Ketosis is a medical condition which is associated with increased levels of ketones in the human body. This term is often used by people who are on a weight loss diet like a ketogenic diet. One of the easiest ways to diagnose this condition is to use the ketosis strips. Ketones are water-soluble chemical compounds that are a byproduct of the process of fat metabolism, wherein the body fat is broken down in order to gain energy.
Also called ketone test strips, these are one of the best means of finding out the signs of increased levels of ketones. The presence of ketones in the urine can be easily established with the help of these strips. These strips have small pads on either of their ends. These pads absorb the ketones and give the exact result. These strips are also known by many other names like ketone sticks, urine strips for ketosis, and Ketostix which is their brand name. These strips contain a specific chemical, that reacts when it comes in contact with the ketone bodies present in the urine, and show a drastic change in color. This change of color depends on the concentration of the ketone bodies.
A person who has been experiencing the symptoms of this condition should use these strips. The equipment required to take this urine test include: the ketone testing strip, a clean and dry glass container, and the color chart. The following steps need to be followed to perform the test:
- Hold a small amount of urine in the glass container.
- Take one of the strips out of the box. Make sure that you have carefully secured the lid of the rest of the strips, since slightest amount of moisture can affect the results.
- Locate the padded end of the strip and dip it completely in the urine sample.
- Take out the strip immediately, after dipping it in the sample. Hold it horizontally for about 20 seconds and observe the change in color.
- Match the color of the strip with the color chart.
Strips Color Readings
Once the above urine test procedure is complete, the strip gives one of the six specific results. The color of these results varies from light pink to deep purple that depicts the presence of Trace (5 mg/dL), Small (15 mg/dL), Moderate (40 mg/dL), and Large (80 to more than 100 mg/dL) amounts of ketone bodies in urine. If the test result is negative, then the strip shows a cream or beige color. Sometimes, a negative test shows no color change in the strip at all. Although, it is a common assumption that a low carb diet causes fat loss, thereby leading to increased levels of ketone bodies, there are a few factors that may affect the accuracy of the test results. These may include consumption of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. Other factors like dietary fluctuations, dehydration, etc.
Another important thing about ketone test strips is that their mode of working differs from one brand to another. However, people affected by ketosis are expected to use these strips on a regular basis. These strips are easily available at most of the drug stores with an average cost of USD 10 to USD 25.