Diabetic ketoacidosis: over-the-counter ketones test

You can easily find ketone tests at your pharmacy. Ask your doctor about testing and recording methods. Urine tests are simple, but to get good results you have to follow directions carefully.

Here’s how most urine tests go:

  • Get a sample of your urine in a clean container.
  • Place the strip in the sample (you can also pass the strip through the urine stream).
  • Gently shake excess urine off the strip.
  • Wait for the strip pad to change color. The directions will tell you how long to wait.
  • Compare the strip pad to the color chart on the strip bottle. This gives you a range of the amount of ketones in your urine.
  • Record your results

Small or trace amounts of ketones may mean that ketone buildup is starting. You should test again in a few hours.

Moderate or large amounts are a danger sign. They can poison the body. Never exercise when your urine checks show moderate or large amounts of ketones and your blood glucose is high. These are signs that your diabetes is out of control.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening medical condition. If you develop mild signs and symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

If your doctor suspects diabetic ketoacidosis he/she will do some tests. Sometimes additional tests may be needed to help determine what triggered the episode of diabetic ketoacidosis or what damage the ketoacidosis may have caused.

Blood tests used in the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis will measure: blood sugar level, ketone level, and blood acidity. Other tests may include: blood electrolyte tests, urinalysis, chest X-ray, or an electrocardiogram.

If you’re diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, you may be treated in the emergency room or admitted to the hospital. Treatment usually involves a three-pronged approach: fluid replacement, electrolyte replacement, and insulin therapy.