Many people use a blood ketone meter to test the level of ketone in their bodies, either as a critical part of type 1 diabetes management or weight loss management. The liver might produce ketones as a fuel to burn fat; however, people suffering from diabetes should know that these chemicals can be produced due to a deficiency of insulin. Although everyone has ketones, high levels can cause the blood to become acidic, leading to illness or potential danger to organs. Therefore, this article will highlight every necessary detail related to monitoring ketone levels using ketone meters.
Ketone Testing in Diabetes
People suffering from diabetes use a blood ketone meter and ketone test strips to look for signs of diabetic ketoacidosis. People should consider testing for ketones when:
- Their blood glucose level is over 240 mg/dl persistently, especially when they have signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). In such a case, it’s recommended to test for blood ketones every 4 to 6 hours.
- They are feeling ill.
- They are showing signs of dehydration.
- The blood sugar increased too much within a day.
Reading Ketone Meter for Diabetic People
Reading the ketone meter can help the individual know when to contact a healthcare provider. Here are some general guidelines:
- A level between 0.6 mmol/L and 1.0 mmol/L is stated as standard for most people with diabetes.
- A level ranging from 1.0 mmol/L to 1.5 mmol/L is when one needs to reach out to a healthcare professional.
- A level of 1.5 mmol/L and 2.9 mmol/L indicates a person at risk of ketoacidosis.
- A level above 3.0 mmol/L is considered a medical emergency, and thus, one needs to go to an emergency room.
Ketone Testing for Ketogenic Diets
A person with average blood glucose is reported to have a higher blood ketone level in the morning after an overnight fast. However, many people stated that their blood ketones level rose during the day.
When thinking of tracking the blood ketones regularly, pick one time of day to get better results. A level ranging from 0.5 mmol/L to 3 mmol/L is considered normal for people who have completed three to four weeks on their ketogenic diets.
Ketone Test Strips for Ketone Meters
A person should always buy blood ketone test strips for the blood ketone meter, as glucose test strips won’t work for it. Additionally, check the expiration date on strips, as expired strips will not give accurate results. The FDA also warns people against buying previously-owned test strips.
The primary purpose of ketone meters is to alert people with insulin-dependent diabetes about the signs of life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis. However, these ketone meters are also helpful for people following ketogenic diets. Having an accurate ketone meter for monitoring blood ketone levels is effective in reducing emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Moreover, regular monitoring will improve the time to recovery in individuals with diabetic ketoacidosis. Just make sure to get ketone meters equipped with the necessary features and show accurate readings.