Ketone Urine Test

Diabetes patients are often instructed by their doctor to consistently tested for ketone levels. It is a very important urine test as it shows indications of worsening diabetes condition and possible kidney ineffectiveness which can lead to a number of complications and even kidney failure and even death if the body is not helped to recover its proper insulin metabolism.

The test can be done by taking a urine sample, but also a blood sample. There are over-the-counter tests available at general pharmacies. Blood glucose levels are good indicators to have the test done if the glucose levels are abnormal. Other indicators are frequent urination, thirst, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, fatigue, a fruity smell to your breath, muscle aches or stiffness, and confusion. Pregnant women with diabetes should regularly check their ketone levels before eating in the morning.

What Are Ketones

Ketones are chemicals produced when the body does not have enough insulin in the blood. When ketones build up in the body for a long time, the body is forced to burn fat to get the energy it would have gotten from insulin. Over time, serious illness or coma can result involving problems with the kidneys. Ketone buildup is especially dangerous to diabetes patients as complications can result in Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

If you suspect you may be at risk of having increased levels of ketones, you may want to do a urine ketone test. More general urine tests (urinalysis) can usually tell a bigger picture about urine composition.

Monitoring Ketone Levels

As mentioned earlier, there are over the counter urine tests that measure the ketone levels. There is also a newer monitoring approach using blood sugar meters that can help detect when the levels of sugar in the blood are low. Of course, when the blood sugar levels are low, that is when the body starts to use up fat for energy, producing ketones. In terms of accuracy, blood tests are more accurate than urine tests because they can measure what is directly in the blood. Of course, the urine tests are less invasive and the patient does not have to give blood to get some results. Keep in mind that if you are losing weight and dieting, your body may also produce ketones because it does not have enough blood sugar and is burning off fats.

Urine Color in Ketosis

People with increased levels of ketones in urine actually do not experience seeing any color change. The color of pee remains yellow or orange. In Diabetes patients, there may be a change of urine color due to various medications, decreased kidney function, or dietary changes necessitated by Diabetes.

Making the Right Diagnosis

Whatever your findings from the urine test may be, if you suspect being Diabetic or pre-diabetic, or not sure why you have increased ketone levels, it is a good idea to consult with a doctor so that the doctor can help you make the right diagnosis. Ketone levels are just a symptom and the doctor will help you get to the root of the problem that is causing this symptom. The doctor will take a broader view and try to asses your overall health. He or she will ask you about your personal and family medical history, your lifestyle, and possible drug or alcohol use. After that the doctor might give you a physical examination, and possibly send you for further urine, blood, or imaging tests. Only after that will the doctor have enough information to make a proper diagnosis.

Focus on Prevention Before Developing Health Problems

Ask anyone with a disorder like Diabetes and they will tell you that they wished they could have done more to prevent it from happening to them. Prevention might require effort like regular exercise, healthy diet, and an overall lifestyle that keeps you in good shape. To prevent something like Diabetes it is very important to exercise regularly and keep your weight down.

Additionally, make sure your diet is low on meat and dairy and high on fruits and vegetables. Meat and dairy tends to cause cholesterol to build up in your system and clog up your arteries. Plant based foods like fruits and vegetables have the opposite effect and help you keep your arteries unclogged. Healthy arteries mean your heart is healthier and your circulatory system can deliver more nutrients to your organs, helping them to function better.

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