Understanding Ketones and Diabetic Keto Acidosis (DKA)

Your body usually runs on glucose (sugar) created when the body breaks down food. But when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to use the glucose, your body starts breaking down fats for energy. Ketones are a by-product of this breakdown. People with type 1 diabetes are at risk of having more than normal amount of ketones in their blood.

Ketones make your blood acidic. Acidic blood can cause a serious condition known as diabetic keto acidosis (DKA). Because the presence of ketones is often one of the signs that a person needs medical help. 

A health professional may recommend to some people with diabetes to test for ketones

What are the symptoms of ketone build-up?

  • If you take insulin to control your diabetes, you should keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of diabetic keto acidosis. Early signs and symptoms can include:
  • passing large amounts of urine
  • feeling very thirsty
  • feeling sick
  • abdominal (tummy) pain
  • tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • an increase in your blood sugar and/or ketone levels.
  • Your specialist diabetes healthcare professional will provide advice about ketone testing and what to do  if your ketone levels are raised.

Benefits of blood ketones over urine ketone:

  • Direct measurement of Beta-Ketone bodies in blood circulation
  • Real time ketone assessment- reflects the blood ketones levels at the time of testing
  • Gives a numerical value
  • Easy and well recognised finger prick testing methodology.

Blood ketone testing using CareSens Dual meter

If your healthcare professional has recommended you to test your blood ketone levels, the CareSens Dual meter is a device that can help you do this at home.

Testing for blood ketone using CareSens Dual meter is very simple. It is similar to how you test for your blood glucose and gives you a result in 8 seconds. You will require KetoSens test strips to test ketones on CareSens Dual meter. You may be eligible for funded KetoSens test strips from your pharmacy. Your healthcare professional can advise you if you are eligible for funded KetoSens test strips.

Please note that KetoSens test strips can only be used with CareSens Dual meter.

Click on the following links to learn more about CareSens Dual meter and KetoSens test strips: