What Is Ketosis?
On a low-carb diet such as the Atkins Diet, you must aim for a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when your body stops burning carbohydrates for energy and switches to burning fat. You should go into this state during the first few days of the plan, as soon as you begin depriving your body of carbohydrates and supplying it with mainly fat and protein. During ketosis, your body produces ketones.
Why do I need these tests?
These tests detect ketones in the urine and so will give an indication on whether you are in a state of ketosis or not.
But is the presence of ketones a sign of diabetes?
Yes it can be. Usually our body will turn the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and this is used for energy. But if you have diabetes, you may not have enough insulin for the sugar in your bloodstream to be used for fuel. As a result the body will use fat instead and as the fat is broken down, ketones are produced. This is known as Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and can be very dangerous.
Most cases of diabetic ketoacidosis occur in people with type 1 diabetes, although it can also be a complication of type 2 diabetes.
How do I know if my positive ketones result indicates ketosis or ketoacidosis?
If you have any of the below symptoms alongside a positive ketones result then this is indicates you may have ketoacidosis and should seek medical assistance:
passing large amounts of urine
feeling very thirsty