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How Do You Check For Ketones?

Checking For Ketones

Checking For Ketones

There are two ways to test for ketones. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Decide which is right for you and seek immediate medical attention if you test positive. Check your urine or blood for ketones if you are sick or have symptoms of ketoacidosis. If the test is positive, you need immediate medical care. There are two ways to test your body for ketones. How to Check for Urine Ketones Urine Ketones: Examples: Ketostixs® or Chemstrips® Urine is applied to reagent strip and the color change shows the level of ketones. Disadvantages: Color changes are categorized as trace, small, medium, and large only Dehydration can affect results CAUTION: Be sure to get individually foil wrapped urine ketone test strips! Test strips rapidly loose their accuracy once they are exposed to the air. By using individually foil wrapped strips, only the strip you are using is exposed to the atmosphere. How to Check for Blood Ketones Blood Ketones: Example: Abbott Precision Xtra® Quantitative ketone (beta-hydroxybutyrate) is measured. The normal level is less than 0.6 mmol/l. Check the manufacturer’s package insert for an explanation of results and more information. CardioChek, BioScanner 2000, and other blood ketone testing devices are also available. Advantages: Results are more accurate and reflect ketone levels at the time the test is done vs. lag time found with the urine testing Disadvantages: Self-assessment Quiz Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about Monitoring Your Diabetes, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section. The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70 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 >>

How To Test Your Blood With A Home Ketone Meter

How To Test Your Blood With A Home Ketone Meter

testing is used by people with diabetes and by people on a ketogenic diet. You can test your urine or your blood for ketones. But because urine testing is not as accurate, the American Diabetes Association recommends blood ketone testing with a ketone meter as the preferable method. If you have diabetes, you should discuss home blood ketone testing with your doctor to learn whether it is recommended in your case and when you should perform the testing. Ketone testing is particularly important during periods of illness. Blood Ketone Meters for Testing at Home You will need a blood ketone meter and a kit that include the lancet pen and ketone test strips. These meters also will read blood glucose test strips, and both will download their results to your computer. Other brands and models may be available, including: Precision Xtra: This meter from Abbott Diabetes Care can store up to 450 measurements and will display your blood glucose averages over different time periods. You need to enter a code to switch from glucose testing to ketone testing. Users seem happier with the Precision brand, and researchers find it to be the more accurate. The strips require 1.5 microliters of blood. It also features a backlit display. Nova Max Plus: This meter from Nova Biomedical is often provided free with the purchase of two boxes of test strips. You don't have to enter a code to switch it from blood glucose to ketone testing; it does that automatically when you insert a ketone test strip. If you are using it primarily for blood glucose, it will remind you to test for ketones if your blood sugar level is 250 mg/dL or higher. The test strips for the Nova Max are less expensive but also flimsier and give more error messages, requiring retesting. The strips require less blood than the Prec Continue reading >>

How To Detect Ketosis

How To Detect Ketosis

How can you tell if your low-carbing efforts have been effective enough to induce ketosis? Learn how to check your ketones! The state of ketosis The state of ketosis means that the body has switched from depending on carbohydrates for energy to burning fats for fuel. This means not only dietary fats (olive oil, guacamole, deep-fried pig ears), but also all the jiggly bits around your waist — clearly a desirable state for anyone looking to shed extra weight. When the body metabolizes fat, it generates molecules called ketones (also known as ketone bodies). As you restrict carbohydrate intake and amp up the dietary fat, more fat is metabolized and a greater quantity of ketones are created. Most of the cells in your body — including those in your brain — are able to use ketones for energy, although many people experience a few days’ adjustment period, often called the low carb flu. One of the varieties of ketones generated — acetone — cannot be used by the body and is excreted as waste, mostly in the urine and the breath. Conveniently, this makes it very simple to measure whether or not you are in ketosis. Upon entering ketosis, some people report a distinct change in the smell of their breath as a result of the extra released acetone. It could be “fruity” — it’s been likened to overripe apples — or even “metallic.” If you notice this happening during your first few days of changing your diet, it could be a good sign you’re in ketosis. The unusual smell isn’t anything dangerous, but it could be annoying. Drinking plenty of water should help, or get yourself some sugar-free gum. Most people report “keto-breath” diminishing after the first few weeks. Detecting ketones in urine The more accurate way — and the one we recommend — to check f Continue reading >>

