Here are tips on how to read the results of a urine ketone test and know if you are in diabetic ketoacidosis, and if you are, what you should do.
Reading on Test Strip: Normal (negative results) (no color change)
What it Means: Results are negative; there are no ketones in your urine. Your body is handling blood glucose well and not spilling excess glucose out into urine.
Action to Take: No need to call doctor. Keep up the good work managing your blood glucose!
Reading on Test Strip: Small Ketone Level; Usually, <20 mg/dL
What it Means: You are spilling small amounts of ketones into your urine. Try drinking more, and check your blood glucose levels. Give a correction bolus of insulin if you are too high.
Action to Take: Call doctor if small ketones remain present more than a day, or begin to increase.
Reading on Test Strip: Moderate Ketone Level; Usually, 30-40 mg/dL
What it Means: Ketones are spilling into your urine. You may need more insulin and could be entering DKA.
Action to Take: Call the doctor as soon as possible.
Reading on Test Strip: Large; Usually, >80 mg/dL
What it Means: Dangerous levels of ketones are present and you may require emergency medical treatment.
Action to Take: Call the doctor immediately.