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What Are The Normal Levels Of Ketones?

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 >>

Everything You Need To Know About Ketones

Everything You Need To Know About Ketones

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

When To Worry About Ketones

When To Worry About Ketones

“Your blood sugar is over 250. We’ll have to test for ketones, just to make sure you’re not spilling any.” The nurse stuck a label featuring my name and date of birth onto a plastic cup. “The bathroom is down the hall and to the right,” she said. By now, I was familiar with the drill, having experienced it a handful of times in the past: Provide urine sample to endocrinologist and keep my fingers crossed that it’s negative. Fortunately, it was—no ketones spilled. Though we often toss the word ketones around when we talk about diabetes, there tends to be confusion about what ketones are and when they’re dangerous. What are ketones? Ketone bodies are produced by the liver and are byproducts of fat metabolism. They occur when muscles in the body (which normally uses glucose as fuel) begin to use fat instead. This can happen when a person restricts carbohydrates (i.e., following a ketogenic diet—see below), eats too little, or feels ill. Simply put, ketones are markers of fat burning in the body. People with diabetes need to be concerned about ketones, though, because they can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. The presence of ketones makes the blood acidic and can result in an illness known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which occurs when blood sugar levels are very high. DKA can be caused by not getting enough insulin, and it may occur prior to a diagnosis of type one diabetes. DKA symptoms of concern include a dry mouth, blood sugar levels greater than 240 mg/dL, strong thirst, and frequent urination. Without treatment, these symptoms can worsen into confusion, extreme fatigue, flushed skin, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and difficulty breathing. The most serious effects include swelling in the brain, loss of conscio Continue reading >>

Ketonuria

Ketonuria

Ketonuria is a medical condition in which ketone bodies are present in the urine. It is seen in conditions in which the body produces excess ketones as an indication that it is using an alternative source of energy. It is seen during starvation or more commonly in type I diabetes mellitus. Production of ketone bodies is a normal response to a shortage of glucose, meant to provide an alternate source of fuel from fatty acids. Pathophysiology[edit] Ketones are metabolic end-products of fatty acid metabolism. In healthy individuals, ketones are formed in the liver and are completely metabolized so that only negligible amounts appear in the urine. However, when carbohydrates are unavailable or unable to be used as an energy source, fat becomes the predominant body fuel instead of carbohydrates and excessive amounts of ketones are formed as a metabolic byproduct. Higher levels of ketones in the urine indicate that the body is using fat as the major source of energy. Ketone bodies that commonly appear in the urine when fats are burned for energy are acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Acetone is also produced and is expired by the lungs.[1] Normally, the urine should not contain a noticeable concentration of ketones to give a positive reading. As with tests for glucose, acetoacetate can be tested by a dipstick or by a lab. The results are reported as small, moderate, or large amounts of acetoacetate. A small amount of acetoacetate is a value under 20 mg/dl; a moderate amount is a value of 30–40 mg/dl, and a finding of 80 mg/dl or greater is reported as a large amount. One 2010 study admits that though ketonuria's relation to general metabolic health is ill-understood, there is a positive relationship between the presence of ketonuria after fasting and positive metabo Continue reading >>

Ketone Testing: What You Need To Know

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 >>

Hyperglycemia And Ketone Testing

Hyperglycemia And Ketone Testing

Background Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar. For people with type 1 diabetes, hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a very serious situation that requires emergency medical treatment. Hyperglycemia can also be caused by eating too much food, which requires treatment to lower blood sugar levels but which does not lead to DKA. The only way to determine between the two situations is through ketone testing. Causes of Hyperglycemia Eating too much food relative to the amount of insulin injected Missing an insulin injection Blockage in insulin pump tubing Disconnected insulin pump infusion set Illness or stress Symptoms of Hyperglycemia Frequent urination Frequent thirst Blurry vision Dry mouth Fatigue Testing for Ketones There are two ways to test for ketones: urine testing and blood testing. Just as blood glucose testing proved to be superior to urine glucose testing, so too is blood ketone testing proving to be better than urine ketone testing. Ketones appear first in the blood, then in the urine after being filtered by the kidneys. Thus the body has been producing ketones for a while before you can detect them in the urine. Children with Diabetes Highly Recommends blood ketone testing over urine ketone testing. Since ketones in the blood can be detected well before ketones in the urine, there is the possibility to treat sooner than you would if you waited for urine testing to show a positive result. Blood ketone testing can be easier for parents who have very young children with diabetes who do not always have the ability to urinate on command. Also, being able to test with a finger stick eliminates the need to find a bathroom to test if you're away from home or when kids are at school. Two recent studies (February 2006) demon Continue reading >>

What Are Normal Blood Glucose And Ketone Levels?

