Energy is needed for the organs to function. For liver and kidneys, the best way to supply the needed energy is through supplying compounds that are water soluble coming from fatty acids. These compounds are called the ketone bodies. It may beneficial, but it can only be so if it is maintained at a certain level. Otherwise, when it reached a high level and only little insulin is regulated, there is the chance for the ketoacidosis condition to develop. It comes in two types, and one of it is the alcoholic ketoacidosis. What is alcoholic ketoacidosis?
The Alcoholic Ketoacidosis
It is the type of ketoacidosis condition that involves ketones buildup in the blood. Ketones are described as an acid type that forms when one’s body starts breading down fat to have a supply of the needed energy. It is already considered as a severe case of metabolic acidosis.
Explanation of Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: The Development
For cells to function properly, it needs to be supplied with insulin and glucose sugar. Glucose comes from the food being eaten while the insulin is produced by the pancreas. Drinking alcohol affects the pancreas from producing insulin. Even if the insulin is affected only for a short time, without it, the cells will not be able to use up glucose for energy. When that happens, the body will switch to burning fat. As the burning of fats happen, ketone bodies also start building up in the bloodstream. As ketone buildup continues the risk of developing the ketoacidosis condition increases. As for the alcoholic ketoacidosis condition, it develops because of alcohol consumption.
The Cause of Alcoholic Ketoacidosis
Excessive drinking of alcohol for a long time can lead to the development of the condition. Most people who develop the condition are malnourished too.
Part of the explanation of alcoholic ketoacidosis is to discuss its symptoms. The condition involves several symptoms. However, the ones experienced depend on how much alcohol has been consumed. The amount of ketones present in the bloodstream is also a basis of the symptoms to be experienced. On both bases, the symptoms may include fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting or nausea, irregular, rapid and deep breathing, and loss of appetite. It also includes sluggish movement, decreased alertness, changes in mental state like confusion or agitation and dehydration symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatments
The condition can be diagnosed in a person who experienced the symptoms through performing physical examination. The patient will be asked about alcohol consumption as well as the health history. If it is suspected that the condition has developed, the previous exams will be followed with additional tests. The additional tests include arterial blood gases, blood chemistries (CHEM-20), electrolytes, BUN and creatinine and glucose levels. Others include blood alcohol level, serum lactate, toxicology (poison) screening and urine ketones.
Alcoholic ketoacidosis treatment is performed in the emergency room. It involves monitoring of the vital signs including the blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. Fluids will also be given through injection in the arm’s vein. To treat malnutrition, nutrients and vitamins will be provided. If ongoing care is necessary, the patient will have to be admitted in the ICU.