By: Dr. Syeda Arzinda Fatima

Ketones are chemicals produced in the body when stored fat is used as a source of energy by the body. This happens when there is not enough glucose for energy available or body can not use the available glucose for energy. When diabetes gets out of control, excess glucose accumulates in the blood but can not be used for energy and instead stored fats are burned that produce ketones.

How to detect ketones in the body?

1. Urine dip stick test: excess ketones are excreted in urine, when a test strip is dipped in urine it will change colour indicating presence of ketones

2. Blood ketone level is more accurate than urine test.

Symptoms of high ketones in body:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Nausea vomiting    
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Fruity smell in breath
  • Tired and thirsty
  • Confused or drowsy

What to do? Presence of ketones in blood or urine means, blood glucose is more than 300mg/dl. You should not exercise in this condition.It is advisable to go to hospital emergency where ketoacidosis will be treated by adequate rehydration and insulin under expert supervision.