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Ketones

How It Feels

Blood test by a laboratory

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.

Blood test at home

Your finger may feel sore after pricking it for a drop of blood for the test.

Urine test

There is normally no discomfort involved with collecting a urine sample.

Risks

Blood test by a laboratory

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 You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.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.

Blood test at home

There is very little risk of complications from testing your blood for ketones with a home blood sugar meter.

Urine test

There are no risks associated with collecting a urine sample.

Results

A ketone test checks for substances made when the body breaks down fat for energy (ketones).

Ketones

Normal:

There are no ketones in your blood or urine.

Abnormal:

Ketones are present in your blood or urine.

Blood test at home

Home blood sugar meters that also test for ketones display results on the meter's screen.

In people who have diabetes, blood ketones are expected to be lower than 0.6 mmol/L.

Urine test

Ketones are present in the urine if:

  • The test strip changes color after dipping it into the urine.
  • The urine changes color after placing the test tablet in it.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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