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 >>
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 >>
Diabetes And Ketones
Tweet The presence of high levels of ketones in the bloodstream is a common complication of diabetes, which if left untreated can lead to ketoacidosis. Ketones build up when there is insufficient insulin to help fuel the body’s cells. High levels of ketones are therefore more common in people with type 1 diabetes or people with advanced type 2 diabetes. If you are suffering from high levels of ketones and seeking medical advice, contact your GP or diabetes healthcare team as soon as possible. What are ketones? Ketones are an acid remaining when the body burns its own fat. When the body has insufficient insulin, it cannot get glucose from the blood into the body's cells to use as energy and will instead begin to burn fat. The liver converts fatty acids into ketones which are then released into the bloodstream for use as energy. It is normal to have a low level of ketones as ketones will be produced whenever body fat is burned. In people that are insulin dependent, such as people with type 1 diabetes, however, high levels of ketones in the blood can result from taking too little insulin and this can lead to a particularly dangerous condition known as ketoacidosis. How do I test for ketones? Ketone testing can be carried out at home. The most accurate way of testing for ketones is to use a blood glucose meter which can test for ketones as well as blood glucose levels. You can also test urine for ketone levels, however, the testing of urine means that the level you get is representative of your ketone levels up to a few hours ago. Read about testing for ketones and how to interpret the results Who needs to be aware of ketones? The following people with diabetes should be aware of ketones and the symptoms of ketoacidosis: Anyone dependent on insulin – such as all people 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 >>
How Does Diabetic Ketoacidosis Cause Vomiting?
DKA can occur in people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and have had ketones building up in their blood prior to the start of treatment. It can also occur in people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that have missed an insulin dose, have an infection, or have suffered a traumatic event or injury. With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make the hormone insulin, which the body’s cells need in order to take in glucose from the blood. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to make sufficient amounts of insulin in order to take in glucose from the blood. Glucose, a simple sugar we get from the foods we eat, is necessary for making the energy our cells need to function. People with diabetes can’t get glucose into their cells, so their bodies look for alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, and by the time DKA occurs, blood glucose levels are often greater than 22 mmol/L (400 mg/dL) while insulin levels are very low. Since glucose isn’t available for cells to use, fat from fat cells is broken down for energy instead, releasing ketones. Ketones accumulate in the blood, causing it to become more acidic. As a result, many of the enzymes that control the body’s metabolic processes aren’t able to function as well. A higher level of ketones also affects levels of sugar and electrolytes in the body. As ketones accumulate in the blood, more ketones will be passed in the urine, taking sodium and potassium salts out with them. Over time, levels of sodium and potassium salts in the body become depleted, which can cause nausea and vomiting. The result is a vicious cycle. The most important prevention strategies are to monitor blood glucose levels routinely, keep blood glucose levels controlled (e.g., Continue reading >>
How Does Stress Affect The Body?
Like many other things in life , it depends upon the intensity and duration of stress and the status of person (perception of stress and reaction towards it). If someone takes stress positively, stress might be a good thing, we call it “eustress”. On the other hand, if we allow stress to impact negatively, we call it “distress”. I am assuming that you are curious to know about the effects of distress on the body. Stress causes wide range of biological changes in body, increased production of cortisol (aka stress hormone) being one of the major effect. Cortisol in turn leads to various changes which helps to cope up the stress, but when chronically elevated, it causes lots of harm. Especially chronic psychological stress affects almost all organ system of body negatively. To name few, it causes memory impairment (see How does stress affect memory?) , decreases threshold for physical illness, deteriorates cardiovascular status, causes psychological problems such as depression and anxiety creating a vicious loop, increases the risk for metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes), and so.on. The following picture summarizes those effects comprehensively - Now we have some idea about the negative impacts of stress, next answer we need is of the question, “How can I decrease stress?”. 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 >>
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 Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?
