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Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are substances produced by
the body as it breaks down fats for energy, a process called ketosis.
Normally the body obtains the energy it needs from sugars
(carbohydrates). A person may begin to break down fats and produce ketones
Ketone testing can be done anytime using a urine test strip. If ketone
levels are very high or if the person is dehydrated, ketones may begin to build
up in the blood. High blood levels of ketones may cause fruity-smelling breath,
loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and fast, deep breathing. In severe
cases, it may lead to coma and death. In a pregnant woman, even a moderate
amount of ketones in her blood may harm the fetus.
of ketones in the urine may signal diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that is caused by very high blood
September 20, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Kidney failure (also called end-stage renal disease) occurs when
kidney damage is so severe that a person needs dialysis or a kidney transplant
to maintain life. Kidney failure often occurs after kidney damage has been
present for 10 years or more.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of
kidney failure in the United States.
Kidney failure can be measured by how well the kidneys are able to
filter wastes from the blood. This is called glomerular filtration rate, or
GFR. Kidney failure usually occurs when the GFR falls to below 15% of what is
expected in a person with normal kidney function.
Kidney failure is treated with dialysis, which helps filter waste
products from the blood when the kidneys are not working properly, or with
September 15, 2011
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Mitchell H. Rosner, MD - Nephrology