10 Difference between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

A good number of people don’t clearly understand the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. You may be one of those individuals who these terms are confusing. Apart from Ketosis, there is also a term known as ketones, which is also popular among keto dieters.

However, the distinction between ketosis and ketoacidosis is very précised and should not confuse you.

This article, therefore, explains the main difference between the term ketosis and ketoacidosis.

So what does the term Ketosis mean?

As a keto dieter, you need to know what ketosis is and how to get into ketosis faster and easier. This term ketosis is just a simple process that makes your body attain a normal metabolic rate to burn excess fats.

In essence, “Ketosis is a normal physiological response that occurs when you eat a high fat, low carb diet. The normal metabolic state is what is termed as a ketosis.

The food you eat is converted into ketones that increase the presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

What is Ketoacidosis?

 On the other hand, ketoacidosis is more pathological. Actually, Ketoacidosis happens in people with diabetes whose blood glucose is very high, termed as hyperglycemia.  

To make it clear, ketoacidosis only occurs in people with diabetes and no one can put himself/herself into ketoacidosis the way you can put yourself into ketosis.

What happens when you are in Ketosis

When your body achieves a normal metabolic state (ketosis), the body starts to burn excess stored fats to energy, resulting in the build-up of acids, known as ketones, in your bloodstream.

However, obese and overweight find it difficult to attain the normal metabolic state (ketosis).

Therefore, they put themselves into a low-carb diet, high healthy fat, enough protein, and low-calorie diet.

This keto diet enables them to get into ketosis faster and start burning excess body fats, resulting in weight loss.

In other words, an individual (overweight or obese) following the keto diet plan mainly targets to burn unwanted fat that can cause chronic illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Ketosis simply pushes the body to rely on fat, not carbohydrates, for energy.

What are Ketones?

Ketones are now what is produced from the fats you eat or the body fats. It can be used as an alternative source of energy for the body when its cells are low on glucose (sugar) for a period of time. Have you wondered why you are energetic yet you have not eaten food and you can still do your duties effectively?

The truth is that your body fats are used to generate energy that is used to fuel other activities. 

The production of ketones is generally as a result of very low levels of insulin (the “key” needed for sugar to enter most cells) to produce energy. In response, the body releases fat stored in fat cells to be used to fuel other activities.

The fat released in the body is usually transmitted to the liver, where it is broken down into ketones, which are used as one source of alternative energy instead of glucose.

Different between the signs of ketosis and signs of ketoacidosis

To fully understand the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis, it is very important to know the different signs of ketosis and ketoacidosis. Their sign should not confuse you at all costs.  Therefore, the signs are clearly shown below.

Signs that you are in ketosis

A person who is in ketosis state will have the following signs:

  1. Have a dry mouth
  2. Experience increased thirst
  3. urinate more frequently
  4. Restlessness
  5. It may lead to dehydration
  6. Bad breath is also commonly noticed
  7. or Keto flu

Signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

Common complications of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  1. Very low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia
  2. May lead to swelling of the brain (cerebral edema)
  3. A high level of ketones produced in the body can push a person into cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  4. May lead to kidney failure.

According to research, ketoacidosis most commonly arises in individuals with diabetes. However, there are different types of ketoacidosis.


  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Alcoholic ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis mainly occurs in response to a severe lack of proper insulin activity in the body, while alcoholic ketoacidosis is a harmful metabolic condition arising when someone consumes excess alcohol on an empty stomach.

That is why it is recommended not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. This has led to several cases of death globally.

In other words, both alcoholic ketoacidosis and diabetic ketoacidosis are very dangerous and require emergency medical response due to the rapid change in the body’s acid-base balance.

They can lead to sudden death if not taken to the hospital as early as possible.

Studies show that the rapid drop in the pH of the blood, which is called acidosis, can depress the nervous system and muscle function, causing a person to become unconscious due to vascular collapse, resulting in sudden death.

Therefore, doing regular medical checkups if you have diabetes is very important. Also, to the alcohol addict, ensure you eat enough food before drinking alcohol

Quitting alcohol consumption or limiting alcohol consumption is crucial in battling diabetes, blood pressure, and other chronic illnesses

Difference between Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

Wrapping it up

Ketosis and ketoacidosis are totally different. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that helps in burning excess body fats.

It is achieved when you put yourself in a low-carb diet, healthy fats, enough protein, and low calories. The process leads to healthy weight management.

While ketoacidosis is a harmful process that occurs in people with diabetes. It can lead to sudden death.

You can develop this harmful complication when you drink alcohol on an empty stomach or no food. You can also get it when your insulin activity does not work properly.

Finally, it is important to visit your doctor regularly if you have diabetes and also seek immediate medical attention if you have ketoacidosis for help.