If you’re a diabetic, you’re probably familiar with ketones, which are byproducts of burned fat in the body. Even people without diabetes, however, should be concerned about their ketone levels in certain situations. If your ketone test reveals that you have too many ketones in your body, you’re probably starving or in danger of developing ketoacidosis, a condition that can lead to diabetic coma or even death if not treated immediately. The key to getting rid of ketones is to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle.
How Does the Body Produce Ketones?
The food you eat is digested inside the body in the form of glucose, a type of sugar. Glucose travels in the blood and is absorbed by your cells. Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key that unlocks the doors of your cells to glucose.
Your body constantly needs glucose to function properly. At night, when you’re asleep, your liver releases stored glucose to maintain your energy. If you don’t eat for a long time, however, the glucose stores of the liver get depleted, and your body adapts by breaking down stored fat for energy. Ketones result from this burning process, and they show up in your urine, as a ketone test would reveal.
A diabetic usually has problems with his glucose and ketone levels because his body can’t use insulin to unlock the doors of his cells for the glucose. When this happens, fat is burned up, producing lots of ketones. Glucose may also accumulate in his blood, resulting in ketoacidosis. Whether you’re a diabetic or not, it is important to keep your ketones in a normal level to avoid ketoacidosis and other illnesses.
Getting Rid of Ketones for Non-diabetics
Not a diabetic, but getting high ketone levels from ketone tests? Follow these tips to get rid of your ketones as quickly as possible:
- Eat properly: If you’re not diabetic, but your ketone levels are high, then you’re likely starving. High ketone levels are normal in people who are working out or who haven’t eaten for days. The best solution to this problem is to eat properly; after all, exercise wouldn’t result in a stronger body if you’re not supporting it with the proper diet. To lose weight, eat foods that are low in fat, high in fiber, and rich and vitamins and minerals. Make sure that you’re glucose is in the right level, so your body doesn’t have to burn stored fat for energy.
- Drink plenty of water: Another way to get rid of ketones if you’re not diabetic is to drink plenty of water. Water flushes ketones from your body, and keeps it from getting dehydrated. Dehydration usually exacerbates the problem because your body will use the water the rest of your body needs to flush out harmful substances. In addition, you may also want to do less strenuous exercises until your body reaches a safe ketone level. Consult your doctor to know whether your ketone levels are too high, or if they are in the normal amount.
Getting Rid of Ketones for Diabetics
You should be extra careful with your diet and lifestyle if you’re diabetic, because even slight alterations can result in unbalanced glucose, insulin, and ketone levels. Here are some tips on how to get rid of ketones and maintain a well-functioning body.
Diet Tips for Diabetics
Diet is probably the most critical factor in maintaining normal ketone levels in diabetics. Pay attention to both the quantity and quality of the foods you eat to make sure that your glucose and ketones are at the right level.
- Eat the same amount of food every day: Your glucose level is highest an hour or two after you eat, then it begins to fall. This usually manifests as frequent urination as your body tries to get rid of excess glucose. Eat about the same amount of food at about the same time every day to keep your blood sugar at the right level.
- Careful with the carbs: Carbohydrates have a bigger impact than fat or protein on your glucose level. Try to eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal or snack to keep your blood sugar stable all day.
- Meals and medication go together: If you take in too little food compared to your insulin, your blood sugar will drop to dangerous levels, resulting in a condition known as hypoglycemia. On the other hand, if you eat more than your insulin can handle, your blood sugar will skyrocket, resulting in hyperglycemia. Consult your doctor or a nutritionist to strike the right balance of meals and medication.
The Right Way to Exercise
Keytones in your body may be accumulating because you’re exercising too much or not exercising at all. Exercise can help regulate keytones and glucose in your body if done the right way. According to experts, regular exercise also improves your body’s response to insulin.
- Consult your doctor first: It can be bothersome, but going frequently to your doctor for checkups is a must if you’re diabetic. You need to get your doctor’s approval before you start your exercise program. He’ll review what exercises are included in your program, and advise you on when to take your medications. Talking to your doctor is especially important if you’ve been inactive for a long time and plan to start exercising regularly.
- Balance your insulin doses: Remember that your body uses glucose as you work out. If you’re not careful, you may use up too much of the glucose in your blood, which is as dangerous as having a high blood sugar level. Adjust your insulin dose before working out, or wait a few hours to exercise after injecting insulin. Keep in mind also that your doctor’s supervision is absolutely necessary during any stage in your treatment plan.
- Closely monitor your blood sugar: Some people get a “high” out of exercising, that they overdo it and place too much stress in their bodies. As a diabetic, you should be extra careful with your exercise program; otherwise, exercise can lead to starvation and high ketone levels. Check your blood sugar level before, during, and after exercise. Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, or experience chest pains. Also, drink plenty of water or replacement fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Lower blood sugar with heavy tasks: On the other hand, if your blood sugar is too high, doing strenuous activities may help. Even daily activities though, such as gardening, cleaning the house, or just standing on your feet for long periods, can lower your glucose level. Do some heavy exercises and tasks each day if your blood sugar tends to climb.
Beware of Stress
Stress can significantly affect your diabetes treatment routine, unbalancing your blood sugar and insulin levels and producing ketones. If you’re stressed out, you might lose your appetite, exercise less, or get tired of testing your blood sugar.
According to experts, the hormones that your body releases in response to stress also prevent insulin from working properly, which only complicates things. Here are some tips to reduce stress in your lifestyle:
- Log your stress levels: Measure your stress level on a scale of one to 10 each time you record your blood sugar level. This will help you determine if the pattern of your stress level is changing, and you’ll be able to act accordingly. Contemplate on what’s causing your stress to increase, and then try to solve the problem so you won’t lose your focus on the treatment program.
- Get plenty of rest: Sleep deprivation can lead to inefficiency during the day. Since you have less energy, you won’t be able to attend to your responsibilities to yourself as a diabetes patient. Develop a regular sleeping habit to have more energy to complete your daily tasks.
- Don’t get frustrated: The added demands of diabetes can oftentimes be frustrating. It’s easy to get stressed when things don’t go as planned. Don’t lose your head over the pain though, and always keep things in proper perspective. Remember that your doctor is always there to give you advice. Continue measuring your ketone levels as much as needed, and stick to the treatment program.
Prevention is always better than cure. You don’t need to worry about your glucose, insulin, and ketone levels if you live a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest to keep your body in top condition. If you have diabetes, closely follow the advice of your doctor to avoid further complications.
Many people with diabetes live happy and productive lives. Look at your ketone levels as positive warning signs for your own benefit, rather than as a cause of alarm and anxiety. If you learn from this article, you’ll get more ideas by reading how to control blood sugar.