What are the health effects of ketones?


Quick Answer

Ketones can affect a person's health by changing the chemical balance of the body and poisoning the body, according to Healthline. High levels of ketones can lead to the condition ketoacidosis and can cause death or a diabetic coma if left untreated.

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Full Answer

Ketones are acids produced when the body starts using fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, explains Healthline. This situation occurs when there are inadequate amounts of insulin to transfer the blood's sugar to cells. Ketones are the result of the body breaking down fat for energy and can gather in the body in highly, toxic amounts that result in ketoacidosis. Individuals with type 1 diabetes can have ketones when taking insufficient amounts of insulin, while people with type 2 diabetes become deficient in insulin when sick. If a person has a very low nutrient and caloric diet, he can have ketone bodies without ketoacidosis.

Home urine tests, home blood tests and laboratory tests are methods for testing for ketones, notes WebMD. Home blood and urine tests are useful for monitoring several situations including monitoring a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes. An analyzed laboratory blood test offers the most precise way for ketone testing. WebMD suggests that people with diabetes get tested when experiencing illness symptoms, such as abdominal pain and nausea, and recommends discussing concerns about testing with a medical doctor.

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