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What Does It Mean When You Have Ketones In Your Urine?

Diabetes Urine Tests

Diabetes Urine Tests

Urine tests may be done in people with diabetes to evaluate severe hyperglycemia (severe high blood sugar) by looking for ketones in the urine. Ketones are a metabolic product produced when fat is metabolized. Ketones increase when there is insufficient insulin to use glucose for energy. Urine tests are also done to look for the presence of protein in the urine, which is a sign of kidney damage. Urine glucose measurements are less reliable than blood glucose measurements and are not used to diagnose diabetes or evaluate treatment for diabetes. They may be used for screening purposes. Testing for ketones is most common in people with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes: What Are The Symptoms? This test detects the presence of ketones, which are byproducts of metabolism that form in the presence of severe hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar). Ketones are formed from fat that is burned by the body when there is insufficient insulin to allow glucose to be used for fuel. When ketones build up to high levels, ketoacidosis (a serious and life-threatening condition) may occur. Ketone testing can be performed both at home and in the clinical laboratory. Ketones can be detected by dipping a test strip into a sample of urine. A color change on the test strip signals the presence of ketones in the urine. Ketones occur most commonly in people with type 1 diabetes, but uncommonly, people with type 2 diabetes may test positive for ketones. The microalbumin test detects microalbumin, a type of protein, in the urine. Protein is present in the urine when there is damage to the kidneys. Since the damage to blood vessels that occurs as a complication of diabetes can lead to kidney problems, the microalbumin test is done to check for damage to the kidneys over time. Can urine tests be used to 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 >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Print Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can't produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated. If you have diabetes or you're at risk of diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. Symptoms Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms often develop quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. For some, these signs and symptoms may be the first indication of having diabetes. You may notice: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Nausea and vomiting Abdominal pain Weakness or fatigue Shortness of breath Fruity-scented breath Confusion More-specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — which can be detected through home blood and urine testing kits — include: High blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) High ketone levels in your urine When to see a doctor If you feel ill or stressed or you've had a recent illness or injury, check your blood sugar level often. You might also try an over-the-counter urine ketones testing kit. Contact your doctor immediately if: You're vomiting and unable to tolerate food or liquid Your blood sugar level is higher than your target range and doesn't respond to home treatment Your urine ketone level is moderate or high Seek emergency care if: Your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 mill 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 >>

Ketones — The 6 Must-knows

Ketones — The 6 Must-knows

WRITTEN BY: Kyla Schmieg, BSN, RN Editor’s Note: Kyla Schmieg (BSN, RN) is a practicing pediatric endocrinology nurse in Cincinnati, OH, USA, and Type 1 Diabetic, working on the same unit she was diagnosed at 26 years ago. 1 – What are ketones? Ketones are chemicals that build up when your body starts to burn fat for energy. The most common cause of ketones in diabetics is insulin deficiency. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood stream and can’t enter cells. The cells then burn fat instead of glucose. This results in ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into urine. 2 – Why can ketones be dangerous? Having ketones can indicate that your body needs more insulin. (Always monitor your blood sugar levels to know how much insulin you need.) If you have a build up of ketones, this can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Signs of DKA include moderate or large ketones, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fruity or acetone (think nail polish remover) breath, rapid breathing, flushed skin, and lack of energy. If left untreated, it can lead to a serious and life-threatening diabetic coma or death. High levels of ketones are toxic to the body and if you’re experiencing these, you should seek out medical attention. 3 – When should you check for ketones? You should be checked anytime your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/l) or any time you are sick. This includes any minor illness such as a cold. 4 – Can you get ketones with a high blood sugar? Ketones typically accompany high blood sugar. They indicate that your body needs more insulin. Most often if your body needs more insulin, it means you probably have a high blood sugar. Also, when an illness is present, your body releases hormones in response to the stress. These hormones Continue reading >>

Why Do I Need To Test For Ketones?

Why Do I Need To Test For Ketones?

Ketones, Urine GENERAL INFORMATION: What are ketones? Ketones (KEY-tones) are formed when your body uses fat for energy. Glucose, the simplest form of sugar, is what your body is supposed to use for energy. Sometimes sugar cannot be used for energy and it stays in your blood. When sugar builds up in your blood, your body uses fat for energy. If you have diabetes, you may have seen the "check ketones" message on your glucose meter. This means your blood sugar is higher than it should be. Using fat for energy causes your body to make more sugar and ketones than the blood can hold. The kidneys start cleaning the extra sugar and ketones from your blood for removal in the urine. Having ketones in your blood or urine causes fruity smelling breath. This odor is sometimes mistaken for alcohol. Ask your caregiver for more information about diabetes. Why do I need to test for ketones? If your blood sugars have been high, your caregivers may want you to test for ketones. The results of this test may help them decide if your diabetes medicines need to be changed. How do I test for urine ketones? Ketone dipsticks are used for this test. A dipstick is a thin plastic strip that has a pad at the end of the strip with chemicals to test for ketones. The chemicals on the ketone dipsticks test pad turn purple when there are ketones in your urine. You can get ketone dipsticks at most drug stores. Follow the instructions that come with the ketone dipstick kit exactly. When choosing a Ketone test kit follow these guidelines: Read the label to be sure the test kit you are getting is FDA approved. Make sure the date on the test kit has not expired (passed). Be sure you store the test kit at the correct temperature and light conditions. Other tips that may help you with the test: The urine speci Continue reading >>

