What Is the Relationship between Ketosis and Urine?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2016
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Generally, ketosis and urine have an important connection, as ketone bodies are expressed in the urine when patients enter this metabolic state. It can be the result of starvation, fasting, or poorly controlled diabetes and may also be deliberately induced in a ketogenic diet. One way to determine if a patient has ketosis is to test the urine to check for signs of ketone bodies. Some patients do this at home with test kits because they are advised to do so by health providers, or they want to monitor their metabolisms.

In ketosis, the body starts burning fat for energy because it isn’t getting it from other sources. Ketone bodies are a byproduct. To eliminate them, the body pushes them out through the kidneys along with other byproducts of metabolism. Patients can also exhale them, developing fruity or alcoholic breath caused by the buildup of ketone bodies. The connection between ketosis and urine can be important for patients to know about because changes in the urine or breath may be a sign of a problem.


Changes to the urine can make it appear darker and may give it a strong smell. If the urine is tested, it will reveal varying levels of ketone bodies, and in some tests it is also possible to measure glucose concentrations. Home test kits for checking the ketosis and urine connection often consist of sticks or strips passed under the urine stream or dipped in test samples. They change color to reflect the number of ketones present. In the laboratory, the known link between ketosis and urine can be exploited to test samples with chemicals that will react with ketone bodies to change urine color and allow the lab to diagnosis ketosis.

Accidental ketosis can be dangerous, as it may reveal that a patient’s diabetes is not controlled or that the patient’s diet is not sufficient. People who starving can develop other complications as the metabolism struggles to meet energy needs and starts consuming any available source of energy. In ketogenic diets, the goal is to introduce controlled ketosis to promote weight loss or control a seizure disorder. People can use the association between ketosis and urine to monitor themselves and determine when they’re entered ketosis.

Science on ketogenic diets is mixed. Some studies support their use for seizure disorders, where they are sometimes effective in cases of refractory epilepsy that resists other means of treatment. For weight loss, such diets can promote early high weight loss by helping the body shed water, but may not be beneficial in the long term. They can also be hard to maintain; they may also be less effective than more subtle, and slow-acting, lifestyle changes.


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Post 5

Anyone who is dieting should probably get one of those home test kits for ketosis. They're easy to use. They just have to come into contact with urine.

Weight loss and fruity smell of the breath are signs but I think that many people miss them. When the goal is to lose weight, it's difficult to know if ketosis has occurred for those who don't know about it.

Post 4

@Laotionne-- Ketogenic diets should be outlawed. I can't believe that many people put them in ketosis willingly in order to lose weight. Weight loss is important but it's possible to do it in a healthy manner. Inducing ketosis is certainly not the right way.

Post 3

Ketois is very dangerous and if left untreated, it can even result in death. This is a high risk for type 1 diabetics whose bodies do not produce insulin. Insulin is what helps our body make use of glucose from food for energy. Without it, the body has to rely on other forms of energy for survival, fat being the foremost. If someone is without insulin for a long time, ketones can build up very quickly. This even happens to type 1 diabetics who have their diabetes mostly under control.

My friend is a type 1 diabetic and she always has ketone strips with her. In addition to checking her blood sugar levels, she also tests her ketone levels

regularly to avoid problems. I pray that a cure for diabetes will be found soon because so many people are suffering because of it. Diabetics have to be their own doctor and constantly monitor their health. It's very difficult. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers from the condition.
Post 2

My grandmother wasn't one for going to doctors. She thought they were a waste of time and money for the most part. She grew up in the mountains and the closest person they had to a doctor in her community was an old lady who practiced mountain medicine.

My grandmother was sure to come up some type of concoction for whatever ailed you. And looking back, I would say that more often than not, her remedies actually worked. She once told me that a person could monitor his sugar levels by smelling his sweat. Supposedly, people with high sugar levels have sweeter smelling sweat.

If you can determine what's going on in your body by your urine color and odor then maybe grandma was right about the sweat too.

Post 1

I have had a trouble maintaining a healthy weight since I was a little kid. My mother was overweight and I followed on the same path. The way we ate has something to do with this and obesity runs in my family also. Because of this, I have spent most of my adult life on one type of diet or another.

When I first started dieting I was attracted to the get thin quick diets that required you to starve yourself to drop the pounds. When you're 50 pounds or more overweight, diets that say you can lose a pound a day don't make you get all excited.

Anyway, through all of those diets and starving myself I

developed ketosis from time to time. For a long time I didn't know what was happening to me, but now I know the relationship between ketosis and dieting.

Now I concentrate on exercise and I eat small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day rather than starving myself. Not only do I feel better now, but I am also much smaller and getting healthier every day.

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