Read aloud

Ketoacidosis

High blood glucose levels can put you at risk of a serious condition called ketoacidosis.

If your body cells do not have insulin to use glucose for energy, your blood glucose levels will rise and your body will break down fats instead (as another energy source). However, fat breakdown leads to your body forming ketones which you can detect in your blood or urine. High blood glucose levels and ketones can result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which requires hospitalisation.

Ketoacidosis may occur when you:

  • are unwell
  • forget to take your insulin, or
  • don’t take enough insulin.

How to check for ketones

To check for ketones, you can:

  • test your blood (using a monitor that can test for both glucose and ketones in your blood) OR
  • test your urine (using urine test strips available where you access your blood testing strips).

Ketoacidosis during pregnancy

The risk of ketoacidosis increases during pregnancy and is very dangerous, especially for the baby. It is important to go to a hospital immediately if your blood glucose levels are high and there is any sign of ketoacidosis (blood ketones more than 0.6 or urine ketones more than 1+).