Ketones are substances produced when the body breaks down fats for energy, a process that occurs when carbohydrate intake is low, such as during fasting or following a ketogenic diet. This metabolic state is known as ketosis. Ketones are primarily produced in the liver and include beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. While ketones serve as an alternative energy source, especially for the brain, elevated levels can indicate problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in individuals with diabetes, which is a potentially life-threatening condition....


What are ketones and why are they important?

Ketones are byproducts produced during the breakdown of fats when glucose is not available as a primary energy source. They are crucial for providing energy during periods of fasting or low carbohydrate intake and play a significant role in maintaining energy levels in low-glucose conditions.

Who should monitor their ketone levels?

Individuals with type 1 diabetes are particularly encouraged to monitor their ketone levels regularly as they are at higher risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition if not managed promptly. People on strict ketogenic diets may also monitor their ketones to ensure they are maintaining a state of ketosis.

How are ketone levels measured?

Ketone levels can be measured through blood, urine, or breath tests. Blood tests are the most accurate but require a small blood sample. Urine strips, which are less precise, can still provide a quick indication of ketone levels, while breath analyzers measure acetone levels and are used primarily by those following ketogenic diets.

What can cause high ketone levels?

High ketone levels can be caused by uncontrolled diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes, prolonged fasting, or a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. In diabetics, high levels may indicate insufficient insulin, leading to the use of fats for energy, resulting in ketone production.

Test(s) that measure/test for Ketones

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