How often do you test for ketones?

Every time you have a 250+ reading? When you think your insulin isn’t working? When you’re sick? What events make you test and how do you go about it? I’ve realized lately that I rarely do this and I wondered if other people only test for ketones under certain circumstances.

You know what? I never test my keytones. I know that I should but I don’t. I know that there are others that do but I am curious to know the percentage of people who do.

Me neither. Never :frowning: Not that I advocate this…

Never. I’m not sure what the protocol is if ketones come up positive. I know that when you are high in sugar you are supposed to rest and hydrate, so is it any different if you have ketones? Is there a magic ketone-flush potion?

I will put this on my list of things to ask my doctor.

If you have high ketones it is a sign of DKA and could kill you. I test for ketones anytime my sugar is over 250 and I can’t get it to drop with the first correction. Also if I correct with pump and it won’t go down I do not correct a second time with pump, I manually inject.

My feeling is that if I test positive for ketones, then I should go to the hospital (unless it was only trace amounts??)…

I think that if my blood sugar was above 300 and showed no sign of going down for a day, I would go to the hospital anyway.

But I also heard that you can test positive when ketones when your blood sugar is not high… anyone know about that?

When I was taking injections it was not necessary to check for ketones because there is always basal insulin present. With the pump when I have an unexplained high BG, then I test. If there are no ketones then I probably miscalculated my carbs and my BG will come down easily with a correction bolus. If there are moderate to large amount of ketones, then there is a lack of insulin and I better find out the cause and fix it. As long as I am able to drink nonsweetened fluids, and take insulin be that by pump or injection, then I am okay. Once vomiting starts, the hospital is the only choice.

I went to my endocrinologist right after a 25 mile bike ride. He smelled the ketones on my breath and wasn’t surprised to find ketones in my urine. He was surprised that my BG was 103. When I told him about the bike ride, he said that was it. If for some reason, I am not getting insulin (air in my pump tubing, or kinked canula) then I start spilling ketones even before 200 sometimes. Just seem to be good at making ketones I guess.

Once in a blue moon. It is a catch 22 situation or a really good way for someone to make money. I am old school and test for urine ketones. The last time I thought I might be spilling ketones I bought a vial of strips and used one. The vial expired before I need to test again. I had spent about $25 for one strip. My insurance co-payment is less than that, so for me it is not worth it.

The last time I tested for ketones was in the early 90s. My mom used to make me test for them whenever I was above 290ish, I think. Since elementary school though? Not at all.

Since joining TuD, I have learned that they now make foil-wrapped ketone strips that you can use on an as-needed basis so that the whole bottle doesn’t go bad in between ketone tests! I have been telling myself for a month now that I need to ask my pharmacist about these. I just keep putting it off. I feel like I’ve been really bad for not testing.

But, as Kristin said, and as I’ve actually done in the past, I call my doctor any time I can’t bring down a blood sugar with conventional means and a realistic timeframe. If I’m still high after a correction and enough time has past that I shouldn’t be high, I immediately change my infusion set, take an injection, go back over what I’ve eaten, make sure my hands were cleaned, drink some water, etc. I feel like if my sugar is back under control in a few hours and I don’t have any other problems, I managed to flush the ketones. I’ve certainly taken the risks for granted.

I vow to improve…soon?

I only tested for Ketones when I was prego. I haven’t checked for them since then

The Precision Xtra has strips to test blood for ketones, but they are expensive for a vial of 10 and at least my insurance won’t cover them.


Just like with a high bgs, you would still have to wait for everything to return to normal with drinking water and bolusing insulin. Just knowing my bgs is high plays heavy on me, I don’t want to know about ketones too.

I don’t need the added stress of knowing that things are not right. It would set me over the edge. :wink:

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I test for ketones when I am over 250 twice in a row. I replied before reading the rest of the replies… now I feel a bit odd. :slight_smile:

Still, I think it’s a good idea.

I check if my BG has been high and isn’t coming down so quickly, if I’m sick, if I realize my pump has become disconnected without realizing it right away. Those things aren’t frequent occurrences, but I always keep a bottle of strips around. I think part of it is also kind of a neurotic security comfort thing since that’s what I used for the first few years after diagnosis. Yes, I’m weird.

I once found these foiled wrapped ketone strips and loved that I did not have to waste a ton of strips that expire… recently, I could not find them ANYWHERE.

Like Deidre, I don’t want to spend $25 on 1 ketone strip. So I stopped buying them, which means stopping testing as well.

If I could find the foil wrapped ones, I would start testing again. Is anyone able to buy foil wrapped once. (I literally went to almost every pharmacy in the greater Detroit area. No luck.)

You shouldn’t feel ODD for doing what we are all supposed to do! Sounds like standard protocol to me!

Sarah the pharmacy code number for foil-wrapped ketone strips is NDC 0193-2640-20. That way you do not have to waste strips after opening them they will be good till exp date.

Okay for all you testers of ketones…What do you do with this info if your ketones are out of whack?

Keep your blood sugar under control (or under the best control you can achieve) and you won’t start burning your stored fat or breaking down muscle. Worry about your blood sugar and ketones won’t be produced. You won’t ever need to check for the presence of ketones if you closely monitor your blood glucose and keep it down with insulin.