What are Ketones?
Ketones are byproducts of fat breakdown in the body and can be found in the urine and the blood when a person has type 1 diabetes. Ketones are produced when the body does not have enough insulin to use glucose for energy. This can happen when blood glucose levels are too high. When ketones accumulate in the blood and urine, it can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis.
What are the Symptoms of Ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes and should be taken seriously. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, rapid breathing, and a fruity odor to the breath. If ketoacidosis is not treated quickly, it can lead to coma and even death.
How to Test for Ketones?
A urine test is the most common way to test for ketones. Ketone strips can be purchased at most pharmacies and can be used to measure the amount of ketones in the urine. If ketones are present in the urine, it is important to follow up with a blood test to measure the amount of ketones in the blood. If ketones are found in the blood, it is a sign of a more severe level of ketoacidosis.
What Can I Do if There are Ketones Present?
If ketones are present in the urine, it is important to take steps to reduce the levels. This can be done by increasing the amount of insulin taken and increasing fluids to help flush the ketones out of the body. If ketones are present in the blood, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Tips for Prevention of Ketones
The best way to prevent ketones is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. This can be done by regularly monitoring blood glucose levels and taking the correct amount of insulin for the meal or snack. Regular exercise can also help to keep blood glucose levels in check. Staying hydrated is also important as dehydration can lead to an increase in ketones.
When to Seek Medical Attention for Ketones
If ketones are present in the urine, it is important to monitor them and seek medical attention if the levels are increasing or if symptoms of ketoacidosis are present. If ketones are present in the blood, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Ketones can be a serious complication of type 1 diabetes if not treated quickly and properly. It is important to monitor for ketones and take steps to reduce the levels when they are present. If ketones are present in the blood, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. By following the tips listed above, you can help to reduce your risk of ketoacidosis.
American Diabetes Association. (2019). “Ketones and Ketosis: What You Need to Know.” Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/complications/ketones-and-ketosis
Mayo Clinic. (2020). “Diabetes: Symptoms and Causes.” Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444