Ketotic Hypoglycemia (KH)
In a healthy person, fuel for the brain and the general cell metabolism primarily comes from the burning of sugar deposits (glycogen).
When the glycogen stores are depleted, the body will switch to burn fat deposits.
The fat burn lead to two fuels for the brain, both glucose (sugar) and ketone bodies.
However, ketones in the blood will lead to nausea and eventually vomiting. This will lead to a vicious circle, where you cannot eat or drink sugar-rich items, which again leads to further fat burn and production of ketone bodies.
In a KH-patient, the glycogen stores are somehow insufficient. This leads to decreased fasting tolerance with earlier onset of fat burn and hence ketone bodies.
In most patients, the hypoglycemia is relatively mild, and the ketone bodies help to provide fuel to the brain, which prevents loss of consciousness and convulsions.
However, in relatively few patients, the condition is more severe, but still without an identified cause despite intense investigations in hormones and cell metabolism. Such patients are said to have “idiopathic” KH, or IKH, which simply means KH without any known cause
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