

The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis can resemble the warning signs of a diabetic condition, which also requires medical attention. The difference is that diabetic ketoacidosis is the body’s final effort at survival before succumbing to diabetes. Here are several symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis in dogs.

  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Dehydration
  • Sweet breath
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Unhealthy, rough coat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dandruff
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden impaired vision
  • Jaundice

And don’t forget to leave out a bowl of fresh water all the time. And if your dog is on a ketogenic diet don’t forget the minerals too, like zinc, magnesium and potassium.


I’m still reading about ketosis online in one those fancy cafes that are everywhere nowadays. I just ordered an overpriced (would prefer cheaper of course) glass of sparkling water with lemon. Asked for salt and they offered me Himalayan salt (that’s cool). I then sprinkled the salt on top of the bubbles. The water started almost boiling twice as normal. Mixture was consumed at once. Now I am ready to walk my dogs!




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