If your cells don’t get enough glucose, your body burns fat for energy instead. This produces a substance called ketones, which can show up in your blood and urine. High ketone levels in urine may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to a coma or even death.
What do you do if you test positive for ketones?
Talk to your doctor immediately if your urine results show moderate or large amounts of ketones. This is a sign that your diabetes is out of control, or that you are getting sick. If you are unable to reach your diabetes care team, head for the emergency room or an urgent care facility.
What ketone level is too high?
What do my results mean?
|normal/negative||less than 0.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)|
|low to moderate||0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L|
|high||1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L|
|very high||greater than 3.0 mmol/L|
How do you treat ketones?
You can also try these steps to bring down your ketone levels:
- Drink extra water to flush them out of your body.
- Test your blood sugar every 3 to 4 hours.
- Don’t exercise if you have high blood sugar and high ketones.
What happens when ketones are high?
When ketones build up in the blood, they make it more acidic. They are a warning sign that your diabetes is out of control or that you are getting sick. High levels of ketones can poison the body. When levels get too high, you can develop DKA.
Does drinking water reduce ketones?
Ketones are acidic and some of these ketone bodies are flushed out instead of used for fuel to ensure they don’t accumulate in the body. Drinking more water supports the kidneys’ role of filtering out any unnecessary toxins that may be lingering.
What is a good ketone level?
Optimal blood ketone ranges for nutritional ketosis are 0.5–3.0 mg/dL. Nutritional ketosis is safe for most people and shouldn’t be confused with ketoacidosis, a severe complication of diabetes.
What is a high level of ketones in urine?
It’s also recommended to consult your doctor. Moderate abnormalities are when ketone levels range from 30 too 40mg/dL. Large abnormalities are when ketone levels are over 80mg/dL. If you express either moderate or large ketone abnormalities, contact a doctor immediately.
Should I drink ketones?
Manufacturers of ketone supplements recommend taking up to three servings per day. But while ketone supplements can still help you maintain ketosis even after a meal, the rise in levels of blood ketones is much less than if you were in a fast or didn’t consume a carb-containing meal ( 15 ).
When should you go to the hospital for ketones?
High levels of ketones cause the blood to become more acidic, a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Ketoacidosis can make you very sick if you don’t get help. Go to the ER or call 911 right away if you have symptoms of ketoacidosis like: nausea and vomiting.
What color on ketone strip is best?
Different brands of strips may differ in their exact color-coding, but generally a dark purple color is used to indicate the highest level of ketones. Test strips also have a color corresponding to a “negative” test—these results mean no ketones were detected. It’s important to follow the 15-second rule.
What are the symptoms of ketones?
Symptoms of ketone build up include:
- Regular urination.
- Heavy breathing.
- Dilated pupils.
- Mental confusion (rare)
- Breath may also smell of fruit.
What to do if your ketones are too high?
Too many ketones can trigger DKA, which is a medical emergency. Regular tests you take at home can spot when your ketone levels run too high. Then you can take insulin to lower your blood sugar level or get other treatments to prevent complications.
How long can you live with ketoacidosis?
Within 24-48 hours they’ll be in DKA. Beyond that, mortal outcomes would likely occur within days to perhaps a week or two.
What organs are affected by ketoacidosis?
DKA can cause complications such as:
- Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia)
- Swelling inside the brain (cerebral edema)
- Fluid inside your lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Damage to your kidney or other organs from your fluid loss.
Can you smell ketones in urine?
People with diabetes may have a very high level of ketones in their bloodstream. When the body excretes these in urine, they can make the urine smell like popcorn. A high level of ketones in the urine or blood is called ketosis.