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Ketones in Urine

Posted on May 21, 2013 | No Comments on Ketones in Urine

Ketones are broken down fat cells and fatty acids used as energy or fuel of the body, which happens usually when the body has insufficient sugar or carbohydrates to provide for energy needs. When the body is unable to use carbohydrates, which is its main source of energy, it starts to break down fats to supply energy for the body. Fat is stored energy and once broken down turns to ketones. Initially, this would seem affirmative for people who are trying to lose weight. However, this is bad news for normal people who are not starving oneself because if is a symptom that one may be suffering from diabetes especially if the symptom is complemented by a unusually sweet urine and uncharacteristically sweet breath.

Ketones are regularly produced by the liver as an element of fatty acid metabolism. However, it is usually completely metabolized that they are hardly detectable in the urine. A detectable ketone in urine could mean that the body cannot get sufficient glucose for its energy requirements thus it started breaking down body fats. This normally occurs to people with Type 1 diabetes. The body cannot use sugar as energy because of the lack of insulin. That’s why fat is used instead. This in turn is termed as diabetic ketoacidosis.

Apart from diabetes, the presence of ketones in the urine can also be a symptom of Anorexia, a psychological disorder of excessive dieting; bulimia, a disorder in which the patient regularly vomits food that was eaten, Alcoholism and substance abuse, and starvation, when a person has nothing to eat. The ketones are also a symptom for other less terrifying disorders such as burns, fever, lactation and pregnancy.

Testing for Ketone is usually done through a urinalysis and is often expressed as negative or positive. The normal amount of ketones in the urine (3-15 mg). Anything more than that is indicative of a symptom. The higher the grade, the greater the amount of ketones detected.

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