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Ketosis & Measuring Ketones

Generally, ketone concentrations are lower in the morning and higher in the evening. Whatever time you pick to measure ketone levels, make sure to keep it consistent. Also, do not measure your ketone levels right after exercise. Ketone levels tend to be lower while your glucose levels higher so you won't get representative numbers. Keep in mind there are daily fluctuations caused by changes in hormone levels. Don't get discouraged! Another aspect that affects the level of ketones is the amount of fat in your diet. Some of you may show higher concentration of ketones after a high-fat meal. Coconut oil contains MCTs that will help you boost ketones. To easily increase your fat intake on a ketogenic diet, try fat bombs - snacks with at least 80% fat content. Ketone levels tend to be higher after extensive aerobic exercise as your body depletes glycogen stores. Exercise may help you get into ketosis faster. ketogenic "fruity" breath is not pleasant for most people. To avoid this, drink a lot of water, mint tea and make sure you eat foods rich in electrolytes. Avoid too many chewing gums and mints, as it may put you out of ketosis; there may be hidden carbs affecting your blood sugar. Increase your electrolyte intake, especially potassium. You are likely going to lose some sodium and potassium when switching to the keto diet. Finally, if you find it hard to lose weight on a ketogenic diet, there may be plenty other reasons than the level of ketone bodies: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further. Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones. Ketones, on a ketogenic diet, are the primary fuel source for the body. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and you still have questions, consider reading our Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Keto > There are three main ways to measure the ketones in your body, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to measure are: Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are extremely expensive. Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. Cheaper than blood strips in the long-run. Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones. Scroll down to read a more in-depth analysis of each, and what we recommend for you. Measuring Ketones with Urine Sticks Urine sticks will always be the cheapest and easiest way to measure ketosis. For beginners, this should cover everything you need – there is no point in getting more complex blood strips so early on when you are still trying to understand the nuances of a ketogenic diet. Ultimately, keto sticks are very easy to use – you hold the sticks in your urine stream for a few seconds, and within 10-15 seconds you should notice a color change in the strip (if you are in ketosis). The color of the stick typically is measured in red: light pink being low in ketone production and dark purple being high in ketone production. While keto sticks can be ideal for a general answer to the question “Am I in ketosis?”, they aren’t precise with their accuracy. They measure the acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. As you get deeper into ketosis and your body adapts, your b Continue reading >>

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

(Reuters Health) - Many people with type 1 diabetes don’t check frequently enough for buildup of ketones, acids that can cause serious damage to the kidneys and other organs, according to a U.S. study. Ketone monitoring is particularly important when patients with type 1 diabetes are sick or have consistently high glucose levels, the authors write in Diabetes Care. “Ketones occur when the body burns fat instead of using carbohydrates for fuel,” lead author Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill told Reuters Health by email. “If high glucose levels and ketones remain untreated, there is an increased risk for a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which requires hospitalization,” said Albanese-O’Neill, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dangerously high ketone levels can happen to anyone with diabetes, though the problem is rare in people with type 2, according to the American Diabetes Association. People with type 1 diabetes have lost the ability to produce any insulin, so ketones can occur when insulin doses are missed, or when the body’s insulin requirements rise due to stress or illness, she said. “Monitoring for ketones as recommended allows for early detection and treatment. Ketone testing supplies are available over the counter without a prescription at a local pharmacy and online,” Albanese-O’Neill said. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in young kids, and for that reason it used to be called juvenile diabetes. But the disease does not go away, and it can also be first diagnosed in adulthood. While children usually have caregivers to help them manage the disease, adults typically need to manag Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

Ketone Testing

Ketone Testing

Ketones are a chemical produced by your body when, due to a lack of insulin, it is not able to use glucose as its source of energy, and instead start breaking down fat ••••• Ketones are a chemical produced by your body when it is not able to use glucose as its source of energy due to a lack of insulin. When glucose can’t be used as energy, your body will start breaking down fat for energy instead and this is when ketones are produced. This is a short term solution for the body as over time the level of ketones will increase and can become dangerously high. If this happens, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop which can be life threatening. Having ketones is more common in Type 1 than Type 2 diabetes. You may have continued high glucose readings because you are finding it difficult to manage your diabetes, have missed a few injections, you are ill, have an infection, or for any other reason. It is important to test your level of ketones if you have Type 1 diabetes and your glucose readings are above 15mmols/L. Checking for ketones may be advised by your healthcare professional as part of your diabetes management program. You can test your level of ketones by using urine sticks or blood test strips with a meter that can test for ketones. Not all meters have the ability to test for ketones and you will need separate test strips for ketones to do this. Blood ketone test results Normal blood ketone levels are slightly different from person to person. This table will help you decide if you need to do anything and what you should do. Remember, it is far better to be careful, so if you are not sure contact your diabetes care team straightaway. Blood ketone level What you should do Below 0.6 mmol/L Readings below 0.6 mmol/L are in the normal range. Follow your hea Continue reading >>

