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Ketone Levels Chart

Tracking The Glucose Ketone Index

Tracking The Glucose Ketone Index

In this post we will examine the “glucose ketone index” as a biomarker for tracking metabolic health. We will also explore some of the primary use cases for tracking the glucose ketone index including cancer treatment, weight loss, metabolic disease management and athletic performance. Lastly, we will demonstrate how you can use Heads Up Health to track the glucose ketone index along with all of your other important health data. If you want to skip ahead, click the button below to create an account with Heads Up and start tracking the glucose-ketone index alongside all of your other health metrics. Or, read on for more information on tracking the glucose ketone index. What is the Glucose Ketone Index? The glucose ketone index is simply a way to measure the relationship between your ketone levels and your glucose levels at any moment in time. It is measured by dividing your blood glucose level (mmol/L) by your blood ketone level (mmol/L). The result is a single number we can use an indicator of one’s metabolic state. The index has its roots in brain cancer treatment, where researchers using metabolic therapy found best results when glucose and ketones maintained a very precise relationship in the patient [1]. Since there are many aspects of daily life (stress, exercise, nutrition etc.) that can upset glucose or ketone levels in the body, thereby throwing off the optimal glucose-ketone ratio, the index was developed to ensure both metrics (glucose and ketones) are maintaining the ideal ratio for optimal treatment outcomes. Example: If my fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning is 4.6 mmol/L (82 mg/dL) and my ketone reading is 0.8 mmol/L, I would record a glucose ketone index of 5.75 (4.6 / 0.8). Despite its roots in cancer treatment, the index can also be ver Continue reading >>

Reference Range

Reference Range

Acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone are ketone bodies. In carbohydrate-deficient states, fatty-acid metabolism spurs acetoacetate accumulation. The reduction of acetoacetate in the mitochondria results in beta-hydroxybutyrate production. Beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, the predominant ketone bodies, are rich in energy. Beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate transport energy from the liver to other tissues. Acetone forms from the spontaneous decarboxylation of acetoacetate. Acetone is the cause of the sweet odor on the breath in persons with ketoacidosis. [1, 2] Ketone bodies fuel the brain with an alternative source of energy (close to two thirds of its needs) during periods of prolonged fasting or starvation, when the brain cannot use fatty acids for energy. The reference range for ketone is a negative value, at less than 1 mg/dL (< 0.1 mmol/L). [3] Continue reading >>

The Best Way To Monitor Ketone Levels

The Best Way To Monitor Ketone Levels

Awareness and appreciation of the “low-carb high-fat” ketogenic diet has been steadily growing over the last few years. Along with that, you hear the words ketosis and ketones used more commonly. That’s excellent, but many people don’t really know what it all actually means. ..What are ketones? And what does your body do with them? What are the proper levels of ketones you should have to be in ketosis? With so many people talking about the diet/lifestyle, it’s understandable that there is more misinformation as a result. So, let’s clear it all up in this post. First we’ll review the details of ketones – what they are, how they’re formed, etc. – and then we’ll talk about how to monitor them. Let’s dive in! Contents: First Off, What Exactly Are Ketones? Ketones, or ketone bodies, are byproducts created by the body in the process of breaking down (metabolizing) fat for energy, when carbohydrate levels in the body are low. It works like this… The body prefers to use glucose (from carbs) as its source of fuel. But when there isn’t a sufficient level of glucose, and glycogen levels are depleted, blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced, as the body looks for an alternative source of fuel: fat. This process can occur during fasting, starvation, extended periods of exercise, or in the case we’re referring to in this post and on this site: while adhering to a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet. …When the body switches to metabolizing fats for energy – a process called beta-oxidation – instead of glucose, ketones are created as a fuel source for the body and the brain. It is this process which is referred to as ketosis or ketogenesis…Or, as some people like to say, switching from being a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner”. If you’re Continue reading >>

