How to check for ketones levels at home or how to test for ketones is very important, especially when you are on ketogenic diet or keto menu.
You need to know how to test for ketones levels in your blood, urine, and breath.
It lets you determine whether you need to adjust your ketogenic diet or not, to achieve ketosis.
Being on ketogenic menu is a key to epileptic children, obese and overweight people.
However, they need to check their ketone levels to get into ketosis quickly.
Therefore, this article provides you with the best methods on how to test your ketone level and why you need to test your ketones levels and many more.
Reasons for testing you Ketones Levels
Ketones are a very powerful source of energy to the liver and other body functions.
During ketosis, the body breaks down healthy fats to build up energy.
Actually, when the body has inadequate insulin, your organs can produce ketones to boost your insulin level, especially to the diabetes people(3).
Note, if the body produces a higher level of ketones can lead to blood acidic that may result in diabetic ketoacidosis.
This is a dangerous chronic illness that can lead to death if left untreated.
Therefore, it is one of the reasons you to keep on testing your ketone levels.
You need to test for your ketones reqularly to track your ketone levels. Being that if the body produces a higher level of ketones can lead to blood acidic that may result in diabetic ketoacidosis.
At what time to test for ketones level?
The testing of ketones level is very crucial if you feels sick and experiences some signs of ketoacidosis.
There are three most common conditions that may influence you to test for your ketone level are:
Any time your blood sugar is over 17 mmol/l (300 mg/dl)
When your blood sugar arises to over 17mmol/l, then it is the right time to test your ketone level.
Remember the early the better. Sometime you may not know until you check your blood sugar level which may give you a clue to do further testing of your ketone level(4).
2. In case your sugar levels have repeatedly been over 13 mmol/l (230 mg/dl)
when your blood glucose reading persist over 13mmol/l , you can go further and test your ketone level.
This may be signs of your ketone levels increasing. You need to check your ketone level in this case.
3. When you are sick and experiences any symptoms of ketoacidosis
Then, you need to test your ketone level and visit nearby health care for immediate medical attention
Alway youneed to test your ketone level when your blood sugar arises to over 17mmol/l, blood glucose reading persist over 13mmol/l or when you experience symptoms such as extreme fatigue, flushed skin, nausea, stomach issues, swelling in your brain and diabetic coma
How to test your ketones levels at home?
Here are the best way of testing for your ketones levels at home(3).
- Blood ketone strips very accurate
- Ketone urine test strips moderate accurate
- Breath Ketonix meter is not that accurate
In order to check your ketones levels or test for ketones levels, you need to know the different types of ketone in the body to make the testing process easy and effective.
For that matter, let as start with knowing the different type of ketone in the body.
It is scientifically proven that there are three types of ketones in the body, which can be used to measure the level of the ketone(7).
- Acetone present in breath
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate available in the blood
- Acetoacetate present in the urine
The three types of ketones in the body can be measured in your breath, blood, or urine using different equipment.
For instance, acetone is found in your breath, and testing acetone breath levels is done using Ketonix meter.
Methods to Check ketones levels in the body
There are three effective methods to test your ketone level if you are following ketogenic diet.
They are discussed as follows.
- Testing for ketones in blood
Blood ketone meter is used to check the level of beta-hydroxybutyrate in the blood to indicate ketosis levels(8).
How to test blood ketone using a blood ketone meter?
This equipment work the same way glucose meter works(9).
If you know how to use a glucose meter, then this is not a big issue.
Here we go,
- Put a blood ketone strip into the meter
- Prick your finger using the lancing device and placed a small drop of blood on a strip that is inserted into the meter
- Allow blood to the ketone strip
- relax for some minutes for the reading to validate
- Now, under control discard the test strip
It will show you the level of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood.
However, this equipment is very expensive.
2. Testing for ketones in urine at Home
How to use ketone urine strips to test ketone levels in urine at home?
After purchasing your ketone test strips. you need to test the ketones level during the day for more accurate results.
In the morning and late evening, the result may not be accurate(12).
Ready with your test strips. now here we go,
- Remove a strip from the tub under control to avoid touch the spongy end of the strip
- with your urine specimen, dip the test area of the strip into the urine
- Sit back and monitor the times located for the results as the strips will begin to change colors
- check the instructions and compare the color of the test area to the color chart on the side of the tub of strips
- Note that, any color changes after the set time frame should be disregarded
The strips will change to pink or purple depending on the level of acetoacetate present in the urine.
