Alcoholic Ketoacidosis: What It Is and How to Treat It Addiction Treatment

Alcoholic ketoacidosis treatment, tackling alcohol issues right away is the best way to avoid AKA, as it prevents malnourishment due to excessive drinking. Good nutrition is also important, as it keeps the pancreas functioning normally. In general, exogenous insulin is contraindicated in the treatment of AKA, because it may cause life-threatening hypoglycemia in patients with depleted glycogen stores. In most cases, the patient’s endogenous insulin levels rise appropriately with adequate carbohydrate and volume replacement. If the patient’s blood glucose level is significantly elevated, AKA may be indistinguishable from diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In general, the prognosis for a patient presenting with AKA is good as long as the condition is identified and treated early.

alcoholic ketoacidosis treatment at home

That’s not entirely surprising, as alcohol is a toxin that harms our physical and mental health when ingested in large quantities. Some people suffer from a condition known as alcoholic ketoacidosis. If you’re a frequent heavy drinker, it can be helpful to know what alcoholic ketoacidosis is so you can watch out for the alcoholic ketoacidosis symptoms warning signs. If you are diagnosed with alcoholic ketoacidosis, you’ll typically be asked to stay in the hospital for monitoring and care. Sometimes, people with alcoholic ketoacidosis are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). It’s helpful to know a little bit about how the body works to understand this condition.

Emergency Department Care

However, a significant proportion start drinking later in life in response to traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one, loneliness, pain, insomnia, and retirement. This subset often experiences periods of binge drinking with little or no food intake. Alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA) is an acute anion gap metabolic acidosis that typically occurs in people with a recent history of binge drinking and little or no nutritional intake. Some patients with AKA also have intractable vomiting and dehydration, and in these cases there is a concomitant metabolic alkalosis.

alcoholic ketoacidosis treatment at home

Alcoholic ketoacidosis happens when excessive amounts of alcohol cause digestive problems. Failure to follow a holistic approach, such as eating a balanced diet, combined with excessive drinking and/or vomiting, leads to blood that is too acidic. Alcoholic ketoacidosis can be fatal, and requires treatment right away. It enters the bloodstream and affects every part of the body, making the drinker vulnerable to serious health consequences.

Who Is at Risk for Alcoholic Ketoacidosis?

For alcoholic ketoacidosis, treatment is vigorous rehydration with dextrose-saline while diabetic ketoacidosis usually requires multiple therapeutic modalities. He was also placed on CIWA protocol while in the ED and received 1 mg of oral lorazepam. He was admitted to the internal medicine service for continued management.

How severe the alcohol use is, and the presence of liver disease or other problems, may also affect the outlook. Treatment may involve fluids (salt and sugar solution) given through a vein. You may get vitamin supplements to treat malnutrition caused by excess alcohol use. They provide some energy to your cells, but too much may cause your blood to become too acidic. These agents are rarely used for the management of severe metabolic acidosis.

Cellular demolition: Proteins as molecular players of programmed cell death

AKA has to be in the differential diagnosis of an elderly patient presenting to the hospital with altered mental status and metabolic acidosis. Although not very well known, high osmolal gap is an important characteristic of AKA and is attributed mainly to acetone, glycerol, and acetone metabolites such as acetol and 1,2-propanediol. Because of the high osmolal gap in AKA, it is difficult at times to exclude the simultaneous presence of toxic alcohol. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that substance abuse among adults age 60 years and older is a rapidly growing health problem.

If you or someone you know has these risk factors and displays any of the signs and symptoms of AKA, they should receive treatment immediately. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink will help prevent this condition. Your prognosis will be impacted by the severity of your alcohol use and whether or not you have liver disease. Prolonged used of alcohol can result in cirrhosis, or permanent scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver can cause exhaustion, leg swelling, and nausea. Group meetings provide support for people trying to quit drinking.

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