Blood Ketones testing
Please note, this page is printable by selecting the normal print options on your computer.
Ketones are acids which can quickly make you feel very unwell. They may make you vomit or you may become breathless. If ketones persist you may develop Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA may cause you to become extremely unwell and you may require urgent hospital treatment. Ketones may still be produced when you are ill even if blood glucose levels are low.
The advantage of measuring Ketones in the blood is that an increased level can be detected earlier than in the urine, and rends can be followed over several hours.
Therefore please follow these guidelines:
- Always test for blood ketones if you have an unexplained or unexpected blood glucose levels above 14mmol/l.
- Always test for blood ketones when ill even if blood glucose levels are low.
- Always test blood ketones when your child is vomiting or feels sick, even if the blood glucose level is low.
Below 0.6mmol/l – levels below 0.6mmol/l are in the normal range. Follow your healthcare professional’s advice before you make any changes to your diabetes medication programme.
Between 0.6 and 1.5mmol/l – when your blood ketone level is between 0.6mmol/l and 1.5mmol/l and your blood glucose level is higher than 14mmol/l this may indicate the development of a problem that may require medical assistance. Follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
Above 1.5mmol/l – when your blood ketone level is higher than 1.5mmol/l and your blood glucose level is higher than 14mmol/l, you may be at risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Contact your healthcare professional immediately for advice.