How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein
in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel
tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick
sting or pinch.
There is normally no discomfort
involved with collecting a urine sample.
There is very little risk of a problem
from having blood drawn from a vein.
- You may develop a small bruise at the
puncture site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the
site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
- In rare
cases, the vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This
condition is called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress
applied several times daily.
- Continued bleeding can be a problem
for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other
blood-thinning medicines can also make bleeding more likely. If you have
bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell
your health professional before your blood is drawn.
There are no risks associated with
collecting a urine sample.
A ketone test checks for substances made
when the body breaks down fat for energy (ketones).
There are no ketones in your blood or
Ketones are present in your blood or
If either the test strip or the urine
changes color when the tablet is dropped into the sample, ketones are present
in your urine sample. The test results are read as negative to 1+ to 4+ or
small to large.
You may have ketones in your urine if
- Have poorly controlled diabetes or
- Are on a very
low-carbohydrate or high-fat diet.
starving or have an eating disorder, including disorders that result in poor
nutrition such as
anorexia nervosa or
bulimia, alcoholism, or poisoning from drinking
rubbing alcohol (isopropanol).
- Have not eaten (fasted) for 18 hours
- Are pregnant. But a moderate amount of ketones in a
pregnant woman may harm the fetus and may be an indication of gestational
The level of ketones, and not just the presence of
ketones, may be important to your doctor as well. Many conditions can change
ketone levels. Fasting usually causes only mild increases in the level, but
ketone levels in diabetic ketoacidosis are much higher. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in relation
to your symptoms and past health.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Taking medicines, such as:
- Levodopa, such as Sinemet or Larodopa.
- Phenazopyridine, such as Pyridium or Uristat.
such as Depakote, Depacon, or Depakene.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid),
when taken in large amounts.
- Waiting a long time after collecting the urine to test it.