Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Buffalo, New York, USA:

My 26 month son, who has type 1 diabetes, had starvation ketones when he was sick. What is the difference between ketones from starvation and ketones from high blood sugar? My doctor wasn't too concerned about the starvation ketones, but we still needed to give insulin.


Ketones are the ashes left over when fat is burned for energy. This can happen whenever the body does not have sugar available. Two things can cause ketones: not enough sugar in the body (starvation ketones) and not enough insulin (the ketones you see with high blood sugar).

Typically, these two causes of ketones are treated differently, depending on what the blood sugar is. Starvation ketones often go hand and hand with hypoglycemia. So the treatment is to eat carbohydrates. The ketones that go along with high blood sugar often require extra doses of insulin.


Original posting 17 Oct 2002
Posted to Other


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.