Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test

blood ketone test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is ketone?

Ketones are the acidic chemicals that are produced by the liver when it breaks down the fat for energy. Fat is metabolized for energy when glucose is out of supply. Ketone is produced as a byproduct as the fat gets metabolized. Ketone build-up can happen to any individual with or without diabetes.

What is the Blood Ketone test?

The Blood Ketone Test is used to measure and monitor the levels of ketone in the blood. In diabetic people, the Blood Ketone test helps to diagnose a life-threatening problem called diabetic ketoacidosis. Lower to medium levels of ketone in the blood is considered normal in a healthy individual. a higher level of ketone in the blood can have adverse effects on health and needs immediate medical attention.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo the Blood Ketone test?

In non-diabetic people, when you are experiencing symptoms associated with ketoacidoses, such as:

– Increased urination
– Excessive thirst
– Dehydration
– Rapid breathing

If you have diabetes, your body either can’t produce insulin or your body can’t utilize the insulin being produced. In this case, the fats are broken down instead of glucose. Ketones are produced as the byproducts in this procedure.

When should I undergo the Blood Ketone test?

If you have diabetes, you have to be aware of the symptoms that are caused by having elevated levels of ketone in the body. The most common symptoms are:

– Dry mouth
– Blood sugar levels greater than 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
– Strong thirst
– Frequent urination

In the case of lack of treatment, the symptoms can progress to:

– Confusion
– Extreme fatigue
– Flushed skin
Fruity breath odor
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Stomach pain
– Trouble breathing

It is highly suggested to undergo the Blood Ketone test if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

What are the preparations required for the Blood Ketone test?

There are no specific preparations needed for the Blood Ketone test.

– There is no requirement for fasting.
– No old medications are needed to be stopped.
– No inclusion of any new medicines is also required.

What is the procedure of the Blood Ketone test?

For conducting the Blood Ketone test, a sample of blood has to be collected. The blood sample is collected by the venipuncture procedure. The venipuncture is done by the following steps:

– A tourniquet or an elastic band is wrapped around the upper arm which makes the veins more prominent. This makes it easier to locate the vein which is needed to be punctured.

– A syringe or needle is injected to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn and stored into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– After the collection of the blood, the area around the spot of puncture is cleaned with an antiseptic. This helps in the prevention of further infections.

– A cotton swab is dabbed or a bandage is put on the spot of the puncture to stop any further bleeding.

The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Blood Ketone test.

Is the Blood Ketone test painful?

The Blood Ketone test procedure does not involve any pain at all. Some people might feel a pinpricking sensation during the injection of the needle of the syringe. This pain wears off in a few hours or a day to the maximum.

What are the risks associated with the Blood Ketone test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection(venipuncture) might have some risks associated with it:

– The feeling of light-headedness and dizziness after the blood is drawn.
– It might cause Hematoma that is the condition in which blood is accumulated under the skin causing a lump or bruise.
– You might experience pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What is the price range of the Blood Ketone test in India?

The price of the Total Thyroxine test ranges from Rs 50 to 500 in India. The price varies across the country depending on the location of the diagnostic center i.e. the city or the state the diagnostic center is located in.

When will I get my results for the Blood Ketone test?

You will get your results for the Blood Ketone test within 24hours to 36 hours of the test.

What does my Blood Ketone test result depict?

The clinical ranges of the ketone levels in the blood are elaborated along with the interpretation in the chart given below:

Ketone level Interpretation 
Less than 0.6 Normal
0.6 – 1.0 Slightly High
1.0 – 3.0 Moderately High
Higher than 3.0 Very High

If you are a diabetic person, you should consult a doctor even if you have a slightly or moderately high ketone level.In the case of non-diabetic people, you should seek immediate medical attention if the ketone levels in the blood are too high.

What does it mean if I have a high level of ketone in my blood?

If you are diabetic, an elevated level of ketone in your blood  might indicate the following:

– DKA(Diabetic ketoacidosis)
– Starvation 
– Uncontrolled serum glucose levels
– Alcoholic ketoacidosis

Even if you don’t have diabetes, you can still have high levels of ketone in the body. In this case, having elevated levels of ketone in the blood indicates the following:

– A low-carbohydrate diet
– Having an eating disorder or are in treatment for one
– Constant vomiting 
– Too much alcohol consumption.

Is the Blood Ketone test recommended for pregnant women?

The blood Ketone test is recommended to pregnant women having diabetes. A state of accelerated starvation where the mother and the fetus do not get the required nutrition is when the ketone buildup starts in the mother’s body.

Elevated levels of ketone in the mother’s body have adverse effects on the unborn. Hence it is highly recommended fo pregnant women to undergo the Blood ketone test. It is completely safe for the mother as well as the fetus to undergo the Blood Ketone test.

But generally, in the case of pregnant women, ketone levels are preferred to be measured in the urine.

What does it mean if I have a high level of ketone in my blood during pregnancy?

A higher level of Ketone in the blood during pregnancy renders the unborn having an adverse effect on the developing brain cells and lead to babies with a lower IQ and future learning disabilities.

Is the Blood Ketone test safe for my kid?

The Ketone Blood test is completely safe for your kid since it involves the collection of the blood sample via the procedure of venipuncture. Yet there are common risks of venipuncture like hematoma, slight bruising and bleeding associated with this test.

When should my kid undergo the Blood Ketone test?

If your kid is diabetic and is experiencing the symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, the Blood Ketone test is highly recommended. The most common symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in kids are:

– Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
– Excessive thirst/urination
– Dry mouth and dehydration
– Abdominal pain
– Nausea and/or vomiting
– Fruity (acetone) breath odor
– Rapid, deep breathing
– Confusion
– Unconsciousness (“diabetic coma”)

What are the other tests usually recommended along with the Blood ketone test?

Generally, there are a few other tests that are recommended along with the Blood Ketone test. Some of these tests are:

– Glucose, or blood sugar
– Protein
– pH, or acid level
– Urine Ketone test


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