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 >>
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Urine Ketones - Meanings And False Positives
Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Urine Ketones article more useful, or one of our other health articles. Description Ketones are produced normally by the liver as part of fatty acid metabolism. In normal states these ketones will be completely metabolised so that very few, if any at all, will appear in the urine. If for any reason the body cannot get enough glucose for energy it will switch to using body fats, resulting in an increase in ketone production making them detectable in the blood and urine. How to test for ketones The urine test for ketones is performed using test strips available on prescription. Strips dedicated to ketone testing in the UK include: GlucoRx KetoRx Sticks 2GK® Ketostix® Mission® Ketone Testing should be performed according to manufacturers' instructions. The sample should be fresh and uncontaminated. Usually the result will be expressed as negative or positive (graded 1 to 4). Ketonuria is different from ketonaemia (ie presence of ketones in the blood) and often ketonuria does not indicate clinically significant ketonaemia. Depending on the testing strips used, urine testing for ketones either has an excellent sensitivity with a low specificity, or a poor sensitivity with a good specificity. However, this should be viewed in the context of uncertainty of the biochemical level of significant ketosis. Interpretation of results Normally only small amounts of ketones are excreted daily in the urine (3-15 mg). High or increased values may be found in: Poorly controlled diabetes. Starvation: Prolonged vomiting. Rapid weight loss. Frequent strenuous exercise. Poisoning (eg, with isop Continue reading >>
Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works
Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>
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)
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 >>
Tweet Ketosis is a state the body may find itself in either as a result of raised blood glucose levels or as a part of low carb dieting. Low levels of ketosis is perfectly normal. However, high levels of ketosis in the short term can be serious and the long term effects of regular moderate ketosis are only partially known at the moment. What is ketosis? Ketosis is a state the body goes into if it needs to break down body fat for energy. The state is marked by raised levels of ketones in the blood which can be used by the body as fuel. Ketones which are not used for fuel are excreted out of the body via the kidneys and the urine. Is ketosis the same as ketoacidosis? There is often confusion as to the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketosis is the state whereby the body is producing ketones. In ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood can be anything between normal to very high. Diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA, only describes the state in which the level of ketones is either high or very high. In ketoacidosis, the amount of ketones in the blood is sufficient to turn the blood acidic, which is a dangerous medical state. When does ketosis occur? Ketosis will take place when the body needs energy and there is not sufficient glucose available for the body. This can typically happen when the body is lacking insulin and blood glucose levels become high. Other causes can be the result of being on a low carb diet. A low level of carbohydrate will lead to low levels of insulin, and therefore the body will produce ketones which do not rely on insulin to get into and fuel the body’s cells. A further cause of ketosis, less relevant to people with diabetes, is a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Is ketosis dangerous? The NHS describes ketosis as a pote Continue reading >>
Excess ketones are dangerous for someone with diabetes... Low insulin, combined with relatively normal glucagon and epinephrine levels, causes fat to be released from fat cells, which then turns into ketones. Excess formation of ketones is dangerous and is a medical emergency In a person without diabetes, ketone production is the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. Blood sugar levels never get too high, because the production is regulated by just the right balance of insulin, glucagon and other hormones. However, in an individual with diabetes, dangerous and life-threatening levels of ketones can develop. What are ketones and why do I need to know about them? Ketones and ketoacids are alternative fuels for the body that are made when glucose is in short supply. They are made in the liver from the breakdown of fats. Ketones are formed when there is not enough sugar or glucose to supply the body’s fuel needs. This occurs overnight, and during dieting or fasting. During these periods, insulin levels are low, but glucagon and epinephrine levels are relatively normal. This combination of low insulin, and relatively normal glucagon and epinephrine levels causes fat to be released from the fat cells. The fats travel through the blood circulation to reach the liver where they are processed into ketone units. The ketone units then circulate back into the blood stream and are picked up by the muscle and other tissues to fuel your body’s metabolism. In a person without diabetes, ketone production is the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. Blood sugar levels never get too high, because the production is regulated by just the right balance of insulin, glucagon and other hormones. However, in an individual with diabetes, dangerous and life-threatening levels of ketone Continue reading >>
There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>
Ketones And Weight Loss
When you lose weight, your body gives off substances known as ketones. These ketones can be secreted in the urine and serve as an indicator you are losing weight -- in addition to the decreasing numbers on the scale. However, ketones' presence also can indicate a more harmful condition. Knowing how to tell the difference can help you experience healthy weight-loss results. Video of the Day Ketones are a substance the body produces as a byproduct of fat metabolism, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. When you are trying to lose weight, your body will use glucose buildup in your fat stores in order to obtain energy from your food, resulting in weight loss. In addition to being produced while weight loss occurs, ketones also are a sign of diabetes. This is because ketones also are present when the body is not able to use insulin to break down sugars in your body. This occurrence can be dangerous to your health because the ketones can spill into the urine. Ketones produced by the body are often associated with following a low-carbohydrate diet, according to the Better Health Channel. This is because the body breaks down sugars stored in the muscles when you do not eat enough carbohydrates. While dieting in general results in the release of some ketones, those following low-carbohydrate diets are likely to release a higher number of ketones. If your physician performs a urine test and finds your ketones to be high, it’s important to notify him you are losing weight, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. He may recommend an additional blood test to ensure your blood-glucose levels are not high — which can be a sign of diabetes. However, dieters with high ketone levels should not experience high blood-glucose levels. Those inside and outside the medical profession Continue reading >>
What Are Ketones?
With the gradual resurgence of low-carb diets in recent years, the word “ketones” is thrown around a lot. But many people aren’t really aware of the details. What are ketones, really? And what do they do in the body? There can be a lot of misinformation regarding the answers to these questions, so read on for a full overview of ketones and their role in a ketogenic diet. Ketones, also known as “ketone bodies,” are byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low. Here’s how it works: When there isn’t a sufficient level of available glucose — which is what the body uses for its main source of fuel — and glycogen levels are depleted, blood sugar and insulin are lowered and the body looks for an alternative source of fuel: in this case, fat. This process can happen when a person fasting, after prolonged exercise, during starvation, or when eating a low-carb, ketogenic diet. And when the body begins breaking down fats for energy like this, a process known as beta-oxidation, ketones are formed for use as fuel for the body and brain. This is known as ketosis. People following a ketogenic diet specifically reduce their carbohydrate intake for this reason: to create ketones for energy. Many people use the benefits of ketosis — less reliance on carbs and more burning of fat — to possibly help lower blood pressure, reduce cravings, improve cholesterol, increase weight loss, improve energy, and more. TYPES OF KETONE BODIES So, what else about ketones do we need to know? To start, there are technically three types of ketone bodies: Acetoacetate (AcAc) Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) Acetone Both acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are responsible for transporting energy from the liver to other tissues in the body Continue reading >>
What Are Ketones And Their Tests?
A ketone test can warn you of a serious diabetes complication called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. An elevated level of this substance in your blood can mean you have very high blood sugar. Too many ketones can trigger DKA, which is a medical emergency. Regular tests you take at home can spot when your ketone levels run too high. Then you can take insulin to lower your blood sugar level or get other treatments to prevent complications. What Exactly Are Ketones? Everyone has them, whether you have diabetes or not. Ketones are chemicals made in your liver. You produce them when you don't have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream. Your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel. For a person without diabetes, this process doesn’t become an issue. But when you have diabetes, things can run out of control and you build up too many ketones in your blood. If the level goes too high, it can become life-threatening. Who Needs a Ketone Test? You might need one if you have type 1 diabetes. In this type, your immune system attacks and destroys cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Without it, your blood sugar rises. People with type 2 diabetes can also get high ketones, but it isn't as common as it is with type 1. Tests can show you when your level gets high so you can treat it before you get sick. When Should You Test? Your doctor will probably tell you to test your ketones when: Your blood sugar is higher than 250 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dl) for two days in a row You're sick or you've been injured You want to exercise and your blood sugar level is over 250 mg/dl Continue reading >>
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- Are ketones dangerous?
Ketone bodies Acetone Acetoacetic acid (R)-beta-Hydroxybutyric acid Ketone bodies are three water-soluble molecules (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and their spontaneous breakdown product, acetone) that are produced by the liver from fatty acids during periods of low food intake (fasting), carbohydrate restrictive diets, starvation, prolonged intense exercise,, alcoholism or in untreated (or inadequately treated) type 1 diabetes mellitus. These ketone bodies are readily picked up by the extra-hepatic tissues, and converted into acetyl-CoA which then enters the citric acid cycle and is oxidized in the mitochondria for energy. In the brain, ketone bodies are also used to make acetyl-CoA into long-chain fatty acids. Ketone bodies are produced by the liver under the circumstances listed above (i.e. fasting, starving, low carbohydrate diets, prolonged exercise and untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus) as a result of intense gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (not including fatty acids). They are therefore always released into the blood by the liver together with newly produced glucose, after the liver glycogen stores have been depleted (these glycogen stores are depleted after only 24 hours of fasting). When two acetyl-CoA molecules lose their -CoAs, (or Co-enzyme A groups) they can form a (covalent) dimer called acetoacetate. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a reduced form of acetoacetate, in which the ketone group is converted into an alcohol (or hydroxyl) group (see illustration on the right). Both are 4-carbon molecules, that can readily be converted back into acetyl-CoA by most tissues of the body, with the notable exception of the liver. Acetone is the decarboxylated form of acetoacetate which cannot be converted Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Ketone Testing: What You Need To Know
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 (DKA). What should I do if the ketone test is positive? Call your diabetes educator or physician, as you may need additional Continue reading >>
How Ketones Affect The Human Body
What Are Ketones? Ketones are waste products which are produced when the human body burns stored fat for energy. If your body has trouble obtaining glucose, it looks towards fat deposits to create energy. People with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus can experience problems with ketones for five reasons: High glucose means your blood insulin level is low and you have excess glucose. Thus, your body will burn fat. As people exercise, they need to burn energy. Lack of insulin or glucose means fat will be burned. Stress can create problems in many facets of our lives. Physical, emotional, and various kinds of stress requires energy to handle the situations. Not enough glucose from this will result in fat being burned. When we become ill, our bodies require increasing amounts of energy to fight the illness. Once again, lack of glucose means fat will be burned. When a woman becomes pregnant, her body needs energy to provide for two. If the diet is not appropriate, the body will turn to fat for energy. What is Ketoacidosis? This is a condition where you become dehydrated and your ketones become elevated. High ketone levels make your blood become acidic, which can cause various chemical imbalances within the body. The end result can manifest in ketones being released into your urine. As your blodd glucose rises, it makes the urine thick. Your body must pull fluids from other portions of your body to thin this urine out, thus you can become dehydrated. What are the signs of Ketoacidosis? Drymouth Thirst Fruity Breath Loss of Appetite Stomach Pain Nausea Vomiting Dry, Flushed Skin Fever Fatigue Drowsiness Frequent Urination Labored Breathing How to test for ketones. Urine tests for ketons come in three forms: Tapes Tablets Test Strips Most local pharmacies can also provide a ketone test Continue reading >>