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High Ketones Normal Blood Sugar

Testing Your Urine For Ketones

Testing Your Urine For Ketones

Learning to test for ketones at home is an important part of diabetes self-management. It's a simple and easy test, using special test strips available at Kaiser Permanente and other pharmacies. Diabetic Ketoacidosis High levels of ketones in the blood can lead to a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. A person can lose consciousness and go into a diabetic coma with DKA. DKA happens when blood sugar levels are high for a long time because the body doesn't have enough insulin to turn the sugar into energy. Instead, the body burns stored fat, creating a waste product called ketones. Ketones build up in the bloodstream and then spill into the urine DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes because their bodies don't make insulin. Although it's less common in people with type 2 diabetes, DKA can happen when someone is under extreme stress, experiences a trauma, or gets very sick. When to test A person with type 1 diabetes should check his or her urine for ketones whenever blood sugar levels stay higher than 240, even after he or she has done everything to bring blood sugar into the normal range. It's important to test for ketones several times a day when you're sick. Being sick often causes blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. DKA can develop quickly if you're very sick with a fever, flu, or any kind of infection, especially if you're throwing up or have diarrhea. Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free drinks to help keep you from getting dehydrated. Call a member of your health care team right away if your blood sugar is over 240 at 2 different tests that are 2 to 3 hours apart and your ketone test shows moderate to heavy (severe) ketone levels at both those tests. Also call if your level is over 240 and you have a fever, are th Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Ketones

Everything You Need To Know About Ketones

Ketone is an organic compound that the body produces when fats are broken down for energy. People with diabetes may not be able to regulate the level of ketones in their blood, so ketone testing is an essential part of managing their condition. There are three types of ketone, which are collectively known as ketone bodies, or ketones. In this article, we explain when to check for ketones, the types of tests available, and how to understand the results. Contents of this article: What are ketones? The body uses a range of nutrients for energy, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It will use carbohydrates first, but if none are available, the body will burn fat for energy. When this happens, ketones are produced. Ketones have gained attention in recent years due to the popularity of ketogenic diets, in which people eat a low carbohydrate diet so that their body will burn fat instead of carbohydrates. There is currently a lack of clear evidence on the benefits of this diet, and there may be some risks, such as high acidity in the blood and loss of muscle. Typically, carbohydrates are broken down into different nutrients, including blood sugar (glucose), by an enzyme called amylase that occurs naturally in the body. Insulin then transports the sugar to cells to be used for energy. A person with diabetes does not produce enough insulin to transport the blood sugar, or the cells in their body may not accept it properly, which stops the body from using the blood sugar for energy. When sugar can't be used by the cells for energy, the body will start to break down fats for energy instead. Types of ketone and DKA Three types of ketones are always present in the blood: acetoacetate (AcAc) 3-β-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) acetone The levels of each of these ketone bodies will var Continue reading >>

Ketone Testing: What You Need To Know

Ketone Testing: What You Need To Know

What are ketones? Why should you test for ketones? How do you test for ketones? And what should you do when you find ketones? What are ketones? Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy or fuel. They are also produced when you lose weight or if there is not enough insulin to help your body use sugar for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. Since the body is unable to use glucose for energy, it breaks down fat instead. When this occurs, ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. These ketones can make you very sick. How can I test for ketones? You can test to see if your body is making any ketones by doing a simple urine test. There are several products available for ketone testing and they can be purchased, without a prescription, at your pharmacy. The test result can be negative, or show small, moderate, or large quantities of ketones. When should I test for ketones? Anytime your blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl for two tests in a row. When you are ill. Often illness, infections, or injuries will cause sudden high blood glucose and this is an especially important time to check for ketones. When you are planning to exercise and the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl. If you are pregnant, you should test for ketones each morning before breakfast and any time the blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl. If ketones are positive, what does this mean? There are situations when you might have ketones without the blood glucose being too high. Positive ketones are not a problem when blood glucose levels are within range and you are trying to lose weight. It is a problem if blood glucose levels are high and left untreated. Untreated high blood glucose with positive ketones can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Illness

