Ketone Update


Recently, after writing my blog post on ketones I developed severe ketones when I had contacted the flu. What this taught me was that severe (small ketones can still be delt with at home) ketones should be delt with at a hospital and not at home.

It was a couple days before Christmas, around 4 a.m., and I got up from my bed to rush to the bathroom to throw up, throw up and throw up some more. When I woke up in the later in the morning my ketones had reached 80 (which is extremely high). I haven’t had ketones like this since I was first diagnosed as having type one diabetes.

I felt really bad, like I had woken up with a hangover after a night of drinking and then blacking out. I couldn’t keep my head up because I felt to dizzy and exhausted. I was out of breath and was breathing through my mouth, I had to have my Mom help me stand up to walk to the bathroom.

I at first gave myself 14 units of insulin (without eating any food) to get rid of my ketones. I went to sleep and woke up an hour later with the same amount of ketones. I then just decided to play a guessing game and gave myself 20 units of insulin (without any food).

I thought to myself that if I went low it would be okay because my Mom was there to take care of me.

The insulin actually made me start to feel a little bit better. When my Mom starting feeding me sugar-free jello I felt a little bit better, as well. Then when I would wake up ever few hours I would check my ketones, give a similar dose of insulin and then drink sugar-free ginger ale. Note: I did start eating a little food at night time.

All of this lasted a couple days. When my ketones would go down a lot at night, I would wake up in the morning and then they would be sky high, because ketones multiple at night when you sleep; even if you give yourself a higher dose of your 24 hour acting insulin.

Eventually, I woke up and I didn’t have ketones anymore, but I still felt exhausted from everything my body had gone through.

A few days later, I saw my endocronologist he told me that I should have gone to the hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) because I could’ve died. He said they could’ve treated me and the whole situation could’ve been much easier for me. They would’ve hooked me up to an IV with fluids to hydrate me and flush all the ketones out of my system.

The truth is that I didn’t really know what I was doing but I tried my best. Yes, it worked out for me this time, but trust me I will never try to get rid of severe ketones by myself ever again!

If you ever have ketones that are climbing and not going down, just go to the hospital for DKA.


A quick guide to ketones for T1Ds


ketones pic
Image credit: Angela Stevens

When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I had what is called diabetic ketoacidosis. Before this happened, I was constantly peeing; I had no appetite; I was extremely thirsty; I had become skin and bones; and would have died if I hadn’t been flown in an emergency helicopter to Loma Linda University Hospital.

Ketones are deadly and are often misdiagnosed by medical professionals as the flu.

#1 What are ketones?

Ketones are unhealthy and potentially deadly acids in the bloodstream.
People can develop ketones when:
*You have have high blood sugars
*Miss a dose of insulin
*Fail to give the correct amount of insulin
*Develop a cold or flu
*Exercise with a high blood sugar

Note: A healthy amount of ketones for a diabetic to have is none.

#2 How do they impact your body?

Ketones impact every part of your body.
Ketones make you:
*Lose weight in a short amount of time
*Extremely tired
*Extremely thirsty
*Give you a fever

#3 What to do when you have them?

*Drink a lot of water to flush out the ketones
*Treat yourself as if you have a cold or flu

  • Do not go to school or work
  • Try to eat bland foods that will not upset your stomache

*Give yourself a correcting dose of insulin

    A) Guide to giving yourself a correcting dose of insulin
(The amount of insulin may vary from person to person. This is my personal guide for myself) 1-5 ketones = 1 extra unit of insulin; 5-15 ketones = 3 units of insulin; anything higher, go to the ER for DKA. If you have vomited go to the hospital immediately for diabetes ketoacidosis. You may not have ketoacidosis but it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Diabetes ketoacidosis is deadly and needs to be treated immediately. Note: You do not have to eat a meal to give yourself a correcting dose of insulin.

#4 What never to do when you have them?

Do not:
*Do not exercise because it will increase the amount of ketones you have in your body
*Do not eat anything that has a high sugar; or high carb content
*Do not drink anything that contains sugar or carbohydrates

#5 How to check if you have ketones?

You check to see if you have ketones by buying a ketone sticks. They can be purchased at almost any drugstore and online. All you do is simply pee on the stick; it changes color; and then you use the color guide to reveal how many ketones you have.

On another note

Ketones are the devil! They have taken the lives of many diabetics. If you notice that your blood sugars keep staying high for no reason then please, get in the habit of checking your ketone levels on a daily basis.