This test is used to measure the number of ketones present in your blood. High levels of ketones in the blood indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can be serious and life-threatening leading to coma or death if left untreated.
What are ketones?
Ketones are the byproducts of the breakdown of fatty acids. Usually, the body gets energy by burning sugar, but if you are a diabetic patient, you may lack insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream which would be used as a fuel. During this process, the body burns fat instead and produces ketones. In other words, ketones are the chemical substances produced when your body is unable to utilize carbohydrates. This condition may be due to diabetes or starvation or malnutrition. Ketone bodies are acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyrate which are acidic and toxic.
Why this test is performed?
This may be recommended to you if you experience certain symptoms like nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, muscle aches, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling thirsty all the time, dry mouth, dry or red skin, tiredness, fruity smelling breath. This test may also be recommended to you in conditions like pregnancy, infection, blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL, eat a lot of food like rice or bread, fasting, alcohol abuse, confusion, etc.
Some conditions may interfere with your test results like strenuous exercise, a special diet like low carbohydrate or rich fat or protein diet, fasting, eating disorders like anorexia, vomiting over a period of time especially during pregnancy, high fever, overactive thyroid gland, burns, breastfeeding without eating or drinking sufficiently, etc. Hence inform your doctor or technician about all your current medications and medical conditions prior to the test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Ketone Bodies. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Ketone Bodies.
No specific preparation is required for ketone bodies blood test.
The normal test results may vary depending on the gender, age, health history, your condition, Etc.
If your ketone values are higher than the normal range it may be associated with the detection of ketone bodies in the blood, which make the blood acidic in nature and acidic blood leads to diabetic ketoacidosis.
If your test results are lower than the normal range then it is of no concern.
If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your results.
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