By maryka48 Latest Reply 2009-04-01 06:42:17 -0500
Started 2009-03-29 21:18:12 -0500

Does anyone have any info about ketones, when I checked my son's blood sugar above where the number was the word KETONES? was flashing on my meter does ony one know wwhat that all means, I have never had that happen when I checked by blood sugars, any help would be appreciated

18 replies

zobel 2009-03-30 23:27:41 -0500 Report

mary kay i hope they have got your son stable.

for others, when i went into ketoacidosis in less than 16 hrs i went from "im just not hungry' to feeling like the flu. to semi-lucid with black and blue splotches all over my body.
the EMT"s where called
I was very close to death, per doc.

test for ketone's whenever you see the symtems

this was before i was medicated, but medications can fail. be watchful


wilmerward 2009-03-30 23:54:50 -0500 Report

yes please be very careful…the symptoms for dka are not always the same.i have almost died 5 times from this..i can sometimes feel fine and my wife is so aggervated because i dont want to go to the hospital…it confuses your mind and you really dont know what you are doing…i wish you and him the best,,,he will be verry sleepy for the next couple of days it takes a huge toll on your body..god bless

GabbyPA 2009-03-30 15:07:16 -0500 Report

You can get a keytone kit at the pharamacy and they are not too much. I would use that to see what is happening if the levels don't come down.

Contrary to a previous suggestion, exercise when you are over 300 is not recommended. It is recommeneded that you lower levels before exercsising. Just as we should not exercise if we are low.

There could be so many reasons for that kind of high and message. Just do all your tests and do what is right, keeping a close eye on him. If this is the first time, it is frightening and I would call the doctor. After you figure out what and why it happened, then you can look at things differently if it happens again. This is why log books are so important. They help you find out what happened instead of relying on memory or maybes. If he doesn't keep one, I would say he should. I know it is a pain in the butt, however, it can save his life too.

maryka48 2009-03-30 22:06:57 -0500 Report

Up date on my son when we got to the walin this morning he was at 521 they tested his urine and blood and their were ketones present in both, he was admitted to the hospital and is getting insulin by IV 7units per hour at this point it is 249, they tested his A1c and it is 10.9 which they said his average bs for the last 3 months was 275…they were giving him a shot and said if he responded well to that they would take the IV out..the dr said they will send him home in a couple days when they get him regulated, but will have to have 2 types of insulin, one long lasting and the other to be taken before meals, I will let you know more tommarrow, thanks for all the advice.

Mary Kay

maryka48 2009-03-30 22:10:09 -0500 Report

just another note they are not sure if he is type 1 or type2 but are leaning towards type1 at this point the test results were not back yet

GabbyPA 2009-03-31 08:30:52 -0500 Report

Wow, I am so glad you got him to the doctor. That is incredible. I hope that he is feeling better soon, and that you can breathe a sigh of relief.

kdroberts 2009-03-31 08:36:24 -0500 Report

Based on what you said it seems like type 1 would be almost certain. His age does play into it but the ketones, high blood sugar and high a1c are very typical of a typical type 1 diagnosis. At least he didn't have to go into ketoacidosis like a number of type 1's do when they get diagnosed. I've heard some real horror stories from people who get diagnosed with type 1.

I should have asked before. Had he been diagnosed with diabetes before you tested his blood sugar?

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2009-03-31 10:36:44 -0500 Report

I definitely jumped to the conclusion that because you were testing your son's blood that he was diagnosed already with diabetes. That should have been one of our first questions.

I feel badly if my advice lead you to delay getting him help.

datzme 2009-03-30 11:59:30 -0500 Report

Hi I had this problem when I first started my meter was reading a high number and wanted to also know if it was because of the sugar in your urine. Basically a walk and fluids will take the numbers down that's what I had to do but then it dose go down. But that's basically telling you that the numbers on the meter are high and need to come down.

kdroberts 2009-03-30 12:07:38 -0500 Report

That's fair advice for a type 2 but for a type 1 it is not and could be very dangerous. A type 1, or really a type 2 with no insulin production, shouldn''t exercise at those levels and if ketones are present in urine (not just sugar) then it would be something that should have been previously discussed with a doctor but chances are, no exercise until ketones are none, maybe low.

The number on your meter tells you that your blood glucose is high, the ketones message is completely different.

