(HealthDay News) -- Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs when ketones -- a byproduct of fats when broken down -- begin to build up in the body. It occurs when glucose, a sugar typically used as the body's energy source, isn't available and the body begins to use fat instead.
Left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to serious cell damage, heart attack, kidney failure, and even death.
Here are some warning signs of the condition, courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
- Frequent urination or thirst that persists for a day or more.
- Fatigue, and muscle stiffness or aches.
- Headache, nausea and vomiting.
- Distinctive breath odor, often fruity.
- Mental stupor or disorientation that could lead to coma.
- Rapid breathing, or difficulty breathing when lying down.
- Low blood pressure.
- Loss of appetite, abdominal pain.