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Can you explain how high sugars affect ketone production? I thought that if a person had extremely high sugars for prolonged periods of time they would definitely (eventually) have ketones.

My son had a 300+ blood sugar level for about 7 days (due to an infection) but he never had even trace amounts of ketones. What does it mean when the sugars are high and there are no ketones?


The absence of ketones means that there was enough insulin to keep the body from breaking down fat, although clearly there was not enough insulin to keep the blood sugars at a normal level during the stress of the infection.

As far as is currently known, there is no permanent damage from high blood sugar levels that last a short period of time. However, the next time your son gets sick like this, you should consider adding extra insulin to get the sugars down to nearly normal, since the high values are "on the edge" of developing ketones, and ketoacidosis. Talk to your Diabetes Team about Sick Day Guidelines for your son.


Original posting 11 Aug 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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