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Diabetes

Ketones in 12yr old

08/26/2008

Question:

My Dr. told me my child had high keytones and her body was eating her muscles, but she is not diabetic. What causes this with a healthy diet?

Answer:

I think there is a key principle here and that is that when you have a question like this, you should direct it back to the doctor - if you are unsure about information like this, the doctor should want to explain it to you and is in a better position to do so than am I.  It is not clear to me whether the result you are talking about is a real and important finding, an incidental finding or an artifact. Ketones can be found in the urine in healthy people without diabetes after a period of fasting.  The commonest reasons for elevated urine ketones in people without diabetes would either be simply a prolonged period without eating or something else in the urine causing a false positive result  on the test - there can be drugs and vitamins among the causes for that.  Medical conditions in which urine ketones are elevated without either diabetes, fasting or a false result are possible but relatively uncommon in a person this age.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati