ketones

A Beginner’s Guide to Ketones

Ketones

The human body primarily uses glucose for energy. 

If ‌your‌ ‌cells‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌glucose‌ ‌they‌ ‌need‌,‌ or‌ the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose, then your‌ ‌body‌ ‌begins‌ ‌to‌ ‌burn‌ ‌fat‌ ‌instead. Your liver converts this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends it into the bloodstream for muscles and other tissues to use as fuel. This is all very normal and known as Ketosis.  You may even feel symptoms of ketosis like headache or fatigue.  In a person without diabetes, insulin, glucagon, and other hormones prevent blood ketone levels from getting too high. However, people with diabetes are at risk for ketone accumulation in their blood.  This can disturb the balance of ketone in the body and create risks. 

Related: Vivoo Ketone Box

Why do ketones form?

 Ketone is one of the essential fatty acids in the body. The liver creates ketone production. Normally, the body produces only small quantities of ketones. Starvation, a ketogenic diet, or some chronic conditions like diabetes may result in increased ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into the urine. Then problems arise.

The body needs the energy from glucose to function comfortably. To provide this energy in the body, sugar must be produced. If enough sugar is not produced in the body, the cells will start to burn fat. As the cells in the body begin to burn fat, the production of ketones in the body intensifies.

energy for ketones

What does the presence of ketones in the urine mean?

Predominantly, people with diabetes may have insufficient insulin in their bodies or the existing insulin may not be used properly. These disorders prevent sugar (glucose) from being transported to cells efficiently and can’t be used as energy.  Instead of glucose, fats and proteins are used as energy sources, and ketones emerge as their waste product. A buildup of too many ketones in the blood is known as ketoacidosis and the body tries to remove it through the urine.  Diabetics who have a high amount of ketones in their urine are likely to have high blood sugar levels.

For persons without diabetes, ketones in the urine can result when the body doesn’t have enough sugar to produce sufficient energy.  Instead of sugar, fat and fatty acids begin to burn as energy.  Factors such as following a ketogenic diet, not eating regularly, and infections can cause ketones.

Followers of the Keto Diet

Ketosis is when ketones in the blood rise above normal levels. In this state, the body uses its own stored fat as an energy source throughout the day. When followed correctly, this low-carb diet raises blood ketone levels. The body undergoes many biological adaptations on a ketogenic diet, including decreased insulin and increased fat distribution. When this adaptation occurs, the liver produces large amounts of ketones to provide more energy to the brain. At the same time, fat burning reaches its maximum. As intended, ketones may start to appear in the blood and urine- ketosis has begun.

For those who don’t

Ketones in the urine (ketonuria) are a medical condition that occurs after fats are broken down for energy use. Excess ketones result as a waste product from this breakdown and try to escape the body through urine. Under normal circumstances, ketones aren’t found in the urine, and the body keeps only a small number of ketones in the blood. Diabetes can cause ketone levels in the blood to get too high and the blood can become acidic. This condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis and threatens the health of those affected.

diet for ketones

Causes

Causes of ketones in the urine include: 

  • Diabetes
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels
  • Disrupting insulin use
  • Skipping meals
  • Not eating enough
  • Not paying attention to nutrition
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  • Fever onset by disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sepsis
  • Patients with severe burns  
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged hunger
  • Eating disorders
  • Fasting
  • Infectious diseases
  • Long-term exercises
  • Diuretic drugs

Symptoms

If ketones are found in the urine, the following symptoms may occur:

Ketoacidosis:

  • Dry mouth
  • Strong sense of thirst
  • High blood sugar level
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Prolonged nausea
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Confusion and inability to focus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rotten fruit smell on breath
  • Excessive sleepiness

sleepiness for ketones

Why is it important to track ketones?

When following a ketogenic diet or other low-carb diets, it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the diet. On the other hand, while not following a similar diet, increased ketone levels in the body can indicate some problems.

More Info For Followers of the Keto Diet 

The ketogenic diet or keto diet is the general name for low-carb diets that turn the body into a burning machine. While ketogenic diets have many benefits in weight loss, health and performance, they can sometimes have side effects like weakness and fatigue.  People who follow the ketogenic diet should monitor their ketosis levels. This gives them information about whether or not the body has reached optimal ketosis.  This can be done by analyzing the ketones in the body over a period of time and making a comparison. When doing so, it’s important to measure the ketone level every day at the same time.  It is more productive to analyze eating breakfast.