Diabetes And Illness

It is very important to know how to cope with illness if you have diabetes or know or care for somebody with diabetes. If in doubt, always seek advice from your doctor or nurse straightaway. Any illness or other type of stress will raise your blood sugar (glucose) levels, even if you are off your food or eating less than usual. People with diabetes are unable to produce more insulin to control the glucose level. The increased glucose level can make you become very lacking in fluid in the body (dehydrated). Acting quickly and following advice helps to keep your glucose levels in the normal range or only slightly high. Because it can sometimes be very difficult to control your blood glucose levels, treatment in hospital may be needed. Hospital treatment may also be needed if you become very dehydrated. What happens to my diabetes when I am unwell? When a person with diabetes is unwell the sugar level in the blood tends to increase. This can happen even with a very mild illness such as the common cold. The blood sugar (glucose) may go up even if you are not eating properly or are being sick (vomiting) or have loose or watery poo (diarrhoea). The increase in blood sugar may make you very lacking in fluid in the body (dehydrated). What should you do when you are unwell? Contact your GP or practice nurse for advice if you are not sure. You may also need treatment for the illness that is making you feel unwell. If you check your blood sugar (glucose) levels then these checks should be more regular. A practice nurse or district nurse can help with checking blood glucose levels, especially if you don't usually check them regularly. Continue eating as normally as possible. If you don't feel like eating, replace your solid food with soup, milk, ice cream, fruit juice, sugar or hon Continue reading >>

Take Care Of Yourself When Sick Or Under Stress

Take Care Of Yourself When Sick Or Under Stress

When we're stressed, our bodies need extra energy to help us cope and recover. This is true whether bodies are under stress from illness or injury or are dealing with the effects of emotional stress, both good and bad. To meet the demand for more energy, the body responds by releasing into the bloodstream sugar that's been stored in the liver, causing blood sugar levels to rise. In someone without diabetes, the pancreas responds to the rise in blood sugar by releasing enough insulin into the bloodstream to help convert the sugar into energy. This brings blood sugar levels back down to normal. In someone with diabetes, the extra demand usually means needing to take more diabetes medicine (insulin or pills.) To make sure your body is getting enough medicine to help keep your blood sugar levels close to normal, you'll need to test more often when you are: Sick Recovering from surgery Fighting an infection Feeling upset Under more stress than usual Traveling Type 1 Diabetes In people with type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels rise in response to stress, but the body doesn't have enough insulin to turn the sugar into energy. Instead, the body burns stored fat to meet energy needs. When fat is burned for energy, it creates waste products called ketones. As fat is broken down, ketones start to build up in the bloodstream. High levels of ketones in the blood can lead to a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can cause a person to lose consciousness and go into a diabetic coma. Type 2 Diabetes In people with type 2 diabetes, the body usually has enough insulin available to turn sugar into energy, so it doesn't need to burn fat. However, stress hormones can cause blood sugar levels to rise to very high and even dangerous levels. People with type 2 diabetes Continue reading >>

Diabetes Urine Tests

Diabetes Urine Tests

Urine tests may be done in people with diabetes to evaluate severe hyperglycemia (severe high blood sugar) by looking for ketones in the urine. Ketones are a metabolic product produced when fat is metabolized. Ketones increase when there is insufficient insulin to use glucose for energy. Urine tests are also done to look for the presence of protein in the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage. Urine glucose measurements are less reliable than blood glucose measurements and are not used to diagnose diabetes or evaluate treatment for diabetes. They may be used for screening purposes. Testing for ketones is most common in people with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms? This test detects the presence of ketones, which are byproducts of metabolism that form in the presence of severe hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). Ketones are formed from fat that is burned by the body when there is insufficient insulin to allow glucose to be used for fuel. When ketones build up to high levels, ketoacidosis (a serious and life-threatening condition) may occur. Ketone testing can be performed both at home and in the clinical laboratory. Ketones can be detected by dipping a test strip into a sample of urine. A color change on the test strip signals the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones occur most commonly in people with type 1 diabetes, but uncommonly, people with type 2 diabetes may test positive for ketones. The microalbumin test detects microalbumin, a type of protein, in the urine. Protein is present in the urine when there is damage to the kidneys. Since the damage to blood vessels that occurs as a complication of diabetes can lead to kidney problems, the microalbumin test is done to check for damage to the kidneys over time. Can urine tests be used to Continue reading >>