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2009-03-30 11:54:30 -0500 Report

Ketoacidosis is definitely a scary thing. However, if this is one isolated glucose reading over 375, there is no need to panic. A 375 could be from miscalculating your insulin dose for a meal. Or it could be from miscounting the carbs in a meal. Etc.

Our rule is to check for ketones after two consecutive readings over 300. If there are no ketones (we use the Ketostix you can just get at any pharmacy), then we simply continue to treat the high blood sugar to bring it back down.

If we ran our son to the hospital every time he had one blood test over 300, not only would we be broke, our doctor and the hospital would hate us.

DKA or Ketoacidosis is definitely very serious and potentially fatal. If you are spilling ketones, you do need to get proper treatment right away.

I'm simply trying to point out that having one high blood sugar reading is not the same thing as having DKA.

Frustrated mom
Frustrated mom 2009-03-30 11:21:23 -0500 Report

When my sons blood sugar is higher than 300 we check for ketones, usually when he is getting sick they will be high, so we give extra insulin, drink plenty of water and then check again in 2 hours…they should go down, if not I would repeat the process and check again in 2 hours, if not down I would call his doctor…I hope this has helped.


2009-03-30 06:38:41 -0500 Report

Hi Mary…Judy is exactly right. I would definitely get you son to the doctor ASAP. When I was diagnosed with diabetes I had Ketoacidosis. I had never been diagnosed with pre-diabetes so of course I wasn't checking my BS. I started to get very sick. Some of my symptoms were… Hearing, I could barely hear anything, a constant loud noise in my ears. My vision was extremely blurred. My tongue swelled so much that I could barely close my mouth. I also broke out in a horrible rash on my arms, back stomach and chest. I had a terrible yeast infection that attacked my nails. The nail on my big toe came completely off and my nail on my right thumb broke down almost to my cuticle. I was also so exhausted that I could barely sit up. I knew I was very sick, I just didn't have a clue about ketones or diabetes. Not telling you this to scare you but please know this is a very serious condition. It requires immediate medical attention. I would not hesitate to take him to the doctor. A simple urine test will show his ketone count. I wound up in ICU with massive amounts of different medicines given through an IV. I'll be thinking of you and your son, but please, please, take him to the doctor. This is horrible to go through and it was hard for me to get over it. Best of luck to both of you, Angie

maryka48 2009-03-30 06:24:43 -0500 Report

Thanks for your responses, I just got him up and checked his blood sugar it was 375 and the word ketones? was flashing again above the number, we are getting ready and going into the doctor will let you sll know more when we get back..thanks for all your concern

Mary Kay

kdroberts 2009-03-30 08:53:40 -0500 Report

Well, it could be one of 2 things. Firstly, what meter do you use? The first thing that it could be is that your meter is checking ketones and your son is testing positive for them. If that's true then you need to talk to a doctor about what to do. You get them because of a lack of insulin so taking insulin is the "cure" but you have to do it with a method which a doctor will help with. You could also go to urgent care. The second thing, and this is probably more likely, your meter is programmed to flash "Ketones?" when blood sugar is above a certain number (300 is a common one) to tell you that it would be a good idea to test for ketones. In that case you need to have some method to test them. Ketostix are inexpensive, OTC and reasonably accurate. If that tests shows medium to high levels of ketones, the advice for scenario one applies. If it shows none to low then you should work on brining blood sugar back ibot an acceptable range and continue to test for changes in ketone levels.

Not to scare you but diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is essentially what you are testing for and trying to avoid, can be fatal if not taken care of.

lipsie 2009-03-30 02:42:27 -0500 Report

Hey hun, I am so far not into this one. It does sound to me like you need to get him checked right away like she says. It sure would not hurt that's for sure. Always be safe than sorry, especially with our children. Good luck! And do keep us updated please!! i will be think ing of you and him. Love always, Sheila

2009-03-29 21:53:18 -0500 Report

Ketones are a waste product that can spill into the blood or urine when the body is burning fat for energy. Fat is burned when there is no available glucose, the body is starving. The glucose is there but there is no insulin to get it into the cells. You can test this with a strip that you dip into a urine sample.

If I were in your shoes and this was my son, I'd make sure that he is seen by a doctor tomorrow morning and if the regular doctor can't see him then Urgent Care is necessary. He may feel ok now but if this continues he could be in big trouble.

Has he been eating? This can also happen with a nondiabetic if they aren't eating or on a starvation diet. Although that wouldn't explain the high blood sugar.