One of the most common complications for the diabetes patients is a very high ketone level in their bloodstream. If not treated on time, this may lead to a rather critical condition known as ketoacidosis. The build-up ketone within the human body is the result of insufficient insulin level to create energy for the body. It has been observed that people suffering from type 1 or advanced stages of type 2 diabetes have a high ketone level.
Type 1 diabetic patients are at a greater risk, as far as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA is concerned. Out of all type 1 patients, those on SGLT-2 inhibitor drug class are more likely to suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis. However, the probability of this complication can be controlled to a great extent by keeping a tab on the body’s ketone level. In this article, you will find out everything you always wanted to know about diabetic test strips and ketones.
What is ketone?
Ketones are a specific class of organic compounds produced by the human body while burning fat for energy synthesis. In general, a range of nutrients including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are used for this purpose. However, in the absence of insulin in the body, the stored fat is used. This fat is broken down into ketones as an alternative fuel. This process is known as ketosis, and is a popular alternative for quick weight loss. Acetoacetate (AcAc), 3-β-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), and acetones are three types of ketones found in the body.
Ketones and diabetes
Under normal condition, an enzyme called amylase breaks down the carbohydrates into different nutrients including glucose. The sugar is then transported to the cells as energy source by insulin. Diabetic patients are not able to produce adequate amount of insulin for transportation of the blood sugar. Also, their body may sometimes fail to accept it properly. As a result, the body stops using the blood sugar for energy and starts breaking down fats.
Diabetes sufferers are extremely susceptible to quick ketone build-up within the body, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis. When this happens, the blood of the patient becomes acidic. In some instances, DKA may even lead to an emergency condition known as diabetic coma. Individuals with type 1 diabetes are considered to be at the highest risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis.
Regular measurement of ketone levels is an extremely important part of diabetes management and prevention of diabetic ketoacidosis.
How to Measure Ketones?
Out of many different measurement alternatives, blood glucose meters are considered to be most accurate. However, ketone urinalysis strips are also popular these days because these strips are inexpensive, reasonably accurate, and doesn’t require any prescription. These color-coded strips change their color to indicate the ketone level in the urine.
When to Test Ketone?
Blood sugar or glucose in excess of 300 mg/dl
Frequent thirst and dry mouth
Abdominal pain, nausea, tiredness. and vomiting tendency
Breath with a fruity smell
All insulin dependent individuals and type 1 diabetes patients
If you find high levels of ketones in your urine you may need to adjust the management of your diabetes. Please contact your Healthcare Professional as soon as possible.