Why Can’t Diabetics Do Keto – A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet where you try to enter a state of ketosis, a natural state where you burn fat rather than carbohydrates as your primary source of energy. As the keto diet has gained popularity, ketosis is often confused with ketoacidosis, a very serious and even life-threatening diabetic complication.
When it comes to ketosis and ketoacidosis, these are two different states. However, there is a lot of confusion between the two. To clear up any misconceptions — and help you understand ketosis a little better — this guide will help you learn about the two metabolic states.
Why Can’t Diabetics Do Keto
The ketogenic diet (keto, diet) is based on the process of ketosis. Before explaining the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis, it is important to understand ketosis.
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Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body switches to burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. Burning carbohydrates (glucose) for energy is the body’s default function, so if glucose is available, the body will use it first[* ].
During ketosis, the body switches to burning ketones instead of glucose. This is the body’s adaptation against starvation or fasting, extreme exercise, or anything that “starves” the body for carbohydrates or sugar.
Keto dieters attempt to mimic this process by deliberately limiting carbohydrate intake, thereby using up excess glycogen (glucose) stores.
Dieters limit carbohydrates to 20-50 grams per day while exponentially increasing their fat intake. When glucose is not available, the body adapts and burns fat stores or ketones for energy[* ].
Ketosis Vs Ketoacidosis: What’s The Difference?
During ketosis, ketone bodies are produced by the liver from fatty acids. These ketones are used by the body to power its largest organs, including the brain [* ].
As you may have just learned, nutritional ketosis is a safe, natural process that results from the keto diet. Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, is a dangerous metabolic condition seen in people with type 1 diabetes (and sometimes with type 2 diabetes).
Ketoacidosis is a condition in which people with diabetes produce dangerous levels of ketone bodies. This happens when the body cannot produce enough insulin.
Without enough insulin, the body breaks down fat as fuel, leading to high levels of ketones in the blood, which are “dumped” in the urine. This accumulation causes the blood to become acidic[* ]. With DKA, the amount of ketones in the body can be 3-5 times higher than needed to enter ketosis.
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Poor diabetes management is one of the main causes of DKA (for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes), including not getting enough or using the correct insulin dose. DKA is often the first sign someone has diabetes. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, always remember to manage your blood sugar and maintain insulin therapy.
Treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis should be under the supervision of a physician. However, before things get to that point, you should be aware of the warning signs of DKA.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is associated with a number of side effects and symptoms may appear within 24 hours. DKA usually includes some of the following symptoms:
People with diabetes should be cautious if they experience any of the above triggers and should seek immediate medical attention, or even visit the emergency room, if they have symptoms of DKA.
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However, nutritional ketosis when eating a well-balanced keto diet should only produce low levels of ketones that are safe for the average person and not cause for concern.
The best way to determine if you are in ketosis and have healthy ketone levels in your body is to get your ketone levels tested. In ketosis, unused ketones are dumped into various parts of the body: breath, urine, and blood.
Blood ketone levels can range from zero to very high, and measuring them regularly will give you a good idea of where you are in ketosis. Levels are measured in millimoles per liter (mmol/L), and common ranges include:
Something between 0.6 and 3.0 mmol is usually the optimal ketone range for someone on a keto diet. During diabetic ketoacidosis, ketone levels are 3-5 times higher than healthy ranges for nutritional ketosis.
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There are three main types of ketone tests you can do at home to monitor ketone levels in the body.
Ketone urine tests are a quick, simple and affordable option. Using specific urine strips that you can find online, ketone levels are displayed in color after you urinate on each strip.
The downside to this method is that many keto test strips are unreliable. To get the most accurate reading possible, use Perfect Keto Ketone Testing Strips.
Unlike a urine test, a blood test for ketone levels is very accurate. You will draw a small amount of blood to measure using a blood glucose meter and test strip.
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If you are going to use this method for frequent testing, be warned that it can be expensive. Each test strip can cost anywhere from $5 to $10, which adds up.
Measuring breath ketones is not the most reliable method, but is useful when used with other methods. Breath tests are done using a Ketonix breathalyzer to check the amount of ketones in your breath.
The advantage of this method is that after purchasing the meter, there are no additional costs related to repeated tests.
Unlike ketoacidosis, ketosis is not harmful to the body. In fact, ketosis can provide a number of health benefits, including:
Difference Between Ketosis And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
The keto diet has been shown to produce better weight loss results than calorie restriction [* ]. This is likely due to keto dieters burning stored fat for energy.
Keto dieters often experience less hunger and cravings due to the high saturated fat content of the diet. People in ketosis usually have a suppressed appetite, which helps with weight loss[*].
Unlike ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening in diabetics, ketosis helps improve insulin levels in diabetics. In one study of obese people with type 2 diabetes, they ate a normal standard American diet for one week before switching to a low-carb, high-fat diet for two weeks.
A result? Human insulin sensitivity increased by 75%. In addition, they consumed 30% fewer calories, which may be related to appetite suppression[* ].
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Ketosis has been shown to help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy, especially in children [* ]. It may also benefit people with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other degenerative cognitive disorders due to the neuroprotective effects of ketones on the brain [* ].
There is some evidence that the keto diet benefits productivity and mental performance, as well as improved memory and less cognitive impairment [* ][* ][* ].
Athletes, weightlifters, and regular weekend warriors trust the keto diet to boost their performance in the gym. First, the keto diet helps improve body composition, which helps maintain muscle mass (not just weight loss), [* ].
As you know, ketosis and ketoacidosis are two completely different metabolic states. Nutritional ketosis is a natural process where your body burns fat instead of glucose for fat. When you enter ketosis, your body can experience a number of health benefits, such as mental clarity, improved insulin levels, and better results in the gym.
Ketosis And Diabetic Ketoacidosis: How Do They Differ?
Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, is a dangerous byproduct for those with type 1 diabetes. With ketoacidosis, blood ketone levels are 3-5 times higher than the level needed to achieve ketosis. At such high levels, the blood becomes acidic. Conversely, ketosis reduces insulin resistance in diabetic patients.
This is ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis is important to understand. If you are concerned about your ketone levels, you should get them checked. Order Perfect Keto test strips to ensure healthy ketone levels. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, is a deficiency of insulin in the body. This means the body can’t use sugar for energy and starts using fat instead. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released. If left unchecked, ketones can build up and make your blood acidic, a condition known as acidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that affects people with type 1 and sometimes type 2 (although they can also suffer from Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State (HHS)).
Some children and adults who don’t realize they have type 1 aren’t diagnosed with DKA until they’re very sick. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of DKA is important for prompt treatment.
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DKA can be serious if it’s not treated quickly, so here are some of the warning signs. Share this information with friends, relatives, or anyone who cares for the children, such as teachers and babysitters. This is so that they can also spot the symptoms of DKA.
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