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When Should I Test For Ketones?

How To Test Your Urine For Ketones

How To Test Your Urine For Ketones

Are you on a diet where part of the goal is to be "in ketosis"? Some diets, such as the Atkins Diet, recommend testing to find out whether your body is generating ketones. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is to test your urine using Ketostix or a similar testing strip. Although it is not the most accurate method, it can be helpful for home testing, especially when you're new to a ketogenic diet. Testing can be a useful way to tell if you are eating something that is higher in carbohydrate than you realized. Since different people will be in nutritional ketosis with different amounts of carbohydrate (and sometimes protein), it can provide information to help you individualize your diet. It also provides motivation to stay in ketosis. Two Notes About Testing for Ketones Diabetics testing ketone levels to check for ketoacidosis will interpret the reading much differently than someone on a ketogenic diet who desires higher levels of ketones. A reduced-carb diet does not have to be ketogenic to be helpful. Many studies of non-ketogenic low-carb diets have been found to have many benefits. How to Use Ketone Testing Strips In order to test your urine, you will need ketone urine testing strips. There are many brands available, such as Ketostix and Chemstrip. The name "Ketostix" is often used to refer to any ketone testing strip, no matter the manufacturer. When you're ready to test, follow these steps: You can either pass the test end of the strip through your urine as you urinate (be sure to wet it entirely), or collect urine in a clean, dry container and dip the test strip in. Shake off excess drops of urine. Wait for 15 seconds or whatever time is stated on the brand of test strips you are using. Compare the color on your strip to the color array on the side of 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 >>

A Detailed Guide On How To Test Your Ketone Levels

A Detailed Guide On How To Test Your Ketone Levels

I have to be honest with you. I’ve been making some critical mistakes. I was assuming that I was in ketosis for months but I’m now finding out that isn’t the case. Not even close. I’ve finally hunkered down and have been measuring my ketones the right way and the results have been pretty surprising. I was eating too much protein, and too little fat. I was eating too frequently. I was eating too few calories. I never would have known this without testing. Time for you to learn from the mistakes I made and test the right way. Ketosis can be a powerful nutrition approach to use switch your metabolism to prioritize for fat loss, mental output, physical performance, and much more. The main problem? Many people just assume that if they are “low carb” they are in ketosis, but think again. How do you know if you’re actually in ketosis? As I love to say, “test, don’t guess” when it comes to your health. (Still trying to get “track, don’t slack” to catch on…) I’ll outline in this article the three ways to test your ketone levels and which you should be doing when. HOW TO TEST YOUR KETONE LEVELS: THREE DIFFERENT WAYS There are three testing methods because there are three forms of ketones in your body: acetate, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutryate. Each of these ketone bodies do slightly different things and are in different forms, so they can be tested individually with different methods. The three different area these ketones exist in your body are 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 need to go to a lab or use any fancy high-tech gadgetry. Tracking consistently, at least when you’re getting used to a ketogenic diet, is important so you know how mu Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Ketones: Introduction To Testing Ketones

Ketones: Introduction To Testing Ketones

We’ve all had the question, or been asked the question: how do I know when I’m in ketosis? Should I feel different? Should I have increased mental clarity and focus? While one could give a case-by-case, yes-or-no type response for these questions, the best way is to simply test it out. The problem is that most of us don’t have access to a lab 24/7. Due to this issue, we have three possible ways to test ourselves for ketones from home, namely, urine strips, blood meters, or breath meters. Urine Test Strips There are numerous brands of urine strips to choose from if you decide to go this route and they can be easily obtained at your local drug store or online for a relatively inexpensive price. They can cost anywhere from $9-$20 for about 100 test strips. While this would seem to be the easiest way, it may not be the best way. Urine strips are coated with a chemical that reacts to the presence of acetoacetate (one type of ketone body). However, urine by definition is a waste product. So, while having ketones present in the urine may be a great indication that you are producing them, it could also mean that you are not utilizing them effectively. Also, we tend to see that individuals who have been on the diet for a long period of time and/or individuals that are leaner tend to show lighter or smaller traces of “ketones” on the strips compared to people starting the diet or who are significantly overweight. For this reason, this testing method may be great to let yourself know that you are on the right track with your ketogenic diet but it may not be the best way to know one you are keto-adapted. Blood Meters For a more reliable method of measuring ketones, a blood meter may be the way to go. Diabetics are familiar with the concept, as most glucose meters can also 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 >>

