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What Are The Normal Levels Of Ketones?

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 >>

Ketones — Urine

Ketones — Urine

Definition Ketones build up when the body needs to break down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. This is most likely to occur when the body does not get enough sugar or carbohydrates. A urine test can be done to check the level of ketones in your body. Alternative Names Ketone bodies - urine; Urine ketones How the test is performed The test requires a clean catch urine sample. To obtain a clean catch sample, men or boys should clean the head of the penis. Women or girls need to wash the area between the lips of the vagina with soapy water and rinse well. As you start to urinate, allow a small amount to fall into the toilet bowl to clear the urethra of contaminants. Then, put a clean container under your urine stream and catch 1 to 2 ounces of urine. Remove the container from the urine stream. Cap and mark the container and give it to the health care provider or assistant. For infants, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For boys, the entire penis can be placed in the bag and the adhesive attached to the skin. For girls, the bag is placed over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag. This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. The urine is drained into the container for transport to the laboratory. Urine ketones are usually measured as a "spot test" using a dipstick coated with chemicals that react with ketone bodies. The dipstick is dipped in the urine sample, and a color change indicates the presence of ketones. How to prepare for the test You may have to eat a special diet, and you should stop taking a 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 >>

What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?

What Are The Optimal Ketone Levels For A Ketogenic Diet?

If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, then you’ll know that it can be really tough to figure out if you’re doing keto right. Am I eating too many carbs? Too much protein? Should I still be feeling tired? When is the fat burning supposed to start? It’s confusing, and one of the most confusing aspects is what your optimal ketone levels are supposed to be. Unlike most other diets, the ketogenic diet is designed to put your body into a state of ketosis in order to get your body to start burning ketones instead of the glucose that it usually burns when you eat a high carb standard American diet (SAD). But to know whether you’re in ketosis and whether your body has enough ketones circulating for you to use as energy instead of glucose, you have to measure your actual ketone levels and then determine whether they’re high enough for you to be reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet. If you’ve tried searching for this information already, then you’ll know that there’s some controversy depending on which expert you follow. So in this article, we’ll tell you exactly what the different experts are suggesting are the optimal ketone levels as well as give you recommendations for what ketone levels you should be aiming for depending on your goals with a ketogenic diet. A Few Quick Notes Before We Start… If you’re looking for signs other than testing your actual body ketone levels as to whether you’re in ketosis or not, then please check out this article instead that provides you with signs you’re in ketosis. If you’re a type 1 diabetic, then this article is not for you and the optimal ketone levels suggested below are not applicable to you. Please check out the tons of other ketone level articles on the web to ensure your ketone levels do not reach 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 >>

Point-of-care Blood Test For Ketones In Patients With Diabetes: Primary Care Diagnostic Technology Update

Point-of-care Blood Test For Ketones In Patients With Diabetes: Primary Care Diagnostic Technology Update

Go to: PREVIOUS RESEARCH Accuracy compared to existing technology The POC blood ketone test meter measures the ketone 3-beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB) in the blood of patients with diabetes. In comparison to the standard laboratory enzymatic method the ketone sensor accurately measured beta-OHB concentrations in patients with DKA (limits of agreement [LOA] 0.9 to 1.0 mmol/l) or starvation-induced ketonaemia (LOA-0.5 to +0.5 mmol/l).7 In an emergency department (ED) study of 173 hyperglycaemic patients, POC blood ketone tests were compared to urine dipstick analysis.8 Several cut-off points were evaluated. At a beta-OHB value <3 mmol/l or ketonuria ≤1+, ketoacidosis could be excluded (negative predictive value 100%). At 2+ cut-off points for ketonuria and at the 3 mmol/l cut-off point for ketonaemia the two tests had the same sensitivity (100%), but the specificity of beta-OHB (94%) was significantly higher (P<0.001) than that of ketonuria (77%). Overall the study showed that measurement of beta-OHB in capillary blood was faster and more effective than the use of urine dipsticks to detect ketoacidosis. A follow-up study by the same group on the correlation between urine and capillary blood ketones showed a good correlation for low values, but a poor correlation for high values. The study concluded that either test could be used to exclude ketosis, but that the capillary blood ketone test is more accurate to confirm ketoacidosis.9 A prospective observational study in an ED comparing ketone dipstick testing with capillary blood ketone testing, showed that the positive likelihood ratio (LR+) for DKA was 3 using urine ketone dipstick testing, and 4 for capillary blood ketone testing. In determining hyperketonaemia (both in diabetic ketosis and diabetic ketoacidosis) the L 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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