Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Tests for Ketones
A ketone test checks for ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are substances that are made when the body breaks down fat for energy. Normally, your body gets the energy it needs from glucose (sugar). If your body cannot use glucose for energy—for example, if your body doesn't make or use insulin—ketones are formed. You might also have ketones if you are not eating enough carbohydrates and your body uses fat for energy instead. Your body wants to get rid of ketones through urine.
Ketones are most common in people who have type 1 diabetes. It is an early sign that there is not enough insulin, and blood sugar may be dangerously high. This can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a very serious medical problem.
Blood ketones can be tested using some blood sugar meters. You can test your urine for ketones by using specially prepared tablets or plastic strips.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital