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June 27, 2001

Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA:

I have had type�1 diabetes for 15 years and am trying to lose about 30 pounds, and I am combining a decrease in calories with increased exercise. I learned in a biochemistry class a few years ago that it is a natural response of the body to produce ketones when it burns fat. The other day, just out of curiosity, I checked my ketones in the morning, and I had small ketones. This morning I checked again and they were trace. My blood sugars have been wonderful (68 and 90 mg/dl [3.8 and 5 mmol/L]) when I had the ketones. Is this just part of the normal response of the body when losing weight? Do I need to be concerned about the possibility of ketoacidosis?


It is common to produce a small amount of ketones overnight because of prolonged fasting. The problem of DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] is of more concern when blood sugars remain over 250 mg/dl [13.9 mmol/L].