Ketones + Ketoacidosis
High levels of ketones are toxic to the body.
If you’re experiencing these, you should seek out medical attention.
What Are Ketones?
Ketones are chemicals that build up when your body starts to burn fat for energy. The most common cause of ketones in diabetics is insulin deficiency. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood stream and can’t enter cells. The cells then burn fat instead of glucose. This results in ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into urine.
Why Can Ketones Be Dangerous?
Having ketones can indicate that your body needs more insulin. (Always monitor your blood sugar levels to know how much insulin you need.) If you have a build up of ketones, this can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Signs of DKA include moderate or large ketones, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fruity or acetone (think nail polish remover) breath, rapid breathing, flushed skin, and lack of energy. If left untreated, it can lead to a serious and life-threatening diabetic coma or death. High levels of ketones are toxic to the body and if you’re experiencing these, you should seek out medical attention.
Symptoms of Ketoacidosis:
Frequent Urination, Frequent Thirst, Blurry Vision
Dry Mouth, and Fatigue
Causes of Ketoacidosis:
Eating Too Much Food Relative to the Amount of
Blockage In Insulin Pump Tubing, Disconnected Insulin
Pump Infusion Set, and Illness or Stress
When Should You Check for Ketones?
You should be checked anytime your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/l) or any time you are sick. This includes any minor illness such as a cold.