Ketonuria, What causes it?



Ketonuria is a condition of an abnormal quantity of ketones and ketone bodies in urine. It indicates a possible presence of malignant diabetes mellitus.

A diabetic with the risk of ketonuria requires regular urine monitoring to watch out for the buildup of ketone for prompt treatment to prevent sliding into unmanageable condition. Ketonuria is also known as ketoaciduria or acetonuria.

Ketonuria Causes

The human body requires carbohydrates for energy, but the presence of diabetes causing abnormal carbohydrates metabolism is responsible for ketones to build up and accumulation in the blood and passed out in urine. The conditions responsible for Ketones accumulation are acidosis and coma in diabetics. Other enabling factors may include Starvation, Digestive disturbances, Dietary imbalance, Eclampsia, Glycogen storage diseases, Severe, prolonged exercise, Fever, Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

Ketones are toxic and disrupt uric acid excretion. The cause mild depression of the central nervous system and acidosis.

Food digestion and insulin

In food digestion, the body breaks fat, proteins and carbohydrates into nutrients for the body use. Proteins are converted to amino acid, fat to fatty acid and glucose. All these nutrients get into the blood stream to begin the work of sustenance and nourishment of the body.

In food digestion, the body turns proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into nutrients that sustain and nurture it. It converts Fats into fatty acids, Proteins into amino acids and Carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) that enters the bloodstream.
Although the body requires glucose to power it, the glucose is only available through insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for supplying the body its glucose needs, and it is produced by the pancreas. It is when glucose is present that all body organs and the parts can function normally.

In a diabetes mellitus condition, the insulin production by the pancreas is insufficient and in a worse case, there may be none produced. With little or no insulin, the body is denied sufficient or no glucose at all. Because the body needs fuel to function, it starts to feed on itself, breaking down its tissues and fat to make fuel and in the process ketone bodies are produced as byproducts.

In ketone bodies, three chemicals substances are present including beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid, and acetone. The released ketone bodies find their ways into the bloodstream and acidify the blood, which is later passed out in urine.

The condition of ketonuria needs early treatment as it poses a grave danger to the suffer. The excessive buildup of ketone bodies put the victim at risk and with the addition of stress and sickness, the accumulation is bound to worsen.

Excessive glucose and ketone bodies in the body may result in conditions such as:
Hyperglycemia – excessive blood sugar.
Ketoacidosis – excessive ketone bodies in the blood.
Ketonuria – an excessive accumulation of ketone bodies in urine and the excretion of ketone bodies also means losing sodium in the body.

Symptoms and Treatment

Signs of excessive glucose and ketone body include frequent urination, thirst, nausea, dehydration, heavy breathing, vomiting, confusion, fruity mouth breadth (because Acetone passes through the lungs), dilation of the pupils resulting from the toxic effect of ketonuria condition of the brain. These symptoms happening without treatment may lead to the victim going into a coma or outright death.


Ketonuria can be treated with insulin and intravenous fluids to restore normalcy to the blood sugar and stop ketoacidosis.

Prevention of ketonuria

Emergencies can be avoided in diabetics related ketonuria by close observation of bloodstream sugar and ketone bodies in urine. It has been found that type 1 diabetics are familiar with excessive ketone bodies, but chances of its presence in type 2 are possible. Thus, all diabetics need monitoring of the blood sugar level and their urine for ketone bodies. Anyone with a risk factor for diabetes or a diabetic can learn about the home test and get the kits for a close watch of these conditions.

Ketogenic Diet

It should be noted that ketonuria may be useful is certain health condition such as epilepsy in reducing seizures. Here, the ketogenic diet is prescribed where conventional means of addressing seizure disorder fails.

The ketogenic diet is high fat, but low protein and carbohydrates helping the body to mimic starvation and up its ketone bodies level in the blood. It thus helps reduce seizure frequency or prevents it. Ketone bodies are quite effective in seizures control, but there is yet a cogent explanation as to why this is possible.

However, it should be noted that using ketogenic diet requires caution and must only be applied under physician guidance.

Written by Admin