Ketone build up with normal blood sugars

My doctors have been like zero help and so I needed some more advice. I was sick several weeks ago with a UTI that I had for quite a while I started feeling sicker about a month ago and had to go to the ER because I was vomiting, uncontrollable shaking, light headed and couldn’t stand or walk. They really didn’t do anything in the ER and sent me back to my GP who sent me to a GI doctor. Basically my symptoms since early December have been extreme nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, light headedness, weight loss, and stomach pain. My GI doctor did some lab test and a CT with contrast everything came back normal. I checked my ER charts and I had a abnormally high amount of ketones, so for the past week i’ve been checking my ketones once a day and they’re in the small category. I know if you have small or moderate that is not typically dangerous but I asked my sister who is also type 1 and she said since i’ve had them for a while that ketone build up could be causing these symptoms. I contacted my endo last week and they did more lab work and she said even though I have small amounts of ketones my blood sugars are normal so she doesn’t think this is the problem and told me to go back to my GP ( I feel like that may be a waste of time and money though). I´m not really sure what could be causing these symptoms other than ketone build up since every test they did came back normal and I don’t think theres any chance I’m pregnant so that wouldn’t be causing the symptoms either.

Hi @Autumn_Rose I’m more of a mechanic than a doctor but this is the way I understand ketones. Unless you have a kidney problem, ketones are eliminated with urine. Drink water and you should be ok.

Ketones are generated any time you are burning fat. This could be on purpose such as you are trying to lose weight, or it could be coincidental with illness. If you are running a calorie deficit you will make ketones and if you have enough insulin you will have ketones with normal blood sugar.

If you don’t have insulin in your system your blood sugar rises. Without insulin your muscles burn fat for energy. When this happens: large ketones with no insulin, that can cause DKA and that’s an emergency.

The fact that you have good blood sugar and are seeing ketones most likely means you are still making them. They should go away with higher intake of calories while maintaining blood sugar and staying hydrated.

Hope you feel better. Cheers and good luck :four_leaf_clover:


I’m so sorry you’re still sick. I’ve got nothing for you but encouragement to keep trying. You know something’s wrong. All the “normal” results mean is that they haven’t figured out what yet.

Get better soon, and keep us posted. We’re pulling for you!

Thank you so much for the support!

Hi Autumn,
I’m replying to your post a little late. Have your symptoms gotten better? I wanted to ask if anything seems to trigger your symptoms or if they are constant throughout the day. Does eating food worsen your symptoms? How much weight have you lost? ~Anna

Hi @Autumn_Rose . @Annaosborn11 was kind enough to check in with you and that inspired me to follow suit. Please let us know how you’re doing.

Hi Anna,
My symptoms are a little better, Ive stopped vomiting but the other symptoms come and go now so theyre not constant anymore. For me its hard to say if food triggers It because Ive tried to see if theres a connection but cant really find one yet. Ive lost 7lbs so not a ton but It was very sudden. Thanks for checking in :slight_smile:

Thank you for checking in! Im doing a bit better!

I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better!
This may be a longshot but it could be an allergic reaction to something. Although you are trying to identify troublesome foods, it might be worth a shot to get some testing done. It could also be chemical or environmental factors.

Yeah could be! I’ll have to see. One of the foods I thought made me sick hasn’t since so i’m a little stumped but maybe it could be an intolerance. Thanks for all the help!

Also with ketones my endo told me not to freak out about small or moderate ketones unless I also have high blood sugar that isn’t responding to insulin. Anytime I used to have a high blood (240+) sugar in the morning or periods where I haven’t ate for a while, I would test urine ketones and they would show up and id be nervous and call the nurse line who would instruct me to keep an eye on things but try eating a high protein low carb snack. Every single time I did something lower carb, took a little insulin and rehydrated the ketones have gone away. Of course it’s something you want to keep an eye on and it’s not something to ignore but if you’ve been having stomach aches too I’m guessing you’re not eating as much which could contribute to low levels of ketones since your body doesn’t have a ton of fuel to run on- at least that’s how my endo explained it to me. I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well! Hope you feel better soon.

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Thanks for the explanation!