The word ketone comes from the old German word Aketon (acetone). Ketones or ketone bodies are substances consisting of an oxygen compound with hydrogen and hydrocarbons.
There are many varieties of ketones, such as ubiquinone, which is extremely important for the heart, ketone group contains fructose, progesterone, cortisone, tetracycline, camphor, natural dyes and many other substances. Ketones are constantly synthesized in the liver cells and are present in the urine and blood of each person, they are released daily in small quantities, of which 70% are weak beta-hydroxybutyric acid, 26% are for stronger acetoacetic acid (acetoacetate) and 4% are for acetone. In addition, acetone is also secreted by breathing, so it is not detected in the urine with the help of samples. It is believed that the norm of ketones in a healthy person's urine is their complete absence.
To provide the tissues and organs with energy, the body uses glucose or glycogen, which is stored in the liver in small amounts, as its source. When the intracellular level of glucose is reduced and the cells are "hungry", the body's fat reserves are mobilized. The fat breaks down in the liver and, in the process, ketone by-products are produced. They can be used as an alternative source of energy for the kidneys, heart, muscles and brain. The condition in which there is an excess of ketones in the blood is called ketonemia, and in urine it is called ketonuria. Most often ketones are studied in urine and there are a number of diseases and conditions that lead to ketonuria. These include malnutrition (starvation), excessive physical and emotional strain, frostbite, intoxication, severe infectious diseases and injuries, pancreatitis, thyrotoxicosis, alcoholism and diabetes mellitus.
What unites such different conditions, we can already answer - ketones are produced in the event that the cells "starving" or deficient in insulin, so distinguish between "hungry ketones" and ketones in diabetes mellitus, although chemically these substances are no different.
When you starve food does not enter the body, the level of blood glucose decreases, stops producing insulin and the blood receives its antagonist - glucagon hormone, it makes the body use the reserves of glycogen in the liver. When these supplies run out, fatty tissue begins to break down and ketones are formed. If you're on a keto diet, you can measure the level of Ketones using App AssayMe
In diabetes mellitus, blood glucose levels are on the contrary elevated, but insulin is not enough and glucose from the blood into the cell can not get into the cell, the cell feels "hungry", but the body perceives this situation the same way as in starvation. Hormones of adrenaline and glucagon are produced, glycogen is broken down in the liver, then fatty tissue and ketones are formed. This situation is also called the "abundant hunger". Glucose in excess circulates in the bloodstream, not getting into the cells formed ketones also get into the blood, and then both substances are excreted in the urine and only the introduction of insulin can break this vicious circle. Insulin deficiency can be caused by various reasons:
- The debut of type 1 diabetes mellitus, when a person does not pay enough attention to the symptoms of the disease;
- Different conditions in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, in which the need for insulin increases. For example, puberty, active growth, acute infectious disease accompanied by fever, surgery, trauma;
- Missing insulin injections for 12-24 hours for any reason;
- Depletion of own insulin production in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus;
- Related diseases, surgeries, traumas in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus;
- Taking various drugs (cortisone, diuretics, estrogens, gestagens) in patients with both types of diabetes mellitus;
- Pancreatic removal of pancreas in people who have not previously had diabetes mellitus.