what does "check ketones mean?"

sara - 27890
By sara - 27890 Latest Reply 2009-01-13 12:34:01 -0600
Started 2008-12-15 23:02:21 -0600

when i have a high blood sugar my meter always says check ketones but i dont know what that means. i know that i have to pee on the strip but i dont understand what ketones are and what it could do to your body. some one please tell me what ketones are!

23 replies

calebsemme2003 2009-01-11 06:00:02 -0600 Report

you have to be your own doctor because here in michiganmy wife's a1c was 15.0 and they did nothing me personally i recommend insulin pumps for diabetics and in some cases a continous glucose monatoring system my wife is on the dexcom cgms trial only right now and it does seem to work more poking in the begining but later less poking yea any questions please reply or calebsemme2003@yahoo.com small many thanks Danielle and Christopher Thompson

sara - 27890
sara - 27890 2009-01-10 12:23:47 -0600 Report

Ive been having really high blood sugars in the past week, on tuesday they were 500 then 200 then 500 again and then the doctor told me to come in and he did test on me and everything was normal, then they were high on wednesday in the 200s and then on tuesday they were not as bad then on friday they were horrible all day they were in the 500s and on those days i didnt eat anything with alot of carbs in the food i ate or not alot of fats. im on the pump. maybe its stress i dont know.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2009-01-12 11:07:16 -0600 Report

Wow, Sara, those are some high numbers.

Here are a couple of pump rules we follow that may be helpful.

1. If you have two high tests in a row (250+), then take your correction bolus via a syringe instead of the pump. Then test over the next two hours to see if you're coming down. If you do, you likely are having a problem with your site or your pump.

2. The things we check carefully for if we're having a pump problem are air in the tubing, blockages, or an infusion site that is too old. (I've heard that some people can only tolerate a site in one place for two days.)

3. Make sure you're rotating where you attach your infusion sets. If you are using the same parts of your body all the time, you will see problems with insulin absorption and that will cause all kinds of problems.

You probably already knew all that. But if not, maybe it will help. Also, I would definitely recommend calling your doctor and at least talking to the nurse about what's going on.

MeiMei 2009-01-13 12:34:01 -0600 Report

You also might check your meter with the control solution. Is it working ok, need cleaning, calibrated correctly? One time I forgot to calibrate my new bottle of test strips and had quite a few odd readings until I changed it.

Anngelia 2008-12-20 22:00:28 -0600 Report

I found this on the WebMD site.

Ketones are the by-product of the fat burning process that occurs in the absence of insulin. When a person with diabetes develops hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, if there is not enough insulin around (type 1 diabetes) or if their body is unable to utilize the insulin properly (type 2 diabetes) and break down sugar, the body turns to fat stores to create energy for the cells. While ketones can be a source of energy for many cells, they can be toxic in large amounts and cause a life-threatening emergency condition called ketoacidosis.

Goddess 2008-12-21 10:41:45 -0600 Report

From what I know it is sugar in your urine.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-12-22 10:51:48 -0600 Report

Actually, ketones are different than sugar. Whenever your sugars are high, your kidneys will try to get rid of the extra sugar by dumping sugar into your urine. So it is likely that if you have ketones you also have sugar in your urine. But one does not necessarily guarantee the other.

Ketones are produced when your body is forced to use fat for energy because there's not enough insulin to use the sugar that's in your blood. If your body is forced to do this for too long, you will develop ketoacidosis which can be fatal. You can check for ketones either with a urine test strip or with a special meter that measures ketones in your blood.

2009-01-05 15:58:08 -0600 Report

This is something I was looking for, but could never remember the word. Thanks for clarifying this, Claudia

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-01-05 16:07:16 -0600 Report

I was told many, many years ago if my BG is over 250 check my urine for ketones. I have been very lax to where I haven did that for a long time. I'm sure if I look in thre bathroom my strips are probably outdated 2 yrs ago. I will have to remember to get another bottle. But I have been maintaining normal BG the past few years with alot of lows though. I will make a note and put that on my list. I'm just so glad to maintain normal BG…Debe

shastadiabetes 2008-12-20 21:16:34 -0600 Report

Hello, when the Meter says Check Keystones, it's like the Air Bag going off in your car. It means take action NOW. Also it means that all the things you are doing to control your Diabetes is failing, Do something, like get your sugar undercontrol. Your Meter starts giving warnings at 600 dl/mg and signifies you are about to get into a wreck. Hope this helps. Visit http://myspace.com/43yrsjuvenilediabeticlife and get it together. Good Luck and May God Bless.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-12-16 13:55:25 -0600 Report

It's also important to know that if you're using insulin and you're spilling ketones, you may need to increase your insulin dosage to bring your blood sugar back in control.

At least that's what our latest instructions are from our doctor. If you've never discussed ketones with your doctor, you definitely should.

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2008-12-16 00:43:19 -0600 Report

Sparrow is right. High levels of Ketones in your urine over time can cause cell damage, heart attack, kidney failure...

The process is called Diabetic Ketoacidosis :

If you are getting the "Check Ketones" tip frequently, you should see a doctor or diabetes educator right away to help bring your glucose levels down!


Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-12-16 05:42:30 -0600 Report

Really good site Amy. I have experienced this 3 times in my life. The first time , I ended up in ICU. I was as sick as dog. I was on an IV of insulin drip. The 2 time were as a child, but the third time I was able to get it under control with the help of my MD and really quick. If I would of left it go on one more day I would of been back to the hospital. Please friends if you run high blood sugar all the time, please takethe time and check thoses keytones…Debe

Avera 2008-12-15 23:59:15 -0600 Report

I am glad someone asked this question. What I thought I knew I did not. It constantly amazes me what I learn on this site. Now I know what "ketones" really are.

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2008-12-15 23:08:49 -0600 Report

It means your blood sugar is very high and your liver may be turning your fat into "ketones" instead of burning the carbs you've taken on. You have to buy some "ketostix" at the drug store and check your ketones using a urine sample. If you ARE producing ketones, they will spill into your urine. If this is the case, you need to get your blood sugar DOWN.

GabbyPA 2008-12-16 08:54:03 -0600 Report

Is this a home test kit kind of thing? And will it give us the information to know if we have too much, or is any at all a bad thing?

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2008-12-16 11:09:04 -0600 Report

Yes. Actually, it's a "bottle" of test strips, much like what you use for your meter, but you dip them in a urine sample and match the colors of the strip against a chart on the bottle that tells you how much ketones you are spilling.