How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels

How To Know If You’re In Ketosis: A Guide To Testing Ketone Levels

Ketosis can be a powerful way to use your metabolism for fat loss, mental output, physical performance as well as many other health benefits. But how do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As the old adage goes “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. In this guide, we’ll show exactly how to test your ketone levels to know if you’re in ketosis so you can make sure you’re getting all of the benefits that ketosis has to offer. There are three primary forms of ketones in your body, acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these compounds do different things in the metabolism of ketosis and can be tested individually with differing techniques. Not all measurement is created equally, however, and some can be better than others for different purposes or times. The three different ketone bodies can be measured when they spill over into three different areas of your body: your breath, urine or blood. The good news is that all of these ketone level measurements can be done at home, by yourself. You don’t have to go to any lab or use any fancy high tech equipment. Tracking diligently, at least when you’re getting used to ketosis based diets, is important so you know how much you react to different variables like exercise, type and amount of food, and amounts of exogenous ketone supplements. Also, the optimal level of ketones for specific goals can vary per person. Knowing the amount where you thrive in the goal you want to achieve (and consistently checking if you’re hitting that amount) is the fastest way to reach your goals. Testing levels of ketones with urine strips (acetoacetate) One of the ketone bodies, acetoacetate, can be measured directly in the urine if they are in excessive levels. The way metabolic substrates get into 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 >>

Ketones Urine Test

Ketones Urine Test

Urine ketones are usually measured as a "spot test." This is available in a test kit that you can buy at a drug store. The kit contains dipsticks coated with chemicals that react with ketone bodies. A dipstick is dipped in the urine sample. A color change indicates the presence of ketones. This article describes the ketone urine test that involves sending collected urine to a lab. A clean-catch urine sample is needed. The clean-catch method is used to prevent germs from the penis or vagina from getting into a urine sample. To collect your urine, the health care provider may give you a special clean-catch kit that contains a cleansing solution and sterile wipes. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate. Continue reading >>

How To Read Blood Ketone Test Results

How To Read Blood Ketone Test Results

If you are living with diabetes, chances are you've probably had your blood or urine tested for ketones. When your body doesn't have enough insulin to absorb glucose it breaks down fats for energy, creating ketones as a byproduct. Everyone produces ketones, but if you have diabetes, you have a greater risk of ketones building up in your blood, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic ketoacidosis. That said, it is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. Interpreting Your Blood Test Results Ketone blood testing is the preferred method for assessing the presence of ketones during times of sickness. Urine test strips can be used, but the American Diabetes Association recommends using blood ketone tests because they are more accurate and timely. Blood ketone tests use different measurements than the numbers you are familiar with on your glucose meter. When using a combination home blood glucose and ketone meter, such as the Precision Xtra Meter by Abbott Labs, or if you have your blood drawn and assessed at a lab, the results will fall into one of the following three ranges: Below 0.6 mmol/L: If your reading is below 0.6 you are in the normal range. 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L: If your number is in this range you have the presence of ketones in your blood, which may develop into a problem if not treated. You should be in touch with your healthcare provider and follow his or her instructions. Above 1.5 mmol/L: Readings above 1.5 indicate a greater risk for developing ketoacidosis (DKA). You should immediately contact your healthcare provider for advice. Readings above 3.0 mmd/L may warrant a trip to the nearest emergency room for immediate treatment. If you are testing your blood or urine at home and are concerned ab Continue reading >>

Sick Day Management And Ketones

Sick Day Management And Ketones

Children with diabetes generally do not become unwell any more frequently than children without diabetes. When a child with diabetes is unwell, however, they need extra care and attention from an adult who has received training from a specialist diabetes team. Children with diabetes generally do not become unwell any more frequently than children without diabetes. When a child with diabetes is unwell, however, they need extra care and attention from an adult who has received appropriate training from a specialist diabetes team. It is important that you notify the diabetes team urgently if your child with diabetes is unwell with fever, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Illness associated with vomiting and diarrhoea (for example, gastroenteritis) may result in low blood glucose levels. Illnesses, particularly those associated with fever, raise blood glucose levels because of higher levels of stress. If the blood glucose level remains persistently high (more than 15 mmol/l) for a number of hours, a child will likely develop symptoms such as thirst, drinking a lot and going to the toilet frequently. They may become very tired and lethargic and feel unwell. Ketones can develop with illness. High levels of ketones, can contribute to nausea and vomiting, leading to decreased food and fluid intake, higher levels of ketones, and dehydration. Ketones and ketone monitoring Ketones in diabetes indicate that there is too little insulin in the body. Ketones are chemicals in the blood which come from the breakdown of fat. The body makes ketones as an alternative source to glucose in some situations. When there are ketones in the blood they will also be found in the urine. Ketone testing should be done more frequently when your child with diabetes is unwell and particularly if blood glucose leve Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones And Their Tests?