Urine Tests For Diabetes: Glucose Levels And Ketones

Urine Tests For Diabetes: Glucose Levels And Ketones

The human body primarily runs on glucose. When your body is low on glucose, or if you have diabetes and don’t have enough insulin to help your cells absorb the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones (chemically known as ketone bodies) are byproducts of the breakdown of fatty acids. The breakdown of fat for fuel and the creation of ketones is a normal process for everyone. In a person without diabetes, insulin, glucagon, and other hormones prevent ketone levels in the blood from getting too high. However, people with diabetes are at risk for ketone buildup in their blood. If left untreated, people with type 1 diabetes are at risk for developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). While rare, it’s possible for people with type 2 diabetes to experience DKA in certain circumstances as well. If you have diabetes, you need to be especially aware of the symptoms that having too many ketones in your body can cause. These include: If you don’t get treatment, the symptoms can progress to: a fruity breath odor stomach pain trouble breathing You should always seek immediate medical attention if your ketone levels are high. Testing your blood or urine to measure your ketone levels can all be done at home. At-home testing kits are available for both types of tests, although urine testing continues to be more common. Urine tests are available without a prescription at most drugstores, or you can buy them online. You should test your urine or blood for ketones when any of the following occurs: Your blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL. You feel sick or nauseated, regardless of your blood sugar reading. To perform a urine test, you urinate into a clean container and dip the test strip into the urine. For a child who isn’t potty-trained, a pa Continue reading >>

Understanding Results

Understanding Results

Now that you’ve learned all you can about controlling diabetes, you are probably wondering how exactly do I measure results, and how do they all tie in to give me a big picture of how well my diabetes is controlled? Here are some of the most common tests you will be taking as you manage your diabetes: Blood glucose testing: Monitoring blood glucose allows you to gauge how well your blood sugar is controlled and make adjustments to correct it. A1C testing: This is done in a lab by a healthcare professional, and looks at your average blood glucose level over the last three to four months. Ketone testing: This is done when you are ill or pregnant to ensure your body isn't burning fat instead of glucose. Blood pressure measurement. Other lab tests: Such as cholesterol testing, urine protein testing (albumin/creatinine ratio [ACR]) and kidney function testing. More information on specific tests. HOW DO ALL THESE NUMBERS TIE IN? Make sense of the numbers with GLUCOFACTS®DELUXE Diabetes Management Software. GLUCOFACTS®DELUXE tracks your blood glucose results over time and helps you identify patterns and trends. For example, there may be a certain time of the week (weekends, perhaps) that your blood glucose tends to be higher than normal. The GLUCOFACTS®DELUXE Diabetes Management Software can help pinpoint this so that you can make lifestyle adjustments to correct it. If you are a ContourCare member , you can download GLUCOFACTS®DELUXE here. SELF MONITORING OF BLOOD GLUCOSE (SMBG) Self-monitoring of blood glucose is an important part of diabetes management. Many people think they can tell what their blood sugar is by how they feel. Some people can feel "high" when their blood sugar is low, and some can feel "low" when their blood sugar is normal or high. The only way to k Continue reading >>

