Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
  You are here : > Health Centers > Medical Encyclopedia

Alcoholic ketoacidosis

AMar 28 05

Alternative names 
Ketoacidosis - alcoholic

Alcoholic ketoacidosis is an accumulation of ketones (a type of acid) in the blood, caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This disorder can be a complication of alcohol use, especially excessive alcohol use.


  • Fatigue  
  • low, sluggish, lethargic movement  
  • Breathing difficulty leading, when untreated, to an abnormal breathing pattern  
  • Irregular deep, rapid breathing (Kussmaul’s)  
  • Loss of appetite  
  • Nausea and vomiting  
  • Abdominal pain  
  • Symptoms of dehydration, such as dizziness and light headedness  
  • Confusion  
  • Agitation  
  • Changes in mental activity leading to loss of consciousness

Signs and tests

  • Blood and urine tests for excess acids, or ketones, in the body  
  • Blood chemistry tests  
  • Tests to quantify the amount of alcohol in the blood

Treatment in the hospital with intravenous fluids and frequent blood draws may be necessary to reverse the acidosis. Occasionally patients require intensive care unit stays.

Expectations (prognosis)
Prompt medical attention improves the overall prognosis of this condition.

This can be a life-threatening disorder.

Calling your health care provider
If you, a family member, or a friend have symptoms of alcoholic ketoacidosis, seek medical attention from an emergency department.

Limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by David A. Scott, M.D.

Email this to a friend Bookmark this! Printable Version

Medical Encyclopedia
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 0-9

All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.
   [advanced search]   
What health info have you recently searched for online?
Disease or condition
Exercise or fitness
Diet, nutrition or vitamins
None of the above

Get free support - Headache Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on

Health Centers


Health news

Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools

   Health newsletter


   Medical Links

   RSS/XML News Feed


Add to Yahoo RSS News Feed

Google Reader


This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
Verify here.