Ketones are a type of chemical produced in the body. They are formed when the body breaks down fatty acids for energy, typically when the body does not have enough insulin to use glucose for energy. In people with type 1 diabetes, when ketones are present in the blood, it means their blood sugar is too high, and this can cause serious health problems. Therefore, it is important for people with type 1 diabetes to learn how to get ketones down in their bodies.
Understand the Cause of High Ketones
High ketones in people with type 1 diabetes usually occur when their insulin levels are too low. This can happen due to a number of reasons, such as not taking enough insulin, taking too much insulin, or eating too much food. It is important to identify the cause of high ketones so that the person with diabetes can make changes to their lifestyle or insulin regimen to prevent high ketones.
Check Blood Sugar Levels Regularly
The best way to get ketones down is to check blood sugar levels regularly. People with type 1 diabetes should measure their blood sugar levels at least four times a day, including before meals and bedtime. If blood sugar levels are too high, this can signal that ketones are present in the body and that it is time to take action.
Adjust Insulin Doses
If blood sugar levels are too high, it is important to adjust insulin doses. People with type 1 diabetes should talk to their healthcare provider about how to adjust insulin doses, as the amount of insulin needed varies from person to person. Depending on the person’s blood sugar levels and insulin needs, the healthcare provider may suggest increasing or decreasing the insulin dose.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is important for people with type 1 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet with the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can help keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent high ketones. Additionally, it is important to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure the body has enough energy and to prevent high ketones.
Exercising regularly can help keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent high ketones. Exercise helps the body use insulin more effectively, which can help lower blood sugar levels. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about the right type and amount of exercise for someone with type 1 diabetes, as different types of exercise can have different effects on blood sugar levels.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is important for people with type 1 diabetes, as it can help flush out ketones from the body. Water is the best choice, as it is free of calories and other additives, but other drinks such as unsweetened tea or coffee, and low-fat milk can also be consumed. People with type 1 diabetes should avoid sugary drinks and drinks that contain alcohol as these can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Check Ketones Regularly
Ketones can be checked at home with a urine or blood test. Urine tests are the most common and can be done at home with a ketone testing strip. Blood tests, however, are more accurate and should be done if ketones are present in the urine. Knowing the ketone level can help people with type 1 diabetes take the necessary steps to reduce the ketones in their body.
Seek Medical Care
If the steps above do not help lower ketones, it is important to seek medical care. High ketones can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, so it is important to seek medical help if ketones are too high. The healthcare team can provide the necessary care and guidance to help lower ketones and prevent serious health complications.
High ketones in people with type 1 diabetes can be dangerous. It is important to learn how to get ketones down in the body and to take the necessary steps to lower ketones. Checking blood sugar levels regularly, adjusting insulin doses, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of fluids, and checking ketones regularly can help keep ketones in check and prevent serious health problems.