A potentially serious condition in which excessive amounts of chemicals called ketones accumulate in the body. Ketones are normal products of fat metabolism but are produced in excess when glucose is not available for the body to use as an energy source, for example in starvation or inadequately controlled diabetes mellitus. Symptoms include sweet, “fruity”-smelling breath, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain. If the condition is not treated, it may result in confusion, unconsciousness, and death. Treatment is the same as for diabetes unless the cause is fasting or starvation, in which case a nutritious diet is usually effective.


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