What are Ketones ? - Mothering Forums
August 2004 > What are Ketones ?
LizaBear's Avatar LizaBear 12:49 PM 07-20-2004
I had my 34-week check-up with one of my midwives yesterday :

My urine sample showed a low level of ketones present. My midwife didn't seem concerned - asked when I'd last eaten, about excercise, etc

I'd had a small lunch around 11am (appt was at 3pm), walked to the mall (30 minutes in the nasty heat), around the mall for an hour or so before catching the bus, then another walk of a few blocks to the office.

mealymama's Avatar mealymama 03:19 PM 07-20-2004
ketones are present in your blood when you're burning fat stores instead of food/sugars. If you aren't dieting (hardcore) or exercising strenuously, they probably mean you're dehydrated. If you were walking in the heat, that's probably why they were there. Drink more!
They can also show up if you're diabetic, because the body is not able to burn sugars and is burning fat stores instead, but in a diabetic there would be more than just a little. Anyway, at 34 weeks I wouldn't start worrying about gest. diabetes. I'm sure you were just a little dry.
SamuraiEarthMama's Avatar SamuraiEarthMama 03:19 PM 07-20-2004
one online definition: "Ketones: Chemicals that the body makes when there is not enough insulin in the blood and it must break down fat for its energy. Ketone bodies can poison and even kill body cells. When the body does not have the help of insulin, the ketones build up in the blood and then "spill" over into the urine so that the body can get rid of them. The body can also rid itself of one type of ketone, called acetone, through the lungs. This gives the breath a fruity odor. Ketones that build up in the body for a long time lead to serious illness and coma."

the whole low-carb thing is designed to specifically put the body into low level ketosis to burn fat.

if you didn't have many carbs for lunch, and then walked around in the heat, that could definitely have caused a ketone spill... but if it's a one-time thing, it's not a big deal at all. it's just your body finding enough energy to keep you going when you've used up the immediate available food sources.

if you're not feeling dizzy or ill, you're probably just fine. a little ketosis isn't really a big deal... it's only when it's been going on for a long time, and in large amounts, that you start looking at problems.

hope that helps!

mealymama's Avatar mealymama 03:23 PM 07-20-2004
As far as the low-carb thing goes, it's blown out of proportion. As someone who did the Atkins thing for years I can tell you it is DIFFICULT to get into ketosis... it doesn't happen by accident, just because you eat fewer carbs thatn usual one day. You need to starve yourself of carbohydrates for several days in a row, and as soon as you eat so much as a slice of fruit or a few french fries, you're out of ketosis.
there is a great big difference between ketosis, which is what you experience when you diet/excersize/don't drink enough water, and keto-acidosis, which is what diabetics experience. Ketosis for short periods is not harmful to you or baby.
mommycaroline's Avatar mommycaroline 03:30 PM 07-20-2004
Ketones are produced when your body has to burn it's reserves instead of using the available food stores (like when you eat a meal). If you had a small meal, and then did all that walking, that could certainly explain it. They mostly monitor ketones for signs of gestational diabetes, but it's routine to check them in everyone.

I wouldn't worry about it. Just next time you go in, make sure you're well hydrated (concentrated urine can also register ketones), have eaten a good meal recently and haven't overexerted yourself. In all likelihood, you won't have them appear again, but at this late stage of pregnancy, you might if you're not eating enough. Keep that food coming!
LizaBear's Avatar LizaBear 08:49 PM 07-20-2004
I don't think it would be physically possible for me to eat more than I already do !

At 34 weeks, I find I'm pretty consistently doing 1 of 4 things :
- eating
- drinking
- peeing
- sleeping
magemom's Avatar magemom 07:29 PM 07-26-2004
I had Ketones Thursday. It wasn't until they asked that I realized I had nothing to drink all day. Closest I came was the melted ice cream
We shall see how things are this week. (38 weeks) DH was there and wants me to up my carb intake, since I have really been limiting them this past month. (elevated blood sugars)
luv2*b*mom's Avatar luv2*b*mom 12:45 PM 07-27-2004
I was also leaking ketones at my homevisit and I had no idea what they were! Thanks for all the info!