Ketone Testing

Ketone Testing

What are ketones? Ketones are chemicals which appear in the blood and urine when body fat is used for energy. Fat is burned by the body when there is not enough insulin to allow sugar to be burned for energy. Ketones also are formed when not enough food has been eaten to provide the energy the body needs. Why do I need to test my child for ketones? Ketone testing is very important because ketones can build up in the body and result in an emergency condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a serious, life-threatening complication of high blood sugar and must be treated immediately. Ketoacidosis is the number one reason for hospitalizing children in the U.S. with known diabetes. Families are usually taught how to do the urine ketone test on the first day their child has been diagnosed with diabetes. They may later switch to doing blood ketone checks. Frequent ketone tests are important in the first few days after diagnosis to check if enough insulin is being given to turn off ketone production. When should I test for ketones? A method of testing for ketones must be kept in the home (and taken on trips) at all times. Ketones must always be checked if your child: has high blood sugar above 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/L) after fasting has high blood sugar above 300 mg/dl (16.6 mmol/L) during the day feels sick or nauseated (especially if he vomits, even once). If the child is sick, ketones can be present even when the sugar is not high. Children who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes usually need to check ketones twice a day (or more often if the test is positive). After the first or second week, if all ketone checks are negative, you can stop routine testing of ketones. Children who take only 1 insulin injection per day should do a routine morning ketone test to check Continue reading >>

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Measuring Ketosis With Ketone Strips: Are They Accurate?

Many people following keto diets want to be in ketosis, a natural state in which the body burns fat for fuel. For this reason, people are curious about whether they are doing enough (via carb restriction) to achieve this state. As a result, ketone strips are a popular tool that numerous people use as a way of measuring ketosis. However, just how accurate are they? And how do they compare to alternate methods of measuring ketones? What is Ketosis? Anyone following a standard high-carbohydrate diet will be burning glucose for energy. However, the body can use both carbohydrate and fat for fuel (1). When carbohydrate intake is very low, the body switches to burning fat for energy. As this happens, our body enters a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural biological state during which our body burns fat for fuel. While we are “in ketosis,” our blood levels of ketones—a by-product from the breakdown of fats—rise. Measuring these ketones (also known as ‘ketone bodies’) can, therefore, provide a hint as to how deeply our body is (or isn’t) in ketosis. For this reason, ketone strips—which measure the level of ketones—have become increasingly popular in recent times. Key Point: Ketosis is a biological state where the human body burns fat rather than carbs. What are Ketone Test Strips? For people who want to know if they’re in ketosis, ketone test strips are a cheap and simple way of detecting ketone levels. They are otherwise known as ‘ketone sticks’ and work by urinalysis to tell us the volume of acetoacetate in our urine. If you don’t know what acetoacetate is, then let’s start at the beginning. First of all, there are three types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Acetoacetate is one of the two main ketone bodies, and it is present in urine. We can test f 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 >>

Ketone Testing

Ketone Testing

Tweet Ketone testing is a key part of type 1 diabetes management as it helps to prevent a dangerous short term complication, ketoacidosis, from occurring. If you have type 1 diabetes, it is recommended that you have ketone testing supplies on your prescription. Ketone testing may also be useful in people with other types of diabetes that are dependent upon insulin. Why test for ketones? Ketones are produced by the body as an alternative source of energy to sugar. The body produces ketones by breaking down fats, this process is known as ketosis. Ketones may be produced as part of weight loss, however, it’s important for people with diabetes on insulin to note that ketones can be produced when the body has insufficient insulin. When the body has too little insulin, it means that cells of the body cannot take in enough sugar from the blood. To compensate for this, the body will start to break down fat to provide ketones. However, if a high level of ketones is produced, this can cause the blood to become acidic which can lead to illness and even potential danger to organs if not treated in time. This state is referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis. Where can I get ketone testing kits and sensors? The most accurate way of testing for ketones is to use a meter that measures blood ketone levels. The following blood glucose meters are able to test blood ketone levels in addition to blood glucose levels: Abbott - FreeStyle Optium Neo Menarini - GlucoMen LX Plus If you take insulin, you should be able to get these prescribed by your GP. You can also test urine for ketone levels, however, urine ketone testing is not as accurate as blood ketone testing as the levels of ketones in the urine will usually only reflect a level of up to a few hours previously. When to test for ketones? Continue reading >>

A New Toy Measuring Blood Ketones

A New Toy Measuring Blood Ketones

I just got a new toy: a device for measuring blood ketones. This is a far more exact and reliable measurement than testing for urine ketones using cheap dipsticks. Ketosis is of course the state the body is in when eating very low carb. Ketones, made from fat, will then fuel the brain instead of glucose. So who needs one of these gadgets? Perhaps nobody. Obviously it’s easy to eat LCHF without it. This is for curious nerds (like me) and for those who want definite proof that they are eating so little carbs that insulin levels are low and fat burning is maximized. A ketone level somewhere between 1.5 – 3 is said to be an optimal level for maximizing weight loss. It means that insulin levels are very low. As you can see my first measurement was 0.2, after a caesar sallad dinner. I’m not surprised as I’ve probably eaten at least 50 grams of carbs a day lately. I will try it out fasting in the mornings during the coming days. Perhaps I’ll try being really strict with the carbs for a while to see what happens. Have you tried one of these or are you interested in doing it? Continue reading >>

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