The Keto diet is not really a diet, but rather a lifestyle change. A Ketogenic diet is best described as a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body. Fat is converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Another effect of the diet is that it lowers glucose levels and improves insulin resistance. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the occurrence of epileptic seizures. Ketogenic Diet Macros Typically, the ketogenic diet consists of only 30-50 grams of carbohydrates a day. High in fat Moderate Protein The beginning of a ketogenic diet can be challenging for some who are not used to eating a very low carbohydrate diet. You’ll probably experience a lack of energy and brain fog as your body is in the beginning stages of making a metabolic shift. This shift is simply your body beginning to use fat for fuel rather than glucose. Your brain and body actually prefers to run on keytones rather than glucose for energy. The goal here is to use the fat on your body as fuel rather than glucose (from sugar or carbs) to burn fat and for overall daily energy requirements. For a full explanation as the ketogenic diet, please see more at: Fastest Method to Burn Fat WITHOUT Exercise Continue reading >>
How Does Castration Affect The Male Body?
Testosterone is produced by cells in testicles in response to leutenizing hormone. LH is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. It's feedback loop works as such that low levels of testosterone results in an increase of LH, which in turn causes cells to secrete more testosterone. The testosterone then signals to the pituitary to decrease LH production; this ensures that testosterone isn't over produced. When one experiences castration, their feedback loop gets messed up. Without testosterone, LH production goes into overdrive, but there is no increase in testosterone. Some side effects of little/no testosterone: decreased libido Increased gynecomastia (breast tissue production) decreased spermatogenesis A few other consequences include: infertility possible body hair decrease possible body strength and muscle mass decrease Furthermore, testosterone is converted into DHT; a hormone responsible for external male sex organ differentiation, and for male pattern baldness. If testosterone production, and therefore DHT production is decreased, then males can prevent their male pattern baldness. Another problem that arrises, is caused by the hormone replacement therapy. The steroids inhibits production of LH, which therefore decreases testosterone production. This is what causes male's [who take steroids] testicles to shrink. It can also cause breast enlargement. However, if one chooses not to have hormone replacement therapy, they will most likely experience some of the following side effects: hot flashes gradual bone-density loss, which causes osteopenia or osteoporosis potential weight gain or redistribution of body fat to hips/chest Continue reading >>
How Does Radioactivity Affect The Body?
First of all, all types of radioactivity - alpha, beta, gamma radiation and fission - generate particles which are ejected with high energy from the decaying nucleus. These ejected particles travel through the tissue of the body if the radioactive decay happens inside of the human body. On their way through the tissue , these particles interact mostly with the water molecules and create positively charged oxygen ions by destroying the water molecule. There oxygen ions are as well called “free radicals”. [edit: this mechanism is true for gamma rays (photons). The other radioactive particles destroy the DNA directly by smashing through the DNA string. Thus, especially alpha particles leave the DNA very badly damaged] They seek reaktion partners to become neutral again and find these partners in the molecules of the DNA in the cells, which gets destroyed in the process. The other option is that the radioactive particle hits the DNA directly and again it will be destroyed or at least damaged. In the best case repair mechanisms in the cell manage to repair the DNA-molecule, another alternative is the the molecule is so badly damaged that it cannot be repaired and the cell dies. The worst case is if the DNA gets fix improperly and the cell mutates to a cancer cell. Now it depends on the radiation dose the human body experiences. In normal circumstances, our bodies are exposed to many many radioactive incidents per day and normally can cope with this. One of the most abundant and dangerous natural source of radioactivity is radon, a noble gas, whose most abundant isotope 222Rn is an alpha emitter. Another important source is sunlight, whose UV-component act as well as ionizing radiation in the upper layers of the skin. However, if the body is exposed to “too high” (wha Continue reading >>
What Does Fasting Actually Accomplish? I Want To Know How It Burns Fat Or How It Affects The Metabolism, That Sort Of Thing.
