Is Ketosis Safe? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis: Low Carb Science: Thomas DeLauer
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so the big question is ketosis safe people ask me all the time is ketosis something that’s going to cause me to have the issues with my kidneys is ketosis a safe diet to go through well I’m going to break this down and hopefully give you some peace of mind because there’s a big question and people usually get confused between ketosis and ketoacidosis and there are two totally different things so let me break it down and hopefully give you a little peace of mind that you can go into a ketogenic state comfortably without elevating your blood pressure too much being concerned about going in to a ketoacidosis state first off quick recap of ketosis that it all makes sense ketosis is where you are depriving your body of glucose to the point where your body starts to utilize fats the source of fuel turning them into what are called ketone bodies which are an alternative source of fuel for the body when you’re in a form of quote-unquote starvation even if you’re not really starving so what ends up happening is insulin levels drop so much that your body doesn’t really need glucose anymore and you end up having ketones well in a normal healthy person insulin still regulates the level of ketones in the body okay so now let’s talk about what ketoacidosis is and how this is totally different because it really makes a difference to understand when you go into a regular ketogenic state you have a higher level of acid in the blood ketones do make the blood more acidic but that’s really not a bad thing a little bit of acidity in the blood doesn’t hurt anybody in fact sometimes it can be a good thing and normally a healthy body is going to be able to regulate how many ketones are in the blood so that it doesn’t get too acidic you know if you’re a healthy person and go into ketosis and you start having too many ketones your body has mechanisms in place that will say okay back it off slow down on the ketone production well a type 1 diabetic that doesn’t produce insulin doesn’t have that ability and that’s where ketoacidosis comes into play this is where there’s a big difference since insulin is a huge modulator of ketones without insulin we have way too much in the way of ketones so here’s how it looks for someone that is insulin dependent someone that has to take a shot of insulin a type 1 diabetic okay glucose levels get really high but their body isn’t producing insulin and they forget to take their shot well the blood sugar stays really really high but the cells never get any food so the cells starve they’re going what the heck’s going on this guy’s not feeding me well winds up happening is the body says okay we’re going to produce ketones because clearly glucose is doing the trick so ketones are produced high levels end up in Turing the bloodstream and insulin is still not there where the heck is insulin come home insulin but it’s not there so the blood ketones get really really high well like I mentioned earlier in the video when we have high levels of ketones we start to get more acidity in the blood well we end up getting the numbers so high that the acid just becomes overwhelming and you develop a state of diabetic ketoacidosis blood becomes viscous the blood pressure drops you end up having a lot of vomiting diarrhea feeling really really sick and a lot of times can end up in a coma or even die but it’s not regular ketosis ketoacidosis is something that occurs for people that aren’t even in a nutritional state of ketosis eating a normal diet just people that aren’t taking their insulin or aren’t monitoring it closely so what is the real difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis just so that we’re clear so you have a clear picture that nutritional ketosis is safe ketoacidosis is a whole different world okay ketosis you’re modulating the level of ketones that are coming in the body you’re controlling it you’re using fat as a source of fuel ketoacidosis is a state of starvation due to a lack of insulin you’re starving either way whether you’re in nutritional state of ketosis or not remember that insulin is acting to control the feedback loop and communicate with your brain and communicate with the rest of your body to regulate how much of what needs to be in the body without insulin ketone levels will reach as high as 20 millimoles per liter now if you’ve ever measured your ketone levels in your blood or anything like that whether you’re in ketosis or not you’ll know that that’s crazy high most people that are just in a regular nutritional state of ketosis like me like I’m just going into G ptosis because I want to look good I want to feel good I want to have the medical benefits of health benefits well I end up finding that I’m usually sitting between two and three millimoles per liter I’ve never been able to get myself above six and if you start putting yourself getting above seven eight nine ten yeah you may want to check out some other things because you might actually have diabetes if you’re getting that high so check that stuff out so now that’s cleared up and you know that the nutritional state of ketosis isn’t dangerous or at least is not the same as ketoacidosis one question that comes to mind for me is someone that is type one diabetic would they end up having a higher risk of going into ketoacidosis well it’s a hard one to answer but I have a hypothesis and it kind of makes sense if you are type one diabetic you’re not producing insulin and if you’re not taking your insulin exogenously you’re going to end up in ketoacidosis more than likely anyway or you’re going to end up with some other issue so being in a nutritional state of ketosis is going to monitor your blood sugar a little bit better to keep it low but if you’re not taking your insulin you’re probably going to reach that state of ketoacidosis just as fast if you were consuming carbs or if you were not the fact of the matter is with type one you have to be taking insulin that you’re not taking insulin that’s where you’re going to end up so it’s a matter of preference you want your body to utilize ketones when you take your insulin or do you want your body to utilize carbs when you take your insulin but I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole and talk to only type one diabetics I just know that question would come up so I wanted to answer it so in short nutritional ketosis is safe there’s nothing that’s really showing if not safe but I have to make a full disclaimer here when I say I’m not a doctor I’m a guy on the internet and I can only tell you what I research and what we look at and what I’ve experienced myself so by and large I stand behind ketosis we don’t know the long-term effects of what it can do all that’s important is that you stay super hydrated because you’re still going to be at a level of dehydration if you’re not consuming enough salt or if you just flat-out not drinking enough water so make sure you’re paying attention to that and as always if you have questions regarding ketosis or anything like that make sure you put them in the comments section or make sure you send an email hit my website so that I know what you’re looking at what you’re interested in not only does it help me create amazing content but it helps me get the word out and helps me engage with you and get the right kind of stuff so as always keep it locked in here on my channel and I will see you in the next video
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Is Ketosis Safe? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis: Low Carb Science: Thomas DeLauer
Ketosis is a state in which the body starts burning fat for energy due to lack of new glucose in the diet.
Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose. The pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin that works with the glucose in the bloodstream to provide energy to the body’s organs and cells.
When the glucose supply is exhausted, it begins to break down stored fat to meet its energy needs for normal functioning. The accumulation of ketone molecules in the blood makes it extremely acidic. This irritates the kidneys, which flush out ketones through urine.
Ketosis gets its name from the ketones that are produced in the process of breaking down the fat. In a healthy person, the amount of fat that is burned and ketones that are produced is tightly controlled, causing no harmful side effects.
Ketosis, or nutritional/dietary ketosis, is commonly seen in those participating in low-carb diets (as well as prolonged periods of fasting or starvation) and can be quite helpful in losing weight, as fat is burned in the entire process to gain energy
As ketosis is usually a diet-induced process, it isn’t harmful
However, ketoacidosis, which is seen in people suffering from a lack of insulin, is a life-threatening condition. (1)
Ketoacidosis, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), is a life-threatening condition in which your body doesn’t make enough insulin. This can cause you to have dangerously high levels of ketones and blood sugar.
Think of DKA as a dangerous state of ketosis
It is a condition afflicting mainly type 1 diabetes patients who suffer from hyperglycemia as a result of lack of insulin.
Inadequate insulin levels result in the failure of the body to utilize blood glucose as a fuel source; rather, to compensate the decreased energy levels, the body starts breaking down fat, resulting in ketones.
Without insulin to control the amount of ketones produced during this process, an excessive amount is produced
When excessive amount ketones build up in the blood, it seriously alters the normal chemistry of the blood and interferes with the functions of multiple organs.
They make the blood acidic, which causes vomiting and abdominal pain. If the acid level of the blood becomes extreme, ketoacidosis can cause falling blood pressure, coma and death.
Ketoacidosis is always accompanied by dehydration, which is caused by high levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose builds up in the blood if there is not enough insulin to move glucose into your cells (1,2)
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a very dangerous state where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is effectively starving due to lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into our cells and without it the body switches to ketones.
Our brain can function off either glucose or fat and ketones. Ketones are a breakdown of fat and amino acids that can travel through the blood to various tissues to be utilized for fuel.
You see, in normal individuals, or those with well-controlled diabetes, insulin acts to cancel the feedback loop and slow and stop the overproduction of ketones. Without this feedback loop, dangerous levels of ketones build up, acidifying the body.
This would register on a Ketone Meter at levels of 20 mmol/l. The levels can build up to a state that is highly toxic.
If someone is in this state, they are usually accompanied with excessive thirst and urination, hyperglycemia, pain, nausea, and deep, labored, gasping breathing. These individuals need to seek medical treatment (2)
Who is at risk?
DKA can occur very quickly and symptoms of DKA can develop over a period of a few hours, and treatment results in rapid recovery
People with type 1 diabetes are at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. If you have type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis can occur because you have stopped taking your insulin injections or because your insulin dose is too low.
It can be triggered by an infection or severe physical stress, such as an injury or surgery, because your body can need more insulin than usual during these stresses. Ketoacidosis rarely occurs in people with type 2 diabetes.
In most people who have type 2 diabetes, blood insulin levels usually do not get low enough to signal the liver to make ketones. (3)
1) Understanding Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2) Why DKA & Nutritional Ketosis Are Not The Same. (n.d.). Retrieved from
3) Diabetic Ketoacidosis Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options. (n.d.). Retrieved from l