What Are Ketones?
Ketones are waste products which are produced when the human body burns stored fat for energy. If your body has trouble obtaining glucose, it looks towards fat deposits to create energy. People with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus can experience problems with ketones for five reasons:
- High glucose means your blood insulin level is low and you have excess glucose. Thus, your body will burn fat.
- As people exercise, they need to burn energy. Lack of insulin or glucose means fat will be burned.
- Stress can create problems in many facets of our lives. Physical, emotional, and various kinds of stress requires energy to handle the situations. Not enough glucose from this will result in fat being burned.
- When we become ill, our bodies require increasing amounts of energy to fight the illness. Once again, lack of glucose means fat will be burned.
- When a woman becomes pregnant, her body needs energy to provide for two. If the diet is not appropriate, the body will turn to fat for energy.
What is Ketoacidosis?
This is a condition where you become dehydrated and your ketones become elevated. High ketone levels make your blood become acidic, which can cause various chemical imbalances within the body.
The end result can manifest in ketones being released into your urine.
As your blodd glucose rises, it makes the urine thick. Your body must pull fluids from other portions of your body to thin this urine out, thus you can become dehydrated.
What are the signs of Ketoacidosis?
- Fruity Breath
- Loss of Appetite
- Stomach Pain
- Dry, Flushed Skin
- Frequent Urination
- Labored Breathing
How to test for ketones.
Urine tests for ketons come in three forms:
- Test Strips
Most local pharmacies can also provide a ketone test kit. Once you take the test, if the results show small or trace amounts of ketones, you should follow this process:
- Drink one glass of water every hour.
- Every 3-4 hours check your blood glucose and ketone levels.
- Call your physician if they do not show any improvement.
How often should you check blood glucose and urine ketones?
If you’ve become sick and have Type 1 Diabetes, your blood glucose and urine ketones will need to be checked often. Typically, a routine of 3-4 hours is recommended. Should you have Type 2 Diabetes, this number should be 4-5 times per day.
Call your physician if you’re diabetic and have one or more of the following:
- Been sick for 2 days and not getting better
- Vomiting or had diarrhea for more than six hours
- Blood glucose level above 250
- Blood glucose levels consistently below 60
- Moderate to large amount of ketones in your urine
- Chest pain, trouble breathing, fruity breath, dry or cracked lips and tongue