Causes of diabetic ketoacidosis include illnesses, infections, insulin-related issues, heart attacks and certain medications, according to Mayo Clinic. Healthline explains that alcoholic ketoacidosis is the result of long periods of excessive alcohol consumption. Diabetic and alcoholic ketoacidosis are the two most common types of the condition.
Lack of food can also cause diabetic ketoacidosis, explains the American Diabetes Association. High ketone levels sometimes develop because of a missed meal, or due to illness-induced food aversion. Individuals with diabetes should not to engage in exercise if blood glucose levels are high and urine tests detect ketones. High levels of both may indicate a problem with the patient's diabetes.
Malnourishment often accompanies alcoholic ketoacidosis. Individuals who drink alcohol excessively and regularly may vomit often and eat infrequently, notes Healthline. If the condition continues, the individual experiences periods of starvation that cause the body to reduce insulin production. The body starts to break down fat for energy, with alcoholic ketoacidosis as the end result. Symptoms of alcoholic ketoacidosis include dehydration, loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting and nausea. Agitation, confusion and other changes in mental state are additional symptoms of alcoholic ketoacidosis.
High blood glucose and ketone levels, very dry mouth, thirst and frequent urination are early symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to the American Diabetes Association. Progressive symptoms include confusion, trouble breathing, flushed or dry skin, fruity breath odor and abdominal pain.