Knowing Ketone Testing and why to use it

Ketone testing can be done at home

Ketone testing can be done at home

Ketone testing is a key part of type 1 diabetes management as it helps to prevent a dangerous short term complication, ketoacidosis, from occurring.

If you have type 1 diabetes, it is recommended that you have ketone testing supplies on your prescription.

Ketone testing may also be useful in people with other types of diabetes that are dependent upon insulin.

Why test for ketones?

Ketones are produced by the body as an alternative source of energy to sugar. The body produces ketones by breaking down fats, this process is known as ketosis.

Ketones may be produced as part of weight loss, however, it’s important for people with diabetes on insulin to note that ketones can be produced when the body has insufficient insulin.

When the body has too little insulin, it means that cells of the body cannot take in enough sugar from the blood. To compensate for this, the body will start to break down fat to provide ketones.

However, if a high level of ketones is produced, this can cause the blood to become acidic which can lead to illness and even potential danger to organs if not treated in time.

This state is referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis.

Where can I get ketone testing kits and sensors?

The most accurate way of testing for ketones is to use a meter that measures blood ketone levels.

The following blood glucose meters are able to test blood ketone levels in addition to blood glucose levels:

  • Abbott – FreeStyle Optium Neo
  • Menarini – GlucoMen LX Plus

If you take insulin, you should be able to get these prescribed by your GP.

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