Diabetes Check up Test: Test for Ketones


Diabetes is a condition when a body is unable to make enough insulin or use insulin ineffectively or both. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is a hormone that helps the cells to absorb glucose from the blood and make energy. Although urine tests are not used to diagnose diabetes, they may be used to measure a person’s levels of urine ketones and urine to monitor their diabetes.

About diabetes

There are two major types of diabetes including type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the body destroys the cells that release insulin, which will reduce insulin production from the body. This type is usually developed quickly in childhood. Meanwhile, the body isn’t able to use insulin properly in type 2 diabetes. This is called insulin resistance.  The cells can’t take in glucose from the blood. This type of diabetes develops gradually when the pancreas eventually is unable to produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight or having a sedentary lifestyle.

What are ketones?

In type 1 diabetes, the body may begin to burn fat for energy because the cells aren’t provided enough glucose they need. Without insulin, glucose will stay in the blood. When this happens, ketones are produced in the blood and make the blood more acidic, which can poison the body and result in coma or even death. Ketones forming in the blood can spill into the urine.

Who needs a urine test for diabetes?

Doctors don’t use the urine test to diagnose diabetes, but they may use it to monitor a person’s levels of urine ketones and urine glucose. If either is present in the urine, it could mean that a person is not producing enough insulin. A urine test may be given as part of a routine checkup, especially for patients with type 1 diabetes who have blood sugar levels over 300 mg/dL, or who have symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Glucose levels

Urine tests for glucose were used in the past to diagnose and monitor diabetes, but they aren’t as commonly as a blood test. Nowadays, doctors refer to blood tests because they are more accurate and can measure the exact amount of glucose in the blood.

Ketones level

People with type 1 diabetes can monitor their ketone levels with an at-home urine test kit. A urine test for ketones should be used if a person has a blood glucose level higher than 300 mg/dl. The moderate or large amount of ketones is a danger sign that your diabetes is out of control. Talk with your doctor if your urine results show a moderate or large amount of ketones.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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