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 >>

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 >>

Getting To Know Ketones

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 >>

Testing For Ketones

Testing For Ketones

Testing for Ketones 3 Types of Ketones How to go about testing for Ketones? There are 3 types of ketone bodies. Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB, though technically not really a ketone body) The body (the liver) converts long and medium chain fatty acids into BHB and Acetoacetate. BHB and Acetoacetate live in reversible equilibrium (they can transform back and forth). Acetoacetate can also be turned into acetone. After converted to acetone, it can not be converted back. Acetone is typically excreted through the urine or breath. If your body has been in ketosis for a while, you will see a reduction in acetoacetate. Muscles begin to use acetoacetate and turn it into Beta-Hydroxybutryate for fuel, so less is present in urine as you get more keto-adapted. This is the flaw of the urine test. It only tests for acetoacetate so it will go down as your body gets more efficient at using ketones for fuel. 3 Methods for Testing Ketones Urine strips only test acetoacetate. Ketonix only tests acetone in breath. Blood Strips test for Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB), what your body uses for fuel. 1. Urine Test Strips Pros: Cheap. Cons: Very inaccurate in testing level of ketosis. Our bodies excrete excess ketones in two ways. Through the urine or through the breath. When you are testing for ketones in urine you will typically see higher levels in early stages of a ketogenic diet because your body isn’t using ketones for fuel yet. After you are fully Keto-Adapted (2-4 weeks or so), you will see less and less ketones in your urine because your body in now using more ketones for fuel instead of excreting them through the urine or breath. The urine test strip is also very susceptible to changes based on your state of hydration. The more hydrated you are (and we should all b 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 >>

Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind The Scenes Data On The Ketogenic Diet

Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind The Scenes Data On The Ketogenic Diet

Tracking Blood Ketones: Behind the Scenes Data on the Ketogenic Diet I’ve tried a lot of diets. I first went vegetarian, then slow carb, then gluten-free, then Paleo. I even did a 28-day Chipotle diet, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. Eventually I found the Ketogenic diet. For me, like for many people in our communities, this all started with a health concern. I was born with a heart condition. It never impacted my life, but it was there, lingering. When I was a junior in college, a few classmates and I were out enjoying late night pizza. Out of nowhere, one classmate suddenly jolted upright and fell off his stool. He died. I found out the next morning it was from a lingering heart condition, not too unlike my own. I started to think about my health a lot more after that. I read about nutrition and started exploring the confusing world of diets. As I learned more and as I became more involved in Quantified Self, I found myself wanting to quantify these diets. That’s what drew me to Keto. It’s the most measurable diet. Quick Summary of the Ketogenic Diet Keto is a high-fat, very-low-carb diet, usually with 70% of calories coming from fat. The idea is to switch your body from using glucose as its primary energy to breaking down fats into ketones for energy. You can measure the macros that you eat and you can measure the ketones in your urine, breath, and blood. In 2013, I did my first experiment with the ketogenic diet. In that experiment, I tracked everything I ate in MyFitnessPal and compared it to other data I was collecting. I found my energy increased, my sleep quality went up (according to my Zeo data), my cholesterol levels improved, and my food cravings went away. However, I also found that measuring everything I ate was a pain, I didn’t really kn Continue reading >>

Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 1-30

Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Experiments: Nutritional Ketosis Day 1-30

Before I went on the 2012 Low-Carb Cruise last month, I started reading a book that my low-carb research friends Dr. Jeff Volek and Dr. Steve Phinney had written as a follow-up to their fantastic 2011 release The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Living (listen to my interview with Dr. Phinney about this book in Episode 479 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show”). The sequel is called The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance and was written specifically to share the latest science behind ketogenic diets for athletes who are keenly interested in optimizing their exercise performance with fat and ketones serving as their body’s primary fuel source once they reach what Dr. Phinney refers to as “keto-adaptation.” But the information these low-carb stalwarts provide in this handy dandy little book goes much deeper than that as you will read about in this blog post. Most low-carbers have traditionally been using urine ketone sticks under the brand name Ketostix to measure their level of ketones being produced by color (from pink to dark purple) as a result of their low-carb diet. But as I previously shared in this YouTube video, this can be a frustratingly inaccurate way of measuring whether you are producing enough ketones in your blood to see the kind of results you are hoping for on your low-carb lifestyle change. But thanks to the cutting-edge information provided by Volek and Phinney in The Art And Science Of Low Carbohydrate Performance, we now have a new and better way to measure the actual ketones that are in your blood which determines whether you have become keto-adapted and burning fat and ketones for fuel. They refer to getting into this state as “nutritional ketosis” to obviously distinguish it from ketoacidosis which is only an issue Continue reading >>

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