Surgery and ketones

hey all. I had emergency gallbladder surgery about a week ago and since then, I’ve had ketones small to moderate. I’ve not had too crazy BS 120’s to mid 200’s, but constant ketones. I haven’t called my endo yet, but I’m thinking about it. Is it possible that the ketones are from the fact that I don’t break down fats like I used to? I know it’s a stretch, but… any ideas?


Is the bottle of strips fresh? I think they only last 6 months after opening the bottle.

Elizabeth, keytones are normal anytime you are burning fat. Have you changed your diet (calories, total carbs)? Are you losing any weight? Weight loss and keytones are normal, as long as you don’t have keytones as a result of not taking insulin.

Ketones are generated as a by product of fat burning. Generally, it is about burning body fat, but it can be about burning dietary fat. The gallbladder is for storage of bile. You still produce bile, but you won’t have a wicked glob of bile to deal with a big chunk of dietary fat. But that is ok. You don’t have a phase 1 insulin response either. You can still eat and digest fat, but not much at any one time. What has likely happened is that you may not have been eating consistently. If you fast, your body may well just burn fat as Joe notes and that can generate ketones. If your blood sugars have been as you suggest mid 100s and occaisonal excursions to mid 200s you are not likely generating them from DKA. Try to return to a consistent diet and I suspect the ketones will just dissappear. In general the reagents on old strips will fail to respond rather than giving a false positive reading. As such, as Marie suggests, if you do have ketone readings and your strips are old, it would be prudent to replace them. It is always good to protect yourself. I mean it is possible that you have high ketones and your meter is actually off, bad strip vial or bad coding. Stuff happens.

Well, I know that my bottle of strips are fresh as I ran out and bought a new one three days ago, was thinking the same thing… old bottle. As far as my diet, I haven’t changed much of anything… it’s been pretty lowfat for awhile. I have lost 12 pounds since the surgery… thinking maybe it’s because of surgery. I have been a slacker lately with remembering to take my lantus… but I have been getting a little better with it… My doctor told me that if I am still having ketones by the end of the week to come in and see what he thinks… let’s hope that it doesn’t keep on!

Thanks for the suggestions!

I had ketones for a week (low) for no understandable reason. I researched why and found no answers.

I had normal blood sugars and still low ketones that didn’t seem to go away.

A low carb diet or fasting can cause ketones, but I was not doing either.

Elizabeth, the fact that you are losing weight is revealing. Your body is likely metabolizing more stored fat (like was mentioned before), thus the ketones and the weight loss. This could be due to a change in your diet (eating less calories than before?) or due to your body’s normal stress response to the surgery/illness. Of course if the ketosis continues and you’re concerned, make sure to discuss the issue with your endo.

Good luck and feel better!