Ketones: Blood or Urine Tests and Treatments

What causes high ketone levels ? The homo body chiefly runs on glucose. When your body is depleted on glucose, or if you have diabetes and don ’ t have enough insulin to help your cells absorb the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones ( chemically known as ketone bodies ) are byproducts of the breakdown of fatty acids. The breakdown of adipose tissue for fuel and the initiation of ketones is a normal work for everyone. In a person without diabetes, insulin, glucagon, and other hormones prevent ketone levels in the blood from getting excessively high. however, people with diabetes are at risk for ketone buildup in their blood.

If left untreated, people with type 1 diabetes are at hazard for developing a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis ( DKA ). While rare, it ’ s possible for people with character 2 diabetes to experience DKA in certain circumstances arsenic well. Ketosis: Symptoms, signs, and more »

How are ketones tested?

Testing your lineage or urine to measure your ketone levels can all be done at dwelling. At-home testing kits are available for both types of tests, although urine testing continues to be more common. urine tests are available without a prescription at most drugstores, or you can buy them online. You should test your urine or blood for ketones when any of the keep up occurs :

  • Your blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL.
  • You have symptoms of DKA.
  • You feel sick or nauseated, regardless of your blood sugar reading.

To perform a urine test, you urinate into a clean container and dip the test plunder into the urine. For a child who isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate potty-trained, a parent can normally press the lodge to their child ’ sulfur wet diaper to test for ketones. Urine testing strips contain special chemicals that change colors when they react with ketones. You can interpret the test results by comparing the test strip to the color graph on the package. When you have ketones present in your urine, it ’ s called ketonuria. An at-home meter is available to test for blood ketones. This is performed in a exchangeable way to a finger-stick glucose test. You prick your finger with a needle and space a small drop of blood onto the testing area. Doctors frequently recommend that people who ’ ve fair received a diabetes diagnosis test their ketones twice day by day.

What do my results mean?

While individual test may vary, in general, results for ketone examination are labeled in the come way :normal/negativeless than 0.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)low to moderate0.6 to 1.5 mmol/Lhigh1.6 to 3.0 mmol/Lvery highgreater than 3.0 mmol/L

Call your doctor if your ketones are low to moderate, and seek emergency medical attention if your ketone levels are high to very high .

What happens if your ketone levels get too high?

Ketones can make your blood acidic. acidic blood can cause DKA. The most serious effects of DKA include :

  • swelling in your brain
  • a loss of consciousness
  • diabetic coma
  • death

This is why it ’ second authoritative to have a design of action in the event that your ketone levels become besides high. Alcoholic ketoacidosis »

Treatment for high ketone levels

Treating high ketone levels can immediately help you avoid hospitalization insurance for DKA. bring with your doctor to decide what you need to do to help manage moderate ketone levels. If you ’ re ineffective to treat at home or if your levels continue to rise, you ’ ll motivation to receive medical treatment. Treatments can include :

Intravenous (IV) fluid replacement

One DKA symptom is increased micturition, which can result in fluid loss. Rehydrating with IV fluids can help to dilute the excess glucose in your lineage .

Electrolyte replacement

When a person has DKA, their electrolyte levels tend to be moo. Examples of electrolytes include potassium, sodium, and chloride. If a person loses besides much of these electrolytes, their heart and muscles can ’ metric ton officiate as well .


In an emergency situation, people are normally given insulin through an IV to improve their ability to use excess glucose in the blood for department of energy. This typically involves testing glucose levels on an hourly basis. When your ketones and blood acid level begin to return to normal, IV insulin may no long be necessity, and you would resume your normal insulin therapy regimen. DKA can besides be caused by an implicit in illness, such as an infection or a severe stomach wiretap that causes vomiting. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe treatments for the underlying illness deoxyadenosine monophosphate well.

Are there ways to prevent high ketone levels?

careful management of diabetes is the key to preventing high ketone levels. Do the stick to to keep your rake sugar levels healthy and ketone output to a minimum :

Check blood sugar levels regularly

Your repair will recommend how frequently you should check your blood carbohydrate levels, but this is typically four to six times per day. You should check your blood sugar more much in the come cases :

  • Your blood sugar levels are getting higher.
  • You’re having symptoms of high or low blood sugar.
  • You’re sick.

Follow a healthy diet plan

Managing your carbohydrate inhalation and insulin dose is full of life for managing diabetes. Be sure to talk to your register dietician if you need help managing your diet .

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Category : Healthy