What To Do If You Have Ketones

What To Do If You Have Ketones

I woke up pretty late today, around 11am. I really didn’t feel like getting up at all because I was still really tired. I was woken up by a ringing house phone that I ignored, then a cell phone with my husband on the other end. Then my mom coming downstairs to get the laundry and reminding me that we were going out today. (I live in my parents basement apartment.) “Ok, Ok… I am getting up” I tell her. I took in a big yawn and stretch of the arms. Then I actually got up out of my bed. I felt weird but I just thought it was because I got out of the bed too quickly. I tried to lick my lips together, but I had no saliva in my mouth - it was like the Mojave desert in there. I went to the bathroom to wash up because now my mom was getting antsy and rushing me. Don’t you just love getting up like that? Anyway, I started to feel a bit nauseated after about 20 minutes. I know these symptoms all too well. Dry mouth, Nausea = High blood sugar or Ketones. So, I checked my blood sugar. 3 2 1 334. Oh boy. Ok, umm… how did this happen? I didn’t really eat anything high carb last night? I went to bed with a pretty decent number and I just changed my infusion set. I don’t feel sick. My pump site isn’t hurting. It really boggled my mind. I felt my heart race a bit and started feeling panicky, and my breathing was getting heavier. Can you say panic attack? I always get a little paranoid though, it’s just my thing. Anyway, I told myself “Ok, Gina just calm down, you know what to do.” So I did my thing. I went back into the bathroom and grabbed my Ketostix to check my urine for Ketones. This is something I do when I have an unexpected high blood sugar with nausea. My urine test came out with Large, the highest level. Ugh. Ketones on the back of the bottle start out w 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 >>

Ketones: Clearing Up The Confusion

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 >>

Ketones — Urine

Ketones — Urine

Definition A ketone urine test measures the amount of ketones in the urine. Alternative Names Ketone bodies - urine; Urine ketones; Ketoacidosis - urine ketones test; Diabetic ketoacidosis - urine ketones test How the Test is Performed 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. How to Prepare for the Test You may have to follow a special diet. Your provider may tell you to temporarily stop taking certain medicines that may affect the test. How the Test will Feel The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort. Why the Test is Performed Ketone testing is most often done if you have type 1 diabetes and: Your blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL Nausea or vomiting occur Pain in the abdomen Ketone testing may also be done: You have an illness such as pneumonia, heart attack, or stroke Nausea or vomiting that does not go away You are pregnant Normal Results A negative test result is normal. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test re Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

The Facts Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a condition that may occur in people who have diabetes, most often in those who have type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. It involves the buildup of toxic substances called ketones that make the blood too acidic. High ketone levels can be readily managed, but if they aren't detected and treated in time, a person can eventually slip into a fatal coma. 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. Although much less common, DKA can occasionally occur in people with type 2 diabetes under extreme physiologic stress. Causes 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 Continue reading >>

Urine Ketones

Urine Ketones

Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for fuel. Normally these ketones will be completely broken down (metabolised) so that there are very few ketones in the urine. If for any reason the body cannot get enough glucose for energy it will switch to using body fats, causing an increase in ketones in the body. This results in more ketones present in the urine. What are ketones? Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy. Normally, your body gets the energy it needs from carbohydrate in your diet. But stored fat is broken down and ketones are made if your diet does not contain enough carbohydrate to supply the body with sugar (glucose) for energy or if your body can't use blood sugar (glucose) properly. Ketones are usually formed in the liver and are broken down so that very small amounts of ketones appear in the urine. However, when carbohydrates are unavailable (for example, in starvation) or can't to be used as an energy source (for example, in diabetes), fat becomes the main source of energy and large amounts of ketones are made. Therefore, higher levels of ketones in the urine indicate that the body is using fat as the major source of energy. High levels of ketones in your body can cause tummy (abdominal) pain, feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and diarrhoea. The ketones that most often appear in the urine when fats are burned for energy are called acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. What are the causes of ketones in the urine? The causes of high levels of ketones and therefore ketones in your urine include: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Starvation: not eating for prolonged periods (for example, 12 to 18 hours). Ketogenic diet (high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet). This can cause an increase in body ketones but much less than DKA and not Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?

What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?

What Are Ketones and Are They Healthy? If you are up on your health news or follow anyone in the health field, you have likely heard the term ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to adapt the body to utilize fat as its primary fuel source instead of sugar. The body does this by first converting fat into what are called ketones that the cells can then burn as fuel. It is at this point that I typically get asked, what are ketones? In this article, I am going to clear up any gaps, explain exactly how ketogenisis works, and why it can be so beneficial for the human body. Biological Role of Ketones For our ancestors, eating three meals a day just wasn’t a thing. Instead they would hunt and forage for the foods they could find. When there wasn’t food, they wouldn’t eat. What this means is that sometimes they would go for days at a time with no food. To sustain life during times of scarcity, the body is thought to have developed the ability to utilize fat as an alternative fuel source. In a traditional nutrition course, you would learn that sugar is the body’s primary fuel source while fat is a secondary fuel source. When sugar stores are burned up, the cells then convert to burning fat as an energy source. What we are finding out now is that fat can actually be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy. Our Society Is Full of Sugar Burners Modern day, we have an abundance of food that is available to us at all times. Most of us regularly eat three meals a day with intermittent snacking in between. This kind of frequent eating, along with an overemphasis on carb-rich and sugary foods, causes a reduced ability to burn fat. As these foods damage our bodies on a metabolic level, we actually lose the ability to produce ketones. This type of reliance on 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 >>

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 >>

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