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When glycogen stores are not available in the cells, fat is split into 3 fatty acids and 1 glycerol molecule. The fatty acids are an alternative energy source for cells. During starvation, the body uses fatty acids instead of glucose. If not enough carbohydrates are eaten to replenish glucose stores, the body goes through stages before entering ketosis. Eventually, the brain makes use of ketones for lipid synthesis and then starts to burn ketones to more directly use the energy from the fat stores. The glucose in the body is reserved for the most important of needs. In diabetic ketoacidosis, increased metabolism of fat due to a shortage of insulin occurs and is associated with type I diabetes. If untreated it can result in a diabetic coma. Another type of ketoacidosis can occur with acute alcohol intoxication or in someone with liver or pancreatic disorders. Acidosis can also occur from a long period of fasting.
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