If you're wondering if your diabetes is out of control, you may want to take a ketone urine test. The test can be done at home or in a lab. The strips will change color when ketones are present in the urine. After completing the urine test, be sure to share your results with your health care provider. Your notes about your diabetes may give you clues as to whether you need a change in your diabetes management plan.
Ketones and glucose are typically harmless, but a high level can be a sign of a metabolic disturbance. While small levels of glucose are normal, the presence of ketones is a red flag for serious illness and even death. Your body normally burns sugar for energy, but prolonged fasting or uncontrolled diabetes can cause the body to switch to burning fat as its main source of fuel. When ketones are in excess, they can enter your urine and cause harmful effects on your body.
Having high levels of ketones in your urine can indicate that you need to take more insulin. The condition is known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), and high levels of ketone bodies in the urine can cause seizures or coma. If you notice these symptoms, it is important to see a health care professional for a proper diagnosis. If your blood glucose level is too high, you may need a diabetes medication or insulin injection.