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  How do you or your child usually check for ketones?  
      Urine ketone strips from a vial  
  42%     63  
      Foil-wrapped urine ketone strips  
  8%     12  
      Blood ketone testing using the Precision Xtra  
  32%     49  
      Blood ketone testing using the Nova Max Plus  
  6%     9  
      I use something else  
  0%      0  
      I don't test for ketones  
  12%     18  
      I don't know what ketones are  
  0%      0  

Total votes: 151
 

How do you or your child usually test for ketones?

Poll dates: July 3 - 17, 2013
Total Votes: 151

People with type 1 diabetes are advised to test for ketones when their blood sugar is high or when they're sick (see Hyperglycemia and Ketone Testing). Until recently, that meant urine test strips. While the majority (54%) of our respondents report using urine testing, there is a better way.

With the Precision Xtra, you can test for blood ketones instead of urine ketones. Ketones in the blood can be detected well before ketones in the urine be detected, offering you the opportunity to treat sooner than you would if you waited for urine testing. (Have you ever tried to make a three year old pee on command?) Also, being able to test with a finger stick eliminates the need to find a bathroom to test if you're away from home. (How many of you carry urine ketone strips when you're out shopping or at an amusement park? And if you do, do you like the thought of peeing on a strip in a filthy public bathroom?)

While some argue that the cost of blood ketone testing is much higher than urine ketone testing (about $4 per blood ketone strip versus as low as $0.10 per urine ketone strip), annual testing costs will likely be about the same if you check for ketones about 10 times per year, which is about what our readers reported in a poll from December 2007. Urine test strips have a 90-day lifetime, after which they must be replaced. Priced at about $10 per 100 strips, the annual cost of urine testing is about $40. At $4 per test for blood ketone testing, if you test 10 times a year, the annual cost is also about $40 per year. If you check for ketones more often, then urine testing might be more economical, but the clinical benefits described in recent studies still argue for using blood ketone testing.

There is also very good science to support the use of blood ketone testing over urine testing:

  1. Sick day management using blood 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB) compared with urine ketone monitoring reduces hospital visits in young people with T1DM: a randomized clinical trial.
  2. Early detection of insulin deprivation in continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion-treated patients with type 1 diabetes.
  3. Sick day management using blood 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB) compared with urine ketone monitoring reduces hospital visits in young people with T1DM: a randomized clinical trial. (Diabetic Medicine 23 (3), 278-284)
  4. Early detection of insulin deprivation in continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion-treated patients with type 1 diabetes. (Diabetes Technol Ther. 2006 Feb;8(1):67-75)

Of course, the benefits of feedback on what's happening in your body at that instant, not having to force toddlers to pee on demand, not having to drag a sick teenager out of bed to the bathroom, and not having to go into a public bathroom when you're out and not feeling well are -- as the advertisement says -- priceless.

The table below compares the results from this poll with previous times we've run it.

Answer    Jul 2013 Jul 2012 Jul 2010 Jul 2009 Jul 2008 Jul 2007 Jul 2006 Sep 2004 Aug 2003 Jul 2002 Jul 2001
Urine ketone strips from a vial    42% 45% 46% 40% 48% 50% 52% 56% 57% 63% 68%
Foil-wrapped urine ketone strips    8% 10% 14% 14% 17% 18% 23% 23% 22% 17% 15%
Precision Xtra    32% 28% 30% 35% 26% 24% 15% 10% 9% 8% 7%
Nova Max Plus    6% 8% -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
I use something else    0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
I don't test for ketones    12% 9% 10% 7% 6% 5% 5% 7% 8% 8% 7%
I don't know what ketones are    0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%

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Last Updated: Wednesday July 09, 2014 19:54:24
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