Ketone Testing

Ketone Testing

What are ketones? Ketones are chemicals that appear in the blood and urine when body fat is used for energy. Ketones are a sign that the cells are not getting sugar for energy, so the body starts breaking down fat. Why is this test done? When your child has type 1 diabetes, ketone testing is very important because ketones can build up in the body when your child doesn’t have enough insulin to move sugar out of the blood and into the cells. The buildup can cause an emergency condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a serious, life-threatening problem that must be treated right away. When should I test for ketones? Your healthcare provider will tell you when you should check for ketones. For example, your provider may recommend that you check for ketones if: Your child has high blood sugar. Your child feels sick or nauseated (especially if he or she vomits even once). If a child is sick, ketones can be present even when blood sugar is not high. Make sure you have a ketone test kit available to use at all times in case your child gets sick or has had recent changes in medicines. How is the test done? You can do the tests at home with kits bought at the drugstore. You can test the urine or blood for ketones. The blood ketone measurement tells you what the ketone level is at the moment you do the test. The urine ketones test may show what the ketone levels were a few hours earlier. Record test results in a notebook. Urine Tests You can use urine test strips to check for ketones in urine. Ask your pharmacist about the types of urine ketone strips that are available. Carefully follow the package directions for testing. Urine ketone tests must be timed exactly using a watch or clock with a secondhand. After you dip the strip in the urine sample, compare the color of the Continue reading >>

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

Patients With Type 1 Diabetes May Need To Check Ketones More Often

(Reuters Health) - Many people with type 1 diabetes don’t check frequently enough for buildup of ketones, acids that can cause serious damage to the kidneys and other organs, according to a U.S. study. Ketone monitoring is particularly important when patients with type 1 diabetes are sick or have consistently high glucose levels, the authors write in Diabetes Care. “Ketones occur when the body burns fat instead of using carbohydrates for fuel,” lead author Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill told Reuters Health by email. “If high glucose levels and ketones remain untreated, there is an increased risk for a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which requires hospitalization,” said Albanese-O’Neill, a pediatrics researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dangerously high ketone levels can happen to anyone with diabetes, though the problem is rare in people with type 2, according to the American Diabetes Association. People with type 1 diabetes have lost the ability to produce any insulin, so ketones can occur when insulin doses are missed, or when the body’s insulin requirements rise due to stress or illness, she said. “Monitoring for ketones as recommended allows for early detection and treatment. Ketone testing supplies are available over the counter without a prescription at a local pharmacy and online,” Albanese-O’Neill said. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in young kids, and for that reason it used to be called juvenile diabetes. But the disease does not go away, and it can also be first diagnosed in adulthood. While children usually have caregivers to help them manage the disease, adults typically need to manag 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 >>

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 >>

Testing For Ketones & Type 1 Diabetes

Testing For Ketones & Type 1 Diabetes

Key points Home urine ketone testing lets people with Type 1 diabetes know if they are in danger of going into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) (High Blood Glucose). Home urine glucose testing is now only recommended for those people who can’t test their own blood glucose levels. It is a very inaccurate way of testing. Testing for ketones in your urine is an essential and very useful tool when you have Type 1 diabetes. It can save you a trip to hospital. It can also save your life. Having high levels of ketones in your body is a life threatening condition. Having ketone testing sticks and knowing how to use them enables you to pick up when your ketone levels are increasing. Once you know this is happening then you are able to manage it. See our high blood glucose Type 1 section for more on ketones and management. What ketone sticks should I use? For most purposes, the individually foil wrapped ketone sticks that you can buy from many chemists are the best. Because they are foil wrapped they are less likely to go off. Also it is easy to carry two or three strips in your blood glucose meter case. This way if you are out you will have them with you if you need them. Remember to also carry the colour guide chart with them so if you do need to test you are able to read the result! Remember to also check the expiry date on your sticks every now and again. This avoids having expired sticks at the time you most need to know what your ketone levels are. When should I test for ketones? You should test for ketones in your urine when: Your blood glucose is going up (at any level) and you are feeling unwell Your blood glucose is greater than 17mmol/L and it is not coming down (even if you feel well) You are unable to test your blood glucose but you feel unwell You develop abdominal pai Continue reading >>

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