Podcast #48: Alcoholic Ketoacidosis - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #48: Alcoholic Ketoacidosis

Run Time: 4 minutesalcohol5a

Author: Dr. Eric Miller

Educational Pearls:

  • Alcoholic ketoacidosis occurs in chronic alcohol abusers who have low glycogen supplies and are dehydrated causing an overproduction of glucagon. This condition is very similar to diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • The patients can have a ketotic smell to indicate alcoholic ketoacidosis, they also usually have a high anion gap and a bicarbonate level in the single digits.
  • Treatment consists of fluids and glucose to help prevent the production of ketones.


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