There is some confusion about ketosis and keto-acidosis (diabetic ketoacidosis) that even some in the medical profession don’t know the difference.
It Is A Concern
It is disturbing that there is this confusion. It shows a lack of understanding of both ketosis and keto-acidosis by those that should know better and you often rely on for advice about your health.
Keto acidosis is very dangerous and is something that people with Type 2 (on LGTA drugs and possibly insulin) and Type 1 diabetes can die from if not treated quickly and properly.
The Warnings From Doctors and Nurses
When you speak to people in the medical profession about going low carb and even more so about ketosis they reply about the perils of keto-acidosis.
Their first instinct is to lecture you about it. It does make you think they don’t know as much about Type 2 diabetes that is controlled properly through diet and exercise with normal blood sugars or what ketosis and ketosis is.
When you have good control and keep a close eye on your blood sugar to keep it at normal levels (for non-diabetics) there is no real risk of you going into ketoacidosis when using diet and exercise for this.
You are using fat or ketones for fuel rather than glucose to fuel your cells and is a normal state for humans as they can switch between the two and have done so through the ages as needed when they can’t get carbs.
This is where you have high blood sugars and ketones and you are very sick.
What Other’s Say
As I’ve mentioned, many medical and health professionals seem to be very concerned about the risk of keto-acidosis when you mention a low carb or ketogenic diet and using ketones for fuel.
They have warned me against ketosis and ketones due to their concerns about diabetic ketoacidosis.
But it is only ketones that they share in common.
It’s no wonder there is an issue here with this when you look at the definitions of keto acidosis on the diabetes UK and NHS sites. They do not mention the issue of high blood sugars caused when there is minimal insulin levels (normally it is a Type 1 problem but Type 2 diabetics can have a problem where they are producing very low amounts of insulin and taking LGTA drugs) as well as the high ketone levels causing your body to go acidic.
When there is only extremely small amounts of insulin to none you keep on producing ketones and when it reaches 20 millimolars, you get very sick and may fall into a coma or worse if not treated.
So, there is a risk if you don’t produce insulin but not if you can produce insulin and are controlling your blood sugars without drugs and in particular.
Lower Blood Sugars
Persons who do this on purpose are going to find that their blood sugars are lower anyway not higher which is what you want if you are diabetic (being in the normal range is the aim).
When I was first diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and was called to the doctors they tested my urine for ketones and found them present. The locum doctor was concerned that I had a more serious problem with high blood sugars so I was sent to the medical assessment unit at the local hospital.
Fortunately it wasn’t that bad, but it does illustrate the issue that they don’t understand what ketoacidosis is (but it did help me in the end to take action).
But the issue with this is that they may stop someone from taking the action that could help them reverse the high blood sugars and lead a much healthier life because of the mistake they made.
Stay The Course
There is no reason to change my aim of going into dietary ketosis for long term health and running purposes. I just hope the medical profession and the diabetes charities catch up soon and offer better advice to those who want the best chance to thrive rather than just survive.
I feel even Type 1 diabetics that follow the low carb high fat diet with only small injections of insulin aren’t likely to have an issue if they follow something like Dr Bernsteins diet of 30 grams or less of carbohydrates (See The Diabetes Solution) a day.
Where To Now
Being in ketosis has had benefits for many people and there isn’t a risk for those Type 2 diabetics who are controlling their blood sugars to normal levels.
The medical profession needs to get up to speed with it so they can help those who want it. (The issue being many of them get their guidance from sources that have decided there is only one way to do this that seems to be more profitable for people to be misinformed).
I’m planning on doing this in the new year to help with running as well as for the health benefits.
What’s you view on ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis? Is there something I’ve not understood.