How do you usually check for ketones?

September 22-29, 2021


How do you usually check for ketones?
Abbott Precision Xtra meter
NovaMax meter
Keto-Mojo meter
Other meter
Urine test strips
Never check for ketones

People with type 1 diabetes are advised to test for ketones when their blood sugar is high or when they're sick (see High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)). While almost two-thirds (63%) of our respondents report using urine testing, there is a better way.

With the Precision Xtra, NovaMax, and Keto-Mojo meters, 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?)

There is also very good science to support the use of blood ketone testing over urine testing:

  1. Sick day management using blood 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-OHB) compared with urine ketone monitoring reduces hospital visits in young people with T1DM: a randomized clinical trial
  2. Early detection of insulin deprivation in continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion-treated patients with type 1 diabetes.
  3. Blood β-hydroxybutyrate vs. urine acetoacetate testing for the prevention and management of ketoacidosis in Type 1 diabetes: a systematic review.

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.