diabetic ketoacidosismedical dictionary

A severe metabolic derangement that occurs in the absence of insulin. Insulin allows the body to absorb glucose into cells for energy production. In the absence of insulin, the body starts to break down fats for fuel. A metabolic byproduct of fat metabolism is referred to as a ketone. The presence of elevated blood ketones in this setting is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. In extreme, untreated cases, this can lead to coma and death.

(27 Sep 1997)