advertisement
 

  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team
Question:

From Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa:

My kids were on a pump for a year. The girl started having ketones once a month. After some time, she had ketones up to two times a week. I called the doctor to ask about this, but he never called me back. Her blood sugars range from 2.9 mmol/L [53 mg/dl] to 20 mmol/L [360 mg/dl]. They say it is normal for a child that age. I took both of them off the pump without any assistance from a doctor. Can you explain the ketones?

Answer:

Ketones measured in the blood and/or the urine merely indicate that the body is metabolizing fat. This can happen with starvation or undernutrition or can happen when there is a lack of insulin (omitted insulin, no insulin provided as at diagnosis of diabetes, etc.). In someone with diabetes, using shots or pumps does not matter, the presence of ketones is not normal, but indicates a mis-match of insulin, food/energy. In pump patients, interruption of insulin either by purposeful omission of insulin, catheter blockage, air in the catheter, or pump malfunction itself all are additional possible explanations added to illness interfering with insulin effects. Frequent ketones suggest the need for some "detective" work closely with the diabetes health care team and family to try to elucidate possible causes and make some corrections. It is not likely that illness would explain this but significant psychological stress of any kind can block insulin's effect just as catheter/site problems or lack of insulin are likely culprits. The one other explanation for positive ketones is in someone who is trying to lose weight because of being overweight/obese. Then, ketones would be a good sign that the body fat is being metabolized appropriately.

SB

DTQ-20080401140740
Original posting 25 Apr 2008
Posted to Hyperglycemia and DKA

  
advertisement


                 
  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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.