Everything you need to know about: Ketones! If you are a diabetic, caregiver of a diabetic, or parent of a diabetic- you should know all about ketones. It is better to learn the information before you need it to use the information, right? I hope this helps summarize the most important things to know about ketones, please reach out to your endocrinologist or visit this site if you need more information.
What are ketones?
Ketones are a chemical produced in our bodies during the breakdown of fat. The presence of ketones in our body is harmful to us as diabetics! Our bodies get rid of ketones in our urine, however, large amounts of ketones can build up in the bloodstream and cause problems.
What can happen if we have large amounts of ketones in our blood?
If we have large amounts of ketones in our blood, we could develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis or DKA. You can test your urine at home using ketone strips if you suspect you are “spilling ketones” but you should also seek medical help. DKA is an emergency and requires professional assistance.
When should I be testing for ketones?
It is recommended to check for ketones if your blood sugar is elevated (300 <) and not coming down normally. Look for signs of DKA, such as, brain fog, feeling nauseous, feeling very tired, and other high blood sugar symptoms.
What should I do if I am spilling small or trace amounts of ketones?
First, breathe. Then try your best to get your sugars back in range (sometimes easier said than done, right?) with insulin. Also, make sure you are drinking A LOT of water to flush the ketones out! Exercise isn’t the best thing to do when your sugar is high but light movement is good and helpful for the insulin to circulate around your body. Think a light walk or dancing around your house.
What should I do if I am spilling moderate to large amounts of ketones?
Breathe again, stress only makes things worse! Contact a healthcare professional immediately and/or visit an urgent care hospital. Sometimes high blood sugars are out of our control and could be caused by an illness or an underlying infection. It is imperative to seek help at this point.
Ketones can happen to any diabetic at any time. It is important to share and refresh our minds about simple things like DKA and ketones, especially if we have had diabetes for a long time or if we are new in the diabetic world. Remember, you are greater and stronger than your highs!
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