Ketones — The 6 Must-knows

Ketones — The 6 Must-knows

WRITTEN BY: Kyla Schmieg, BSN, RN Editor’s Note: Kyla Schmieg (BSN, RN) is a practicing pediatric endocrinology nurse in Cincinnati, OH, USA, and Type 1 Diabetic, working on the same unit she was diagnosed at 26 years ago. 1 – What are ketones? Ketones are chemicals that build up when your body starts to burn fat for energy. The most common cause of ketones in diabetics is insulin deficiency. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood stream and can’t enter cells. The cells then burn fat instead of glucose. This results in ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into urine. 2 – Why can ketones be dangerous? Having ketones can indicate that your body needs more insulin. (Always monitor your blood sugar levels to know how much insulin you need.) If you have a build up of ketones, this can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Signs of DKA include moderate or large ketones, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fruity or acetone (think nail polish remover) breath, rapid breathing, flushed skin, and lack of energy. If left untreated, it can lead to a serious and life-threatening diabetic coma or death. High levels of ketones are toxic to the body and if you’re experiencing these, you should seek out medical attention. 3 – When should you check for ketones? You should be checked anytime your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/l) or any time you are sick. This includes any minor illness such as a cold. 4 – Can you get ketones with a high blood sugar? Ketones typically accompany high blood sugar. They indicate that your body needs more insulin. Most often if your body needs more insulin, it means you probably have a high blood sugar. Also, when an illness is present, your body releases hormones in response to the stress. These hormones Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Blood sugar levels that are too high (hyperglycemia) can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency without quick and appropriate treatment. The best way to avoid dangerously high blood sugar levels is to self-test to stay in tune with your body, and to stay attuned to the symptoms and risk factors for hyperglycemia. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to one of two conditions—diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS; also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma). Although both syndromes can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, DKA is more common in type 1, and HHNS is more common in type 2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Ketoacidosis (or DKA) occurs when blood sugars become elevated (over 249 mg/dl, or 13.9 mmol/l) over a period of time and the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in ketone bodies in the blood or urine (a phenomenon called ketosis). A variety of factors can cause hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), including failure to take medication or insulin, stress, dietary changes without medication adjustments, eating disorders, and illness or injury. This last cause is important, because if illness brings on DKA, it may slip by unnoticed, since its symptoms can mimic the flu (aches, vomiting, etc.). In fact, people with type 1 diabetes are often seeking help for the flu-like symptoms of DKA when they first receive their diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: fruity (acetone) breath nausea and/or vomiting abdominal pain dry, warm skin confusion fatigue breathing problems excessive thirst frequent urination in extreme cases, loss of consciousness DKA is a medical emergency, and requires prompt and immediate treatment. A simple over-the-counter urine dipstick test (e.g., Keto Continue reading >>

Ketones And Children With Type 1 Diabetes – What’s Important?

Ketones And Children With Type 1 Diabetes – What’s Important?

What are ketones and when do you check for them in children with type one diabetes? This is a common question I get! I think when children are diagnosed, this a frequent part of the education that is easily forgotten or misunderstood due to the overwhelming amount of information being taught. So let’s look at why we would check ketones, how to check them, what the colors on the strips mean, and what to do if ketones are present. Why Check Ketones: When someone with type 1 diabetes does not not get enough insulin, their blood sugar levels rise, so the body is forced to use fat for energy. When fat is used for energy for an extended period of time, ketones develop. Ketones are a waste product of fat. If someone with type 1 diabetes does not get enough insulin, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop. The length of time it takes and how high one’s blood sugar are varies, however DKA can occur in a few hours. Symptoms of DKA: high blood sugars ketones in blood and urine nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain confusion lethargy (tired, sluggish, weak) difficulty breathing unconsciousness DKA is a very serious and life threatening situation. Speak with your health care providers to determine how you are to treat ketones and when you are to go to the emergency room. When to check ketones: Your doctor can tell you exactly, but usually when your blood sugars are over 250, especially if the blood sugar is not responding to insulin and remaining high after the second blood sugar check. Always check ketones when your child is sick, even if blood sugar numbers are not high. Anytime your child has nausea and vomiting, check ketones. How to check ketones: Ketones can be checked by using ketone urine strips. To check ketones, urinate on a strip, or collect urine and dip stick into ur Continue reading >>

Ketones: Clearing Up The Confusion

Ketones: Clearing Up The Confusion

Ketones, ketosis, ketoacidosis, DKA…these are words that you’ve probably heard at one point or another, and you might be wondering what they mean and if you need to worry about them at all, especially if you have diabetes. This week, we’ll explore the mysterious world of ketones, including if and how they may affect you. Ketones — what are they? Ketones are a type of acid that the body can form if there’s not enough carbohydrate to be burned for energy (yes, you do need carbs for fuel). Without enough carb, the body turns to another energy source: fat. Ketones are made in the liver from fat breakdown. This is called ketogenesis. People who don’t have diabetes can form ketones. This might occur if a person does extreme exercise, has an eating disorder, is fasting (not eating), or is following a low-carbohydrate diet. This is called ketosis and it’s a normal response to starvation. In a person who has diabetes, ketones form for the same reason (not enough carb for energy), but this often occurs because there isn’t enough insulin available to help move carb (in the form of glucose) from the bloodstream to the cells to be used for energy. Again, the body scrambles to find an alternate fuel source in the form of fat. You might be thinking that it’s a good thing to burn fat for fuel. However, for someone who has diabetes, ketosis can quickly become dangerous if it occurs due to a continued lack of insulin (the presence of ketones along with “normal” blood sugar levels is not necessarily a cause for concern). In the absence of insulin (which can occur if someone doesn’t take their insulin or perhaps uses an insulin pump and the pump has a malfunction, for example), fat cells continue to release fat into the circulation; the liver then continues to churn Continue reading >>

