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When Should I Test For Ketones?

Ketones In Urine – How To Test And What Levels Are Optimal

Ketones In Urine – How To Test And What Levels Are Optimal

There are likely two reasons you want to test the ketone levels in your urine: REASON 1 – you’ve got type one diabetes (or type two diabetes, in some cases) and you need to test the ketones levels in your urine to help you avoid ketoacidosis. If that’s the case, skip down to the sections on… Then, skip straight to the section on… REASON 2 – you’re on the Keto diet and you want to use urine strips to check if you’re in ketosis. If that’s the case, then don’t worry we’ll also cover: But skip the section on ketoacidosis – it doesn’t apply to you unless you’re diabetic! Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors, dietitians, or nutritionists. Testing Laboratory Microbiology - Air Quality - Mold Asbestos - Environmental - Lead emsl.com What are ketones? First things first – a quick 101 intro on what ketones actually are: Ketone bodies (or ketones) are produced by your liver during the break down of fatty acids when your body is low on glucose. Your body then uses these ketone bodies as fuel. You see, your cells can’t directly use the fatty acids in your fat stores to produce energy. And that’s because those fatty acids are unable to pass through the membrane which surrounds your cells. And if they can’t get inside? They can’t be used as fuel. So there’s an extra step to the process: First, the fatty acids travel to your liver where they’re broken down into ke 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 >>

Urine Ketones - Meanings And False Positives

Urine Ketones - Meanings And False Positives

Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Urine Ketones article more useful, or one of our other health articles. Description Ketones are produced normally by the liver as part of fatty acid metabolism. In normal states these ketones will be completely metabolised so that very few, if any at all, will appear in the urine. If for any reason the body cannot get enough glucose for energy it will switch to using body fats, resulting in an increase in ketone production making them detectable in the blood and urine. How to test for ketones The urine test for ketones is performed using test strips available on prescription. Strips dedicated to ketone testing in the UK include[1]: GlucoRx KetoRx Sticks 2GK® Ketostix® Mission® Ketone Testing should be performed according to manufacturers' instructions. The sample should be fresh and uncontaminated. Usually the result will be expressed as negative or positive (graded 1 to 4)[2]. Ketonuria is different from ketonaemia (ie presence of ketones in the blood) and often ketonuria does not indicate clinically significant ketonaemia. Depending on the testing strips used, urine testing for ketones either has an excellent sensitivity with a low specificity, or a poor sensitivity with a good specificity. However, this should be viewed in the context of uncertainty of the biochemical level of significant ketosis[3]. Interpretation of results Normally only small amounts of ketones are excreted daily in the urine (3-15 mg). High or increased values may be found in: Poorly controlled diabetes. Starvation: Prolonged vomiting. Rapid weight loss. Frequent strenuous exercise. Poisoning (eg, with isop 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 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 >>

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

How To Measure Ketones And Optimize Ketogenic Diets

The problem with diets is that we think that one diet should be good for everyone. But research and N=1 experiments show that’s not the case. Learn about measuring ketones and ketosis to understand how your low carb or high fat diet is really affecting you. If there is one area of our bodies that is debated to extremes, with literally hundreds of differing strong opinions on it, it’s nutrition. For many, beliefs about nutrition and diet are tribal. We put ourselves in different camps and we war agains the other camps. Whether it be paleo, low fat, low carb, Atkins, high fat, low protein, vegan, raw vegan and so on. It’s exactly this sort of area where I see data as essential. Without data we have no hope of cutting through the maze of opinions to get to what really works. Part of the problem with nutrition and diets is that we tend to think that one diet should be good for everyone. But increasingly, research and N=1 experiments, are showing that that isn’t the case. And this is exactly why you should pay attention to today’s show. Today, we’re looking at what has relatively recently become the fastest growing nutrition or diet trend. The high fat diet. Also known in different guises as the ketogenic diet, or the low carb diet. And specifically how this can affect our different individual biochemistries, how we can measure “Ketosis” and other biomarkers to understand how our specific biology is reacting to it… and allowing us to troubleshoot and course correct when it isn’t getting the desired results we’re looking for from it. Today’s guest is Jimmy Moore. In 2004, Jimmy, at 32 years, weighed 410 pounds. Since then he has transformed his own biology, shedding all that additional weight with low carb and ketogenic diets. He has also interviewed n 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 >>

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Measuring Ketosis: What Are Keto Sticks And Keto Strips?

Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver breaks down fat to produce ketones. Ketones, on a ketogenic diet, are the primary fuel source for the body. If you’re new to the ketogenic diet and you still have questions, consider reading our Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Keto > There are three main ways to measure the ketones in your body, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The most common ways to measure are: Blood Ketone Meter. Very accurate but the strips are extremely expensive. Breath Ketone Meters. More accurate than the urine strips, but can sometimes vary in accuracy. Cheaper than blood strips in the long-run. Urine Stricks. This will answer the question “Am I in ketosis?” but will not provide an accurate measure of blood ketones. Scroll down to read a more in-depth analysis of each, and what we recommend for you. Measuring Ketones with Urine Sticks Urine sticks will always be the cheapest and easiest way to measure ketosis. For beginners, this should cover everything you need – there is no point in getting more complex blood strips so early on when you are still trying to understand the nuances of a ketogenic diet. Ultimately, keto sticks are very easy to use – you hold the sticks in your urine stream for a few seconds, and within 10-15 seconds you should notice a color change in the strip (if you are in ketosis). The color of the stick typically is measured in red: light pink being low in ketone production and dark purple being high in ketone production. While keto sticks can be ideal for a general answer to the question “Am I in ketosis?”, they aren’t precise with their accuracy. They measure the acetoacetate in your urine, which is an unused ketone by the body. As you get deeper into ketosis and your body adapts, your b 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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