Overview on ketosis

Fact Checked

Ketosis occurs if the body breaks down fat resulting to a ketone body. Insulin is needed by the cells to utilize the glucose in the blood, but ketones do not need insulin. The ketones that are not utilized for energy move via the kidneys and out via urine.

Ketosis is likely to arise among individuals with diabetes which is a condition where the body generates limited or no insulin. Remember that fat is burned instead of glucose. Ketosis is not necessarily detrimental to the health. If the individual does not have diabetes and a healthy diet is followed, it is not likely an issue for concern.

What are signs?

The usual indications of ketosis include the following:

  • Breath that smells fruity or the same as nail polish or nail polish remover
  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
    Breath that smells fruity or the same as nail polish or nail polish remover.
  • Stomach pain
  • Confusion

Even the diet can instigate ketosis. If the individual is on a low-carbohydrate diet, there is reduced glucose in the blood and less insulin is produced, thus fat is being burned. Fasting and consumption of excess alcohol can also result to ketosis.


Routine monitoring for ketone bodies is suggested if an individual is diagnosed with diabetes, especially pregnant women.

A blood ketone test is performed where blood is withdrawn from a vein in the arm or from a finger stick. A urine test can be performed to determine the ketone levels.

Another option to test for ketone bodies is an over-the-counter urine ketone test kit. A dipstick is used, and the clean-catch technique is used to take a urine sample. The stick changes color to show trace, moderate or high amounts of ketones.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All firstaidcprmississauga.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.