The ketogenic diet KD is a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that leads to nutritional ketosis and weight loss. It is known to induce ketosis but is not an established cause of clinically significant ketoacidosis. Lactation ketoacidosis is well established in bovine literature but remains a rare phenomenon in humans. Here we present a life-threatening case of severe ketoacidosis in a nondiabetic lactating mother on a strict ketogenic diet. We review the available case reports of lactation ketoacidosis in humans and the mechanisms thereof. Although ketogenic diet has been shown to be safe in nonpregnant individuals, the safety of this diet in lactating mothers is not known. Health professionals and mothers should be made aware of the potential risk associated with a strict ketogenic diet when combined with lactation. Prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment cannot be overemphasized. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of life-threatening lactation ketoacidosis associated with ketogenic diet while consuming an adequate number of calories per day. Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet that leads to nutritional ketosis and weight loss. Although ketogenic diet is safe in nonpregnant individuals, its safety in lactating mothers is unknown.
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Ketosis and ketoacidosis both involve the production of ketones in the body. However, while ketosis is generally safe, ketoacidosis can be life-threatening. Nutritional ketosis occurs when the body starts burning fat instead of glucose. Ketoacidosis occurs when the body produces dangerously high levels of ketones, and it is often a complication of type 1 diabetes. In this article, we discuss the differences between ketosis and ketoacidosis, including their symptoms. We also explain when to see a doctor and how to treat and prevent ketoacidosis. Nutritional ketosis occurs when the body uses fat instead of glucose as fuel. The liver breaks down this fat into chemicals called ketones and releases them into the bloodstream.