What is ketone

What is ketone? I asked my Dr. and she said I don’t have to worry about that and changed subject and I still don’t know what is. Do only type 1 's get it? My meter sometimes says ketone after I test.

Ketones are the result of your body breaking down fat. The dangerous ketones happen when our diabetes is out of control and we run high bg levels with a shortage of effective insulin. The body is trying to supply energy by breaking down stored fat, but it still isn’t getting energy into the cells since the insulin “key” isn’t available or won’t get glucose through the cell walls. So it just keeps getting worse, and ketones are NOT a good thing to have too much of in the bloodstream.

For instance a strong industrial solvent that is used to break down paint, other coatings or solid chemicals. Really messes up many things in the body when there’s too much ketone in there. This is mainly a problem for Type 1s, Type 2s don’t have problems with it nearly as much.

Mind you small amounts of ketones (known as ketosis) in the blood just prove that you are breaking down fats when losing weight, which many Type 2s are trying hard to do whenever they can, within reasonable limits of course. Unfortunately many people including some doctors over-react when there are ANY ketones in the blood, but Diabetic Keto Acidosis (DKA) is a LOT of them there, clearly distinguishable from ketosis.

Many meters will tell you to test for ketones any time that your blood sugar is above 250 mg/dl. This is the default setting.

If you are a type two and treating with oral medication, I think that the risk of ketoacidosis (the dangerous condition caused by ketones) is very very low. This is why your doctor told you not to worry about it.

You can purchase ketone strips over the counter. All you need to do is pee on the strip. Match up the color on the bottle. If the color on your strip indicates that you are so called “spilling ketones”. If your BS is out of range and your meter is telling you that your blood sugar is high…call your Dr. your body is relying on fat in order to survive instead of using the glucose in your system for heat and energy. If you have diabetes your body is not able to process glucose compared to a non diabetic person. Elevated ketones is a sign of possible DKA as noted in prior posts. Ask your DR or CDE for a book regarding basic diabetes self management. Good Luck.

I measure my ketones while following a low carb diet to see that I am being compliant with the diet. Ketones themselves are a natural part of burning fat. I will usually read trace or marginal levels of ketones and it is perfectly normal. If you are routinely measuring a high blood sugar, then perhaps your meter is telling you to also test for ketones. As mentioned, when you have a high blood sugar and start producing ketones, that is a signal that DKA is starting, a ‘bad’ thing.

So first, you need to make sure your blood sugar is well controlled, try to be below 140 mg/dl 2 hours after your meal. Get some ketostix. If you do have a high blood sugar (300 mg/dl and up) and see ketones, then you need to take action. Most type 2’s have a very low risk of DKA as they are still producing some level of insulin.