Testing your blood or urine to measure your ketone levels can all be done at home. At-home testing kits are available for both types of tests, although urine testing continues to be more common. Urine tests are available without a prescription at most drugstores, or you can buy them online.
You should test your urine or blood for ketones when any of the following occurs:
- Your blood sugar is higher than 240 mg/dL.
- You have symptoms of DKA.
- You feel sick or nauseated, regardless of your blood sugar reading.
To perform a urine test, you urinate into a clean container and dip the test strip into the urine. For a child who isn’t potty-trained, a parent can usually press the stick to their child’s wet diaper to test for ketones.
Urine testing strips contain special chemicals that change colors when they react with ketones. You can interpret the test results by comparing the test strip to the color chart on the package. When you have ketones present in your urine, it’s called ketonuria.
An at-home meter is available to test for blood ketones. This is performed in a similar way to a finger-stick glucose test. You prick your finger with a needle and place a small drop of blood onto the testing area.
Doctors often recommend that people who’ve just received a diabetes diagnosis test their ketones twice daily.