What Is the Relationship Between High Blood Sugar and Ketone Levels?

Abnormal ketone levels and elevated blood glucose levels indicate diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition that may lead to diabetic coma or death. The three major reasons for the condition are insufficient insulin for proper glucose management, missing meals or the insulin reaction causing low blood glucose levels, states the American Diabetes Association.

Diabetic ketoacidosis rarely exists in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Ketone buildup in the urine indicates the patient’s diabetes is out of control and that the patient is getting sick. Early symptoms of the disorder include thirst, dry mouth and frequent urination as well as elevated blood sugar and ketone levels in the urine. If urine test shows high ketone or blood sugar levels and the individual vomits more than twice in a four-hour period, immediate medical attention is necessary. The affected individual should avoid exercising until the levels return to normal range, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Later-stage symptoms, such as lethargy, constipation, dry or flushed skin and vomiting for more than two hours, indicate a more serious stage of the illness. Ketoacidosis develops slowly, but vomiting over a period of several hours indicates an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. The individual should visit the emergency room if the above symptoms develop along with fruity breath, difficulty breathing or confusion, advises the American Diabetes Association.