Ketones in Urine During Pregnancy

Publish On Diabetes By Ilia

ketones in urine pregnancy

What are Ketones?

When the body begins its process of burning fat for energy use or consumption, chemicals are produced. These chemicals are known as ketones. The build-up of these chemicals is also associated with diabetic individuals, which results in insulin deficiency.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, it means that your body is unable to produce enough insulin. During this phenomenon, sugar or glucose is stocked up in the blood vessels or bloodstream. The process is then followed by the conversion of fat into energy rather than sugar. As a result, ketones are formed.

Ketones can be dangerous, especially for individuals with diabetes. Having a high number of these chemicals can cause other health complications, such as DKA or diabetic ketoacidosis. A build-up of these chemicals within the body can trigger vomiting, recurring nausea, difficulty breathing, loss of energy, and severe pain in the abdomen.

If the necessary treatment is not given for this condition, it can threaten the life of a diabetic individual. It can lead to coma, or worse, death. Note that ketones can be toxic to the human body, much more if it increases its population and medical care is not administered.

The occurrence of ketones at the time of pregnancy

After its appearance in the blood, ketones can also develop in urine. While this might seem normal, it isn’t for pregnant women. If you haven’t known yet, in the course of the pregnancy stage, changes can happen in the woman’s body. This change is not about the physical image of a woman but in her hormones.

This hormonal change can impact how the body processes its insulin acquisition. A certain process called glucose metabolism is affected by this change, which, in return, inhibits cells from making use of glucose for energy production. That is how ketones become part of the scene, and if intensifies, it can complicate.

Ketones in urine identify that a medical condition has developed. When ketones are proven to be present in urine, it can be an implication or the first sign of gestational diabetes. It is a type of diabetes that pregnant women often experience. Just like other types of diabetes, it also involves high blood sugar levels, which can potentially harm the unborn baby.

This is the also reason why prenatal checkups are necessary during the time of pregnancy to know and identify illnesses that a pregnant woman may have. It helps not just the woman to have a normal state during this stage of their life but also makes sure that the unborn baby is healthy inside the womb.

Is this condition normal?

As mentioned, ketones in urine at the time of pregnancy can be associated with gestational diabetes. However, it can also be a common diagnosis, particularly for pregnant ladies. It can be a cause of various conditions, such as fasting and vomiting. To ensure that you prevent this condition from happening, visit your OB-GYN more often and receive the necessary treatment should ketones are identified in your urine.

What induces these chemicals in urine amid pregnancy?

Alongside other illnesses, ketones are also caused by a variety of reasons. Consider the following:

  • Starvation or lack of energy due to fasting
  • Following a diet involving low carbohydrate
  • Observing fasting despite being pregnant
  • Mild to severe morning sickness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Had experienced a previous infection
  • Overworked or overexercised
  • Diagnosed with gestational diabetes

Note that if you have a weakened immune system due to uncontrolled diabetes, ketones in urine can occur. Report your symptoms immediately to your healthcare professional or OB-GYN.


Lab tests are required to identify ketones in the urine. However, aside from this, there are other factors that healthcare professionals consider before providing pregnant women with their diagnosis.

  • High levels of blood sugar
  • Extreme thirst and hunger
  • Overfatigue
  • Infections involving the vagina and bladder

The condition is also considered ketonuria. This form of illness; however, can be resolved. Some of the medical resolutions include a change in diet, prescriptive insulin, and other forms of medications that are safe for pregnant women to consume. Illnesses or infections, like ketonuria, can be easily treated if the medical therapy needed is given immediately. So, ensure that you report any conditions that you are experiencing to your healthcare professional urgently.


There are a lot of ways to prevent the development of ketones in the urine. Some of these are the following:

  • Avoid skipping meal time.
  • Do not get starved, most especially if you are pregnant.
  • Inclusion of protein in your daily meal plans, such as chicken, meat, and fish.
  • Decrease your chances of acquiring gestational diabetes by exercising regularly and only eating healthy foods.

When medical care is given early, and proper therapy is administered, the condition will not worsen. Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare professional and continue with your insulin medication.