Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

What do I need to do if I find ketones in my urine? I'm already on insulin,and my sugar was 199 when I last checked it?

A:

Ketones in the urine are a sign of "starvation"; the body is breaking down fat for fuel because blood sugar is not getting into the cells. Usually this is a sign of insulin insufficiency. Ketones are often noted when you are ill. Pregnancy can also be a time of recurring ketones if gestational diabetes has developed.

How should ketones be treated? In most cases, it is a question of insufficient insulin. For those who already require insulin, more insulin may be needed. In cases of malnourishment, such as may occur with gestational diabetes, increased food intake at the appropriate time is needed.

It is not as common to see ketones at a blood sugar level of 199; it may be that you have an infection or some other "trigger". Check with your health practitioner whenever in doubt.

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