Optimal Achievement and Maintenance of Ketosis

Optimal ketosis is when your body is most efficiently using its sources of fat for fuel. Most people following a ketogenic diet experience various side effects during the process of reaching optimal ketosis.  These side effects are typical “keto flu,” occasional dips in energy levels, and weight loss plateaus.  When people keep their commitment, they can reach the optimum level of ketosis.

After the body adapts to ketosis, ketones won’t be found in the urine anymore. Uric acid levels in the blood elevate and the kidneys get the drift of what’s happening, stop leaking the ketones, and start leaking the uric acid instead.

Over time, our uric acid levels return to normal, a key sign of keto-adaptation.  The body has adapted, adjusted, and accepted the keto diet.

Here are the reference ranges that Vivoo use for ketosis;

  • Negative: 0 mg/dL 
  • Trace: 5 mg/dL
  • Optimal: 15-50 mg/dL
  • High: 50-150 mg/dL

Ketones without Keto Diet

Ketones that accumulate in the blood can disrupt the balance of the body.

Excretion of ketones accumulated in the blood occurs through the urinary tract. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough insulin or isn’t able to use its insulin properly. Ketone bodies, the waste product formed from burning fat as energy, first begin to pass into the blood and, as their amount increases, into the urine.  The presence of a high ketone level in the blood can be understood by checking the level of ketones in the blood or urine. Performing these control measures will allow you to take precautions should you have an elevated level.

If you are not following the ketogenic diet, here are the reference ranges for urine ketones that Vivoo use:

  • Great: 0 mg/dL
  • Moderate: 5-15 mg/dL
  • Weak: 15-150 mg/dL

How to Improve High Ketone Levels

If you are not following a ketogenic diet, but receive high ketone results from the Vivoo app, all factors that affect ketone formation should be eliminated.  Furthermore, drinking plenty of water help reduce ketone levels in the body.  Also, it’s important to eat regularly and not skip meals, take in enough carbohydrates, and sleep well.

How often should the presence of ketones in the urine be monitored?

sport

The‌ ‌ketogenic‌ ‌or‌ ‌keto ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌low-carb,‌ ‌high-fat‌‌, and‌ ‌moderate-protein‌ ‌diet.‌ ‌A ‌common‌ ‌goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌keto‌ ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌ketosis,‌ ‌a‌ ‌natural‌ ‌state‌ ‌where ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌burns‌ ‌fat‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel.‌ ‌However,‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌challenging‌ ‌to‌ ‌determine‌ ‌whether‌ ‌your‌ ‌diet‌ ‌needs‌ ‌to be adjusted to reach and maintain ketosis.‌ ‌‌Because of that, Vivo ‌strips‌‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌used‌‌ to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌your‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌level.‌ Thanks to Vivoo strip tests, you can learn about your body’s ketone level in just 2 minutes. Because of this, Vivoo is a great help for you; both with following your diet and determining your goals in the future. ‌Using‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌fast,‌ ‌cheap,‌ ‌and‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌method‌‌ compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌blood-testing‌.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌gives‌ ‌you‌‌ personalized‌ ‌advice‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌it‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone‌‌ levels.‌

‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌check‌ ‌your‌ ‌day-to-day‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone ‌levels,‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌times‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌‌ ‌the‌ ‌early‌ ‌morning before breakfast or‌ ‌the‌ ‌late‌ ‌evening‌ ‌after‌ ‌dinner.‌  Although there isn’t clear information about how often the ketone level should be measured, it is important for individuals who have just started the ketogenic diet to measure their ketone levels frequently during the first two weeks. This way, it’s easier to see whether the diet works or not and whether there is an excess of ketones. 

Whether you follow the keto diet or not, it is still crucial that you regularly measure your ketone levels. Follow-up can be done every week using Vivoo strip tests.  During‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌of‌ ‌going‌ ‌keto, Vivoo’s‌ ‌urinalysis‌‌ is‌ ‌an excellent‌ ‌tool‌ ‌to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌ketosis‌.  Thanks to the Vivoo application, you can indicate that you are currently on a ketogenic diet and receive nutritional advice based on your results. This is a beneficial option for people at the beginning of their diet and for people who need additional dietary advice.

You do not need to be on a ketogenic diet to use the Vivoo strip tests.  It’s already determined that there is a benefit in monitoring your ketone level anytime. Our Vivoo strip test result can provide a lot of information. If you want to get information about the ketone level in your body and still have a look at the recommendations, Vivoo strip tests will assist you in doing that.

 

 

 

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