Learning about ketones
Ketones are by-products of fat breakdown in your body. When found in your urine, they indicate that you're not eating enough calories at regular intervals during the day.
Add a protein to your snack at bedtime. A slice of turkey, a few cheese cubes, a scoop of cottage cheese or a glass of milk may help prevent ketones from forming over night.
Ketones can be harmful to your baby.
Small amounts of ketones in your morning urine can result from:
- not eating enough the previous day
- missing your bedtime snack
- not eating all the carbohydrate choices in your meal plan
- more exercise than usual on the previous day
- not drinking enough water.
Large amounts of ketones may be seen if you have:
- extreme morning sickness
- vomiting and diarrhea so you can't eat or drink
- illness or infection.
If you become sick, it's even more important for you to regularly check your ketones.
Checking for ketones
To be on the safe side, you'll check your urine for ketones daily and record the results. When you get up for the day, check your first morning urine.
Ideally, ketone readings should be negative to a trace. Call your health care provider if your readings differ from this.
When to call your health care provider
Call if you are sick and:
- your blood glucose levels are above your ideal level.
- your urine ketones are moderate to large.
- vomiting continues or diarrhea lasts longer than 4 hours.
- you have a fever of 101.5 Fahrenheit or greater.
Remember that ketones are a signal that you need to eat more calories and protein. To keep your ketones at a healthy level for you and your baby:
- Don't skip meals or snacks.
- Eat three meals and three snacks every day.
- Eat all the carbohydrate choices in your meal plan.
- Include protein in each meal or snack.
- Prepare some easy-to-grab protein snacks:
- Roll sliced turkey into finger food and store in the refrigerator.
- Keep celery sticks sliced and ready for dipping into peanut butter.
- Cut cheese into cubes and keep in a plastic food bag to carry with you.