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How do you or your child usually test for ketones?


Urine ketone strips from a vial






Foil-wrapped urine ketone strips






Blood ketone testing using the Precision Xtra






I use something else






I don't test for ketones






I don't know what ketones are






Total votes: 510


How do you or your child usually test for ketones?

Poll dates: September 12 - 19, 2004
Total Votes: 510

People with type 1 diabetes are advised to test for ketones when their blood sugar is high or when they're sick (see Hyperglycemia and Ketone Testing). Until recently, that mean urine test strips. The vast majority (79%) of our respondents report using urine testing. There is, however, a better way.

With the advent of the Precision Xtra, you can test for blood ketones instead of urine ketones. Ketones in the blood can be detected well before ketones in the urine be detected, offering you the opportunity to treat sooner than you would if you waited for urine testing. (Have you ever tried to make a three year old pee on command?) Also, being able to test with a finger stick eliminates the need to find a bathroom to test if you're away from home. (How many of you carry urine ketone strips when you're out shopping or at an amusement park? And if you do, do you like the thought of peeing on a strip in a filthy public bathroom?)

While some argue that the cost of blood ketone testing is much higher than urine ketone testing (about $4 per blood ketone strip versus as low as $0.10 per urine ketone strip), annual testing costs will likely be about the same if you check for ketones about 10 times per year, which is about what our readers reported in a recent poll. Urine test strips have a 90-day lifetime, after which they must be replaced. Priced at about $10 per 100 strips, the annual cost of urine testing is about $40. At $4 per test for blood ketone testing, if you test 10 times a year, the annual cost is also about $40 per year. If you check for ketones more often, then urine testing will be more economical.

Of course, the benefits of feedback on what's happening in your body at that instant, not having to force toddlers to pee on demand, not having to drag a sick teenager out of bed to the bathroom, and not having to go into a public bathroom when you're out and not feeling well are -- as the advertisement says -- priceless.

The table below compares the results from this poll with previous times we've run it.

Answer    Sep 2004 Aug 2003 Jul 2002 Jul 2001
Urine ketone strips from a vial    56% 57% 63% 68%
Foil-wrapped urine ketone strips    23% 22% 17% 15%
Precision Xtra    10% 9% 8% 7%
I use something else    1% 1% 1% 1%
I don't test for ketones    7% 8% 8% 7%
I don't know what ketones are    1% 1% 1% 1%

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Last Updated: Sunday July 23, 2006 12:03:14
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