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Ketone Bodies (urine)

Does this test have other names? Ketone test, urine ketones What is this test? This test is used to check the level of ketones in your urine. Normally, your body burns sugar for energy. But if you have diabetes, you may not have enough insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream to be used for fuel. When this happens, your body burns fat instead and produces substances called ketones. The ketones end up in your blood and urine. It's normal to have a small amount of ketones in your body. But high ketone levels could result in serious illness or death. Checking for ketones keeps this from happening. Why do I need this test? You may need this test if you have a high level of blood sugar. People with high levels of blood sugar often have high ketone levels. If you have high blood sugar levels and type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it's important to check your ketone levels. People without diabetes can also have ketones in the urine if their body is using fat for fuel instead of glucose. This can happen with chronic vomiting, extreme exercise, low-carbohydrate diets, or eating disorders. Checking your ketones is especially important if you have diabetes and: Your blood sugar goes above 300 mg/dL You abuse alcohol You have diarrhea You stop eating carbohydrates like rice and bread You're pregnant You've been fasting You've been vomiting You have an infection Your healthcare provider may order this test, or have you test yourself, if you: Urinate frequently Are often quite thirsty or tired Have muscle aches Have shortness of breath or trouble breathing Have nausea or vomiting Are confused Have a fruity smell to your breath What other tests might I have along with this test? Your healthcare provider may also check for ketones in your blood if you have high levels of ketones in your urine Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

High And Low Blood Sugar Issues

Blood sugar concentrations or blood glucose levels are the amount of sugar or glucose present in your blood stream. Your body naturally regulates blood sugar (glucose) levels as a part your body”s metabolic processes. Glucose or sugar is the primary energy mechanism for cells and blood lipids. Glucose or blood sugar is transported from your intestines or liver to the cells in your body via the bloodstream. The absorption of glucose is promoted by insulin or the hormone produced in the pancreas. If your sugar levels are not balanced you may have high or low blood sugar issues. Low sugar issues are hypoglycemia and high blood sugar indicates that you have hyperglycemia or hyperglycemia symptoms. High or low blood sugar levels cause different problems. Low blood sugar levels can cause dementia, comas or death. High blood sugar is a major cause of damage to your body”s internal organs. Low Blood Sugar Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia indicates the level of glucose in your blood has dramatically dropped below what your body need to function. When your blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter symptom will develop. You may feel tired and anxious or weak and shaky. Your heart rate may be rapid and you feel as if you are having a heart attack. Eating something sugary will bring your sugar levels back to normal almost immediately and symptoms will subside. Sugar levels that are below 40 mg/dL cause you to have behavior changes. You may feel very irritable and become weak and confused. You may not realize you need to eat to raise your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels below 20 mg/dL will most certainly cause a loss of consciousness or perhaps you will experience seizures. You will need medical care immediately. Hypoglycemia symptoms happen very quickly. If you a Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones?

What Are Ketones?

What are ketones and what causes them? Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel. For a person with diabetes, ketones are often the result of prolonged high blood sugar and insulin deficiency. Without the right amount of insulin, glucose starts to build up in the blood stream and doesn't enter the cells. The cells burn fat instead of glucose, and ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. Some causes of high blood sugar are: Missing an insulin dose or skipping some oral medications. A disconnected or blocked insulin pump tube. Being sick with the flu. High levels of stress. Eating more carbohydrates than your medication covers. What are the signs that I should test for ketones? Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, frequent thirst, blurry vision, dry mouth, vomiting, and fatigue. There are several scenarios that should prompt a test for ketones. If your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl for two tests in a row. When you are ill. When your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl and you are planning on exercising. If you are pregnant, you should test for ketones each morning before breakfast and whenever blood sugars are elevated. How do I test for ketones? There are two ways to test for ketones - by testing your urine or your blood. Ketones appear first in the blood stream and are later present in the urine, so testing your blood for ketones is the best way to check for an early problem. To check urine for ketones, you must collect a urine sample or dip a ketone test strip into a fresh stream of urine. After waiting for the time suggested by the ketone strip manufacturer, you compare the color strip to the chart on the bottle. The darker the color, the higher the amount of ketones in the urine. At this time, there are just a few mete Continue reading >>

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