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I’m Not On a Ketogenic Diet So Why Are There Ketones In My Urine?


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The presence of ketones in the urine is a common complication of diabetes. If you’re sure that you don’t have diabetes, it’s the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. However, in an individual with diabetes, this situation is dangerous and life-threatening. 

What Are Ketones?

Ketones are acids that the body makes when it burns its own fat. They’re made when glucose, the primary energy source, is short in supply. This occurs overnight or during dieting or fasting (You can check for ketones in your urine with an at-home test that takes just 90 seconds: learn more here).

The liver converts fatty acids into ketones, which are then released into the bloodstream for use as energy. In people with diabetes, high levels of ketones in the blood can result from taking too little insulin, and this can lead to a particularly dangerous condition known as ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is very risky for someone with Type 1 diabetes because they can develop dangerous levels of ketones. Ketoacidosis can also occur in someone with Type 2 diabetes if there is a major increase in insulin resistance, such as from an infection or treatment with steroids, or a reduction in insulin release from the pancreas.

Ketones can be tested by blood or urine. You can quickly check the ketone levels in your urine with Vivoo strip.

Related: Vivoo Ketone Box

What Causes Ketones in Urine Without Diabetes?

Ketones in the urine can be caused by several factors. These may include:

1) Diet

Grilled salmon food photography recipe idea ketones in urine

Dietary Preferences: People who are not on a ketogenic diet but prefer high fat and low carbohydrate foods may have ketones in their urine (you can easily check your ketones at home with a urine test that takes about 90 seconds. You can learn more or order some tests here.)

Fasting: In a person without diabetes, ketone production is the body’s normal adaptation to starvation. Starvation starts when you haven’t eaten for a prolonged period of time, for example 14-20 hours. This can occur at night or when fasting.

Eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can also cause ketones to appear in the urine. In these individuals, starvation is one of the causes of severe ketoacidosis, even when the patient denies diet restriction. 

Workout group class at the gym ketones in urine

2) High Amounts of Exercise

Post-exercise ketosis was first described by Forssner. When someone overtrains, the need for respiratory fuel increases, and blood-glycerol and plasma-free fatty acid (FFA) levels rise. The increased concentration of FFA and the depletion of glycogen cause an increased rate of ketone body formation in the liver. During exercise, the extra ketone bodies serve as fuel for respiration and don’t accumulate. After exercise, the raised concentration of FFA results in post-exercise ketosis. 



Glasses of rose wine ketones in urine

3) Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol is another reason for ketones in the urine. Alcoholic ketoacidosis can develop when you drink excessive amounts of alcohol for a long period of time. The overconsumption of alcohol often causes an inadequate intake of nutrients as meals may be eaten irregularly. People who drink too much may also vomit, further depleting the body of nourishment. Not eating enough or vomiting can lead to periods of starvation, which can then lead to alcoholic ketoacidosis. 

4) Other Factors

Other causes of ketones in urine are:

  • illness or infection
  • pregnancy
  • fever
  • medications, such as corticosteroids and diuretics
  • prolonged vomiting and diarrhea
  • eclampsia


Ketones in urine can be caused by many factors. If you have ketones in your urine, the first place to look is at your diet. What you eat and drink is very important. You may be able to remedy the situation by making dietary changes, or there may be a more serious cause. See your doctor immediately if you think you might have ketonuria.

Lifestyle Suggestions

Suggestions for ketones in urine:

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels.
  • Test your ketones regularly.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Follow a healthy diet plan.

Related: The Top 3 Ways That You Can Improve Your Health Using the Vivoo App


Listen to your body’s voice today

8 Responses

  1. I’m not on a keto diet, but my doctor said that there were some ketones in my urine sample. I searched and came across this article. The article gave many ideas on why there might be ketones in my urine, and I was surprised to learn that I could be in ketosis without necessarily being on a diet.
    It’s inspired me to sign up for Vivoo to help track my wellness. So far, it’s been really easy to use, and I’m excited to see where it will take me.

  2. I didn’t know what ketones were and how my body could have them without me being on a keto diet. This article helped me a lot and guided me on why I might have ketones even if I’m not diabetic or on the keto diet. Thank you for this valuable information!

  3. I’m not on the keto diet, but my doctor told me there were traces of ketones in my urine. I was really confused at first because I know that this often takes place when you’re either diabetic or on the keto diet. But this article has helped clarify the confusion as to why I might have ketones in my urine. Thank you!

  4. My friend is on the keto diet, and she mentioned ketones to me at one point, explaining that you could have ketones in your body even if you’re not on the keto diet.
    I was doing research on ketones and came across this page. This article was extremely helpful in explaining how ketones can be present in your urine. Thank you very much!

  5. I learned about Vivoo after my doctor said that there were traces of ketones in my urine sample. I wasn’t sure what that meant, so I did some research and found this article. It helped me a lot in understanding how there can be ketones in my body even though I’m not diabetic or on the keto diet.

  6. I’m not on the keto diet but prefer to eat high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods. After reading this article, I was curious to see whether there were any ketones in my urine, and was happy to learn that Vivoo can test for ketones in my urine to make sure I’m getting the right nutrients.

  7. I was confused when I saw ketones in my urine even when I’m not on the ketogenic diet. But after reading this blog entry, I understand that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and that people who eat high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods can have ketones in their urine. Now I know why there might be ketones in my urine. Thanks!

  8. I was really confused when I saw that there were ketones in my urine. But after reading this blog post, it all makes perfect sense now! I’m not on the keto diet, but I do eat lots of high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods, and occasionally drink alcohol. I had no idea that this could result in ketones in my urine, but now I know. Thank you so much for writing this post. It was really helpful!

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