Ketosis, or hyperketonuria, is a condition where the body produces excess ketones (a type of organic compound). This can happen if the body does not have enough insulin, so it can be connected to diabetes. When the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates or glycogen stored in the liver to use for energy, it converts fat to energy. Normally the body is able to balance the amount of fat it uses for energy. However, during periods where the body experiences prolonged fasting, starvation, or problems with insulin, the body may begin turning some of the parts of fat (long chain fatty acids) into ketones in the liver. The reason the body does this is because the brain cells cannot use long chain fatty acids for energy, but they can use ketones. Unfortunately, if the problem persists, the amount of ketones in the bloodstream may raise too high. The body expels these ketones in the urine, increasing the amount in an affected person’s urine.
Factors which may increase the risk of ketosis include exercising for long periods of time, severely restricting calorie or carbohydrate intake, uncontrolled diabetes, and exercising for long periods of time. Sometimes ketosis occurs during pregnancy. There are usually no noticeable symptoms other than increased ketones in the urine
Sometimes, ketosis may cause dehydration and, in some cases, may change the chemical makeup of blood. It may also lead to ketoacidosis, which is a similar but dangerous condition where affected individuals have high levels of glucose in addition to high ketone levels. Urine tests can be used to evaluate the ketone levels in the urine. It is important to determine the cause so that the ketosis can be treated. Talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.