What Does It Mean If Ketones Are Found In Urine?

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When To Worry About Ketones

“Your blood sugar is over 250. We’ll have to test for ketones, just to make sure you’re not spilling any.” The nurse stuck a label featuring my name and date of birth onto a plastic cup. “The bathroom is down the hall and to the right,” she said. By now, I was familiar with the drill, having experienced it a handful of times in the past: Provide urine sample to endocrinologist and keep my fingers crossed that it’s negative. Fortunately, it was—no ketones spilled. Though we often toss the word ketones around when we talk about diabetes, there tends to be confusion about what ketones are and when they’re dangerous. What are ketones? Ketone bodies are produced by the liver and are byproducts of fat metabolism. They occur when muscles in the body (which normally uses glucose as fuel) begin to use fat instead. This can happen when a person restricts carbohydrates (i.e., following a ketogenic diet—see below), eats too little, or feels ill. Simply put, ketones are markers of fat burning in the body. People with diabetes need to be concerned about ketones, though, because they can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. The presence of ketones makes the blood acidic Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. olivo

    i went for my 35 wk check - am on weekly checks due to GD and polyhaydramnios - on thurs. there were ketones in my urine - what does that mean exactly?

  2. becksydee

    i had ketones in my urine when i went for my checkup (34wks) on monday - they wouldn't let me leave until it had been investigated so sounds like you got off lightly!
    it basically means that your body has stopped burning glucose as fuel and is burning fat & protein instead (ketosis) - in extreme cases it can mean you're suffering from ketoacidosis which is quite serious (& is the condition that the midwife/consultant would be worried about if they found ketones). it's diagnosed by testing blood gases & treated with IV fluids (due to dehydration) and insulin. if you had it, you would probably be feeling really rather ill (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain etc) and would also probably have smelly breath.

  3. notevenamousie

    EITHER that you've not been eating enough or you've not been drinking enough. Possibly both.

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