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What are ketones?

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Everyone has ketones, whether you have diabetes or not. Ketones are chemicals made in your liver.

You produce them when you don't have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead.

Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream. Your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel.

For a person without diabetes, this process doesn’t become an issue. When you have diabetes, however, you can build up too many ketones in your blood -- and too many ketones can become life-threatening.

From: What Are Ketones and Their Tests? WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd on September 15, 2016

Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2016

SOURCES:

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Blood Ketones."

American Diabetes Association: "Checking for Ketones." "DKA (Ketoacidosis) & Ketones."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Ketone Testing: What You Need to Know."

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: "Type 1 Diabetes Facts."

UpToDate: "Patient information: Self-blood glucose monitoring in diabetes mellitus (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by William Blahd on September 15, 2016

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Blood Ketones."

American Diabetes Association: "Checking for Ketones." "DKA (Ketoacidosis) & Ketones."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Ketone Testing: What You Need to Know."

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: "Type 1 Diabetes Facts."

UpToDate: "Patient information: Self-blood glucose monitoring in diabetes mellitus (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by William Blahd on September 15, 2016

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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