What Are Normal Blood Glucose And Ketone Levels?

Elevated insulin and blood glucose levels are associated with a wide range of health issues including obesity, mental health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. “Normal” blood sugars are not necessarily optimal for long-term health. Most people are somewhere on the spectrum between optimal blood sugars and full-blown Type 2 Diabetes. Maintaining blood sugars closer to optimum levels is possibly the most important thing you can do to manage your health, reduce body fat and slow ageing. Blood ketones tend to rise as blood glucose levels decrease, though they can vary depending on a number of factors. People who are physically fit and/or who have been following a ketogenic lifestyle for a long period do not tend to show very high blood ketone levels. “Diabetes” refers to a group of metabolic diseases where a person has high blood sugars over an extended period of time. Diabetes is expensive. In 2012 it cost the US a quarter of a trillion dollars in hospital costs and lost productivity and the cost of “diabesity” is forecast to triple by 2050 grow and become a major burden our economy. Diabesity has even been classed as a matter of economic and national security (Pompkin, 2013). One in twelve people are considered to have Type 2 diabetes, however, forty percent of the US population is considered to be “pre-diabetic” and this number is forecast to grow by more than half over the next two decades to 592 million people by 2035. If you have prediabetes you have a one in two chance of progressing to Type 2 Diabetes within five years. The generally accepted diagnosis levels for prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes are shown in the table below. fasting after meal hbA1c % pop mg/dL mmol/L mg/dL mmol/L % “normal” < 100 < 5.6 < 140 < 7.8 < 6.0% 50% pre-diabeti 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a dangerous and potentially life threatening complication of diabetes, with thousands of preventable cases each year. DKA most commonly happens in people with Type 1 Diabetes although it occasionally occurs in people with insulin-treated Type 2 Diabetes. DKA occurs when there is persistently high glucose and a severe lack of insulin. 10,434 people with Type 1 diabetes hospitalised at least once during 2011-12 ¹ 9% of children experienced DKA in 1 year ² Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually evolve over a 24 hour period, with the first sign often being hyperglycemia. Typical symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Vomiting Dehydration Deep laboured breathing (called kussmaul breathing) Confusion and sometimes even coma Click here to download the full DKA Information Brochure What are Ketones? Ketones are the by-product of fat metabolism. Ketones can provide the body with energy when glucose is not available. As you know, in order to derive energy from the carbohydrates in the foods that we eat, the body needs insulin. Insulin is the key that unlocks the body’s cells in order to allow glucose to enter to provide energy. In the absence of sufficient insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells and the glucose levels build up in the blood. Without insulin, the body begins to metabolize fat and produces ketones. Ketones can be very dangerous when the blood glucose level is high. If the blood glucose and ketones levels continue to rise, one can get very sick very quickly. The person begins to get dehydrated and acidotic, meaning that the body loses water and salts and the pH falls with a build up of acids, the ketones, developing DKA. What are blood ketones versus urine ketones You may have heard about or learned how to check urine ketones Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways To Measure Your Ketones

5 Ways to Measure Your Ketones A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. Research has demonstrated that this nutrition plan improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation throughout the body. This leads to greater fat metabolism and muscle development as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. (1, 2). I get asked all the time how to measure the state of ketosis. There are several major ways and we will discuss those in this article. Measuring Your Ketones There are three types of ketone bodies: Acetone, Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxybutryate (BHB). Each of these three can be tested as acetone is a ketone released through the breath, acetoacetate is a ketone released through urine and BHB is (although not technically a ketone it acts like a ketone) in the blood stream and used by the cells for energy. 1. Blood Ketone Meter This measures BHB and is considered to be the most accurate way to measure ketone bodies. These have the ability to determine the ketone level in your blood precisely but they are also pricey and invasive. Personally, I freak out every time I have to prick my finger!! The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter is a good buy at $28-$30. The expensive part is the ketone test strips here which can cost $4 each. If you are looking at testing yourself every day it is going to cost you $120 a month and the $30 meter. Here is a starter kit you can get on Amazon Most people will enter into a light nutritional ketosis (between 0.5-1.0 mmol/L on the meter) within two or three days. It typically takes 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 >>

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 >>

Blood Ketones

Blood Ketones

On This Site Tests: Urine Ketones (see Urinalysis - The Chemical Exam); Blood Gases; Glucose Tests Elsewhere On The Web Ask a Laboratory Scientist Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Click on the Contact a Scientist button below to be re-directed to the ASCLS site to complete a request form. If your question relates to this web site and not to a specific lab test, please submit it via our Contact Us page instead. Thank you. 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 >>

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