High Ketone Levels in Urine: What Does it Mean?

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person holding urine samples

A quick fact about ketones: everyone has it, not only those who have diabetes. In fact, ketones are made in your liver. When your body does not release insulin, the body will depend on sugar to give you energy. In case the sugar or glucose is not enough, your body will turn to fat. This is when your liver starts releasing the ketones.

Ketones are acids that are sent into your bloodstream. The ones that benefit from ketones are your tissues and muscles. If you do not have diabetes, you will not have to worry about ketones. But when you do have the said condition and the amount of ketones that you have is high, then it can be dangerous to your health.

Ketone levels and urine test

When the liver releases ketones, the acid goes to the bloodstream and urine. This is why, when you are planning to see the ketone level in your body, you will either be asked to do a blood test or urine test.

Since the focus of this article is the ketone levels in your urine, we will further elaborate on that type of test. During the urine test, it will monitor the level of ketones in your body to see if you have diabetes. There is also a tendency that you get can other conditions such as diarrhea, chronic vomiting, digestive disorder, very low-carbohydrate diet, eating disorder, or pregnant.

The good thing about urine tests is that you can do it at home or in the laboratory. Both methods will give you easy steps that can help you get your urine sample. Some of these are using a cleansing pad to clean your genital area, moving the collection container to get your urine and give the sample to your doctor or the person in charge.

You do not have to worry about anything before taking the test. There are no requirements or even fasting that you need to do.

Results of the test

Once the health care provider finished examining your urine, you will be given the results immediately. The result will have specific numbers that can indicate if your ketone levels are “small”, “moderate” or “large”.

Most people get a normal result. But this result usually varies depending on your activities, diet, and environment. There are also instances wherein the test will show that you have high ketone levels. How will you know? Your result will get up to 80 mg/d when you get a large result. On the other hand, your result will be 20 mg/dl and 30 to 40 mg/dl for small and moderate, respectively.

You have a good chance of getting small if you are losing weight and maintaining your blood sugar levels. In the event that you get moderate and large, you need to contact your doctor immediately. The doctor will ask you to do some tests for your pH level, protein, and blood glucose.

High ketone levels in your urine

After the doctor diagnoses that you have high levels of ketone, then you are prone to having diabetic ketoacidosis. This type of diabetes is usually the indicator that you have the condition. The next thing that you should do is to watch out for the signs of ketoacidosis:

  1. Unconsciousness
  2. Sleepiness
  3. Confusion
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Flushed skin
  6. Breath that smells like fruit
  7. Thirst
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting
  10. Having a hard time breathing

Another thing that you need to know about diabetic ketoacidosis is that it is a life-threatening condition. It can only impact those people who already have diabetes. The ailment will immediately spread in your body after the body breaks fats in a fast way.

The possible causes for this are: breakdown of fat is faster than usual, the liver releases a lot of blood sugar, and glucose cannot enter the cells.

Fortunately, there is a way for you to treat ketoacidosis. Experts would recommend that you correct your blood sugar levels. Some might also recommend that you replace the excessive fluids through vomiting, loss of appetite, or urination.

For those who are diabetic, it is best that you ask for the help of your doctor regarding the ailment. Although there is a low tendency for you to get hospitalized, you should know that in worse cases that you need to be monitored by doctors, you are required to receive fluids and insulin.

Ketoacidosis can be treated. However, there are those patients who ended up dead when the condition is not treated immediately. You must be thinking, how can ketoacidosis be life-threatening? The answer is because when the condition is severe, there is a chance that your kidney will fail, your heart will stop working, and your brain will be filled with fluid.


Why would you wait for the condition to worsen if there is actually something that you can do, right? Ketoacidosis does not happen overnight. It takes a while and can be diagnosed by the doctor.

The best thing that you can do is to seek help from an expert. Taking a urine test when ketoacidosis symptoms appear can be a great way to get treated immediately. If you do not have the condition yet, you can prevent it.

Lowering your ketone levels is possible too. To do this, you can lessen your carb consumption, add oil to your diet, improve your physical activities by exercising or just add activities to your daily routine, and eat more healthy fats.

Living a healthy lifestyle can also protect you from diabetes and any other ailments. Do not wait for your health to deteriorate. Be sure to keep your body in good condition. You may also try to do a yearly check-up to see if your ketone levels are still in the normal range.

Not only your ketones, but also the rest of your body like your ears, mouth, and other organs. The check-ups are good at maintaining your health and finding out ailments that may soon appear.

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