On the first day of fasting, the body burns stored sugar for energy. Those reserves will not last very long, since we only store about 100 g of glucose as glycogen in the liver, which will be depleted in the first 18 to 24 hours. The body will start using muscle tissue in order to make glucose from amino acids. This will also end shortly because it would be a bad idea for the body to eat up all the muscles in order to survive (the heart is a muscle!) Glycerol will then be produced from adipose tissue, but not sufficiently to meet the body’s needs. Note that the brain absolutely needs to receive glucose continuously to function. On the third day, the body will maximize the breakdown of fats and the liver will start producing ketones to supply the energy for the central nervous system. This is a natural survival mechanism called ketosis or protein sparing. Weight Loss can be impressive, but different from one person to another. During this process, blood levels of cholesterol and uric acid tend to increase. This is because the body it stirring up stored toxic waste materials and expelling them into the bloodstream to be eliminated from the body. This can provoke symptoms like headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness, similar to a hangover. Some people will experience skin rashes, muscle pain and joint aches. This is all part of the process of detoxification. While this is happening, the organs receive more oxygen, the tissues purify themselves, blood vessels soften and begin to let go of cholesterol plaque, the blood pressure drops and the intestinal walls loosen up and let go of mucoid plaque. While the digestive system is able to rest, the rest of the body can heal. Calcification is reduced, inflammation disappears and pain finally leaves the body. you can watch a vide 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 >>
Getting To Know Ketones
People with diabetes, particularly those with Type 1 diabetes, have been at least vaguely aware of the word ketones for a long time. With the recent resurgence of popular interest in low-carbohydrate diets, however, just about everyone seems to be talking about ketones these days. But does anyone really know what ketones are? Are they a danger to your health (as in diabetic ketoacidosis), or a sign that you have lowered your carbohydrate intake enough to cause weight loss (as some people who follow low-carbohydrate diets believe)? What are ketones? Ketones are end-products of fat metabolism in the body. That is, they are formed when fat is burned for energy by the muscles. Chemically, they are acids known as ketone bodies, and there are three types: beta-hydroxybutyric acid, aceto-acetic acid, and acetone. But you don’t have to be a chemist to understand what role they play in the body. To get to know ketones, it’s helpful to understand how your body burns fuel. A simple analogy is that of an automobile. For a car engine to run, the engine must burn fuel (gasoline), and when the fuel is burned, exhaust (carbon monoxide) is created. The carbon monoxide is the end-product of gasoline combustion. Your body also has an engine that must burn fuel to operate. The engine is muscle, and the fuel is fat, carbohydrate (glucose), and, in certain conditions, protein. When fat is burned, the “exhaust” is ketones, and when glucose is burned, the “exhaust” is lactic acid. Fat is more desirable as a fuel than glucose because there are more calories in a gram of fat (9 calories per gram) than there are in a gram of glucose (4 calories per gram), so you get more energy per gram of fat burned. In a sense, you could call fat a high-test fuel. But there is one catch to burning f Continue reading >>
How Does Depression Affect The Body?
The most commonly used theory is the affection of serotonin levels which is a neurotransmitter in the brain and other parts of the body also know as the “happiness hormone”. Scientists are not sure if depression causes the drop of serotonin levels OR the drop of serotonin levels causes the depression. But obviously everyone's cause of depression might lead the psychiatrist to pin point the biological causation thus prescribing treatment which is most commonly an SSRI drug (decreases the degradation of serotonin thus increasing its levels). When serotonin is affected it affects areas where serotonin is used (digestive tract, blood vessels, brain etc..) causing the physical symptoms. Now the mechanism applied above is not the only one used by physicians but what is most likely assumed. Here are common physical symptoms experienced by the depressed: Headaches. These are fairly common in people with depression. If you already had migraine headaches, they may become worse if you're depressed. Chest pain. Obviously, it's very important to get chest pain checked out by an expert right away. It can be a sign of serious heart problems. But chest pain is also associated with depression. Exhaustion and fatigue. No matter how much you sleep, you may still feel tired or worn out. Getting out of the bed in the morning may seem very hard, even impossible. Sleeping problems. Many people with depression can't sleep well anymore. They wake up too early or can't fall asleep when they go to bed. Others sleep much more than normal. Change in appetite or weight. Some people with depression lose their appetite and lose weight. Others find they crave certain foods - like carbohydrates - and put on weight. Continue reading >>