This Is Why You Need to Do Ketone Testing, If You Have Diabetes

This Is Why You Need to Do Ketone Testing, If You Have Diabetes

By NaDica | Articles

Apr 16

Do you have diabetes? Or does someone you care about has diabetes? Well, if the answer to these questions is yes, then you must learn about the importance of ketones. You should know that our bodies run mainly on sugar also known as glucose.

So, when the body is low on sugar, or in case you have diabetes and not sufficient amount of insulin in order to help the cells take in the sugar, your body begins to break down fats for energy.

Ketone bodies, i.e., ketones are actually byproducts due to the  breakdown of the fatty acids. As a matter of fact, the production of ketones and the breakdown of fat for fuel is an entirely normal process.

In an individual that doesn’t have diabetes, glucagon, insulin and other hormones help prevent too high levels of ketone in the blood. But, those who have diabetes have a risk for a buildup of ketones in their blood.

So if this is left untreated, individuals who have type 1 diabetes have a risk of developing a medical condition known as DKA, i.e., diabetic ketoacidosis.

Although rare, still it is possible for individuals who have type 2 diabetes to have DKA in specific circumstances.

So, now that you understand ketones and what causes its build up you need to do whatever possible to prevent it or treat it. But in order to do that you need to know the signs and how to do ketone testing.

Signs That You Need to Do Ketone Testing

In case you have diabetes diagnosis, you should be aware of the sings that having excess ketones in the body might cause.

Such signs are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Blood glucose levels higher than 240 mg/dL
  • Increased thirst
  • In case you leave this untreated, the signs might progress to:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Stomach pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea
  • A fruity breath

In case you have these signs, it is vital to consult your doctor immediately. In case, you test your ketone levels and find out that they are too high you must treat this right away.

How to find out if your ketones are too high? You need to do a test. Read on to find out more about this.

How to Test Your Ketones?

You should know that in order to you measure the ketone levels you need to test your urine or blood. This testing can be done from the comfort of your home.

At-home testing kits are actually available for these types of tests. But urine testing is more common. It is like that since urine tests are accessible without a prescription and also you can buy these tests online.

How To Do Common Tests for Ketones Yourself?

To do a urine test, you need to urinate into a container. Then you need to dip your test strip into the container with your urine. In case you need to do this test, on a kid who isn’t potty-trained, you can press the test strip to your kid’s wet diaper.

In fact, urine testing strips have specific chemicals which change colors when these strips react with ketons. Find out the results of the test by comparing your test strip to a color chart which is usually found on the package.

In case you have ketones in your urine, then you should know that this is known as ketonuria.

At-home meter is accessible to test for ketones in your blood. This is done similarly to a finger-stick sugar test. What you need to do is prick your finger with the help of a needle and put a drop of your blood onto the suitable testing area.

Often, doctors recommend that individuals who have just gotten a diagnosis of diabetes test their ketones twice on a daily basis.

When Should You Test for Ketones?

  • You feel nauseated or sick, no matter of your blood glucose reading.
  • Anytime your blood sugar is higher than 250 mg/dL for 2 tests in a row.
  • When you have signs of DKA.
  • In case you are ill. Often injuries, illness, and infection might lead to sudden high blood sugar, and this is a crucial time to check for ketones.
  • In case you’re pregnant, you need to test for ketones every morning before having your breakfast, and anytime you see that your blood sugar is higher than 250 mg/dl.

How to Treat High Ketone Levels

By treating your high levels of ketone, you can avoid hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis. Consult your doctor about what you should do to help moderate your ketone levels.

In case you can’t treat this at home or in case your ketones continue to rise, you will need to get medical treatment.

Possible treatment are:

  • Insulin
  • Intravenous fluid replacement
  • Electrolyte replacement

What If Your Ketones Are Too High?

You should know that ketones might make your blood acidic. Such blood can lead to DKA.

And the most severe effects of DKA are:

  • Diabetic coma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling of the brain
  • Death

Therefore,  it is vital to treat your ketones or prevent them from getting high in the first place.

How to Prevent High Ketone Levels?

Surely, after knowing about the importance of managing your ketone levels, you must be wondering if there are ways to prevent this. Well, the key to preventing high levels of ketone is to have careful management of your diabetes.

You should do the following in order to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and production of ketone to a minimum:

Follow a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Managing the insulin dosage and your carb intake is crucial for managing diabetes. Make sure to consult a registered dietitian in case you need help to control your diet.

Check Your Blood Glucose Levels on a Regular Basis

Your physician will tell you how frequently you will need to check the blood glucose levels. However, usually, this is from 4 to 6 times on a daily basis.

Also, you need to check your blood glucose levels more often in these cases:

  • If you are sick
  • In case you are having signs of low blood glucose or high blood glucose.
  • Your blood glucose levels are getting higher