Precisely, a darker color indicates that you have a higher level of ketones.
The good news is that ketone urine strips are easy to use and not very expensive.
Important to note is that the level of ketones in the urine fluctuates.
3. Testing for ketone in breath (Acetone)
Ketonix meter is used to test acetone level in the breath(14).
How to use Ketonix meter at Home?
With your Ketonix meter breathe into it and let it relax for a minute to enable the readings.
Here is what you will see on after breathing into the meter.
You will see color flashes.
This is the most conversant way to monitor ketosis when in a keto menu.
It is that easy and reliable.
What are the results after testing your ketones?
This is a very important question for everyone who is testing his/her ketone levels.
You need to take the reading with a lot of concern, especially when there is higher reading on the strips.
In fact, you need to seek a doctor’s advice if possible if see negative results.
The ketone test results readings should be as follows;
- Under 0.6 mmol/L – This is a normal blood ketone value for a healthy person
- 0.6 to 1.5 mmol/L – This ketone test result indicates that more ketones are being produced than normal. this can vary with time, therefore, you need to test again later to see if there is any change.
- 1.6 to 3.0 mmol/L – The readings indicate that your body is producing excess ketones that can lead to a risk of ketoacidosis. Therefore, you need to seek medication if possible
- Above 3.0 mmol/L – The Highest level of ketones that is very dangerous and require immediate medical attention
Which is the most accurate ketone test kit for ketone testing at home?
Using the most accurate ketone test kits is all you need.
From the list above, the most accurate ketone test kit is the blood ketone test kit followed by the ketone urine test kit and breath ketone kit test.
However, the blood ketone test kit is very expensive
Signs and symptoms of high ketone levels to know
- A dry mouth and feels frequent thirst
- blood sugar levels rise above 240 mg/dL
- frequent urination
If you don’t get treatment, the high ketones levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). The sigh are as shown below(18);
- extreme fatigue
- flushed skin
- a fruity breath odor
- stomach pain
- trouble breathing or heart problems
- swelling in your brain
- loss of mental focus
- diabetic coma
Any case you experience any abnormal body changes or signs and symptoms show above then you should visit your doctor as early as possible.
What causes high ketone levels?
High ketone levels are very dangerous to your health(19).
It can cause several health complications including the end product: death.
Therefore, you need to know what actually can lead to high ketone levels.
Below are the common causes of high ketone levels that can increase your risk of DKA.
- Low glucose in the body
- If you have diabetes and don’t have enough insulin
- Unhealthy eating habits
- overweight and obesity
- Lack of healthy balanced diet
How to prevents high ketone levels
To reduce your ketone level, first, you need to seek medical advice from your doctor after testing your ketone level using the test strips discussed prior.
Then you need to follow these tips to lower your ketone level.
Eat healthy food
Eating healthy foods that can regulate your insulin level and ketone level is very important to lower your ketone level.
you, therefore, need these foods that boost the immune system and help you stay healthy
Alcohol is directly absorbed into the bloodstream.
It increases blood sugar levels and reduces insulin sensitivity.
Therefore, avoiding alcohol is one way you can reduce high ketone levels.
Cigarettes contain harmful substances that affect your blood flow(21).
The substances in cigarettes are linked to increasing your chances of diabetes and blood pressure.
They can also lead to lung cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Have a regular test for your ketone levels
Regular testing of your ketone level will keep you updated with your body ketone level.
This helps you adjust or seek any medical attention as early as possible.
The doctor also recommends the patients to keep on track of their ketone levels.
Managing your carbohydrate intake
You can as well watch the portion size of the carbs you take every day to help you reduce the risk of developing high ketone levels.
Take insulin dosage
There are insulin drugs that can help you lower your ketone level(22).
However, you need to consult with your doctor before buying any insulin drugs over the counter.
Have a diet plan from a nutritionist
When you are in ketogenic diet and live with diabetes you need to test for your ketones levels.
This will help you track your progress and determine whether there is any adjustment required or medication.
In case you get an abnormal or higher ketone levels, then visit health care for medical advice from your doctor
Therefore, by using the methods above to test ketones level can help you to get into ketosis faster.