Starvation Ketoacidosis Induced by Ketogenic Diet and Consumption of Ketone Supplement


North Florida


North Florida Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



keto diet, starvation ketoacidosis, starvation ketosis, chronic kidney disease (ckd), diabetes, metformin


Endocrine System Diseases | Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism | Internal Medicine


The ever-changing landscape of dieting and its correlation with health outcomes have continued to evolve with time. New diets appear and disappear just as quickly as they gain notoriety. This is a rare case of a 67-year-old female with a history of type II diabetes who presented with generalized weakness, nausea, and vomiting, and was found to have severe anion gap metabolic acidosis. In an effort to lose weight, she was combining a ketogenic diet with prolonged fasting and exogenous ketone supplement use that she purchased online. The patient reported drinking an exogenous ketone ester supplement that contained 30 g of D-beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) per serving, three times per day. This case is unique in that the patient was initially thought to be in diabetic ketoacidosis upon arrival, but after further investigation into her initial labs, medication, and social history, the underlying factor for hospitalization became evident; that is, a combination of a ketogenic diet with prolonged fasting and exogenous BHB-induced ketoacidosis in the setting of type II diabetes. Thus, this case highlights the importance of thorough history taking, the dangers of over-the-counter supplement consumption, and the risks consumers inherit with trend dieting.

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