Continuous ketone monitoring can detect and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis, research claims

Continuous ketone monitoring can detect and prevent diabetic ketoacidosis, research claims

A new study has shed light on the relationship between the levels of ketone and glucose before an impending diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) event.

The research has shown that ketone levels start to rise sooner than previously suspected signalling an impending DKA event, even when the glucose is still within the normal range.

Entitled ‘The Impact of Insulin Deprivation: Evolution of Glucose and Ketones in a Controlled Setting Leveraging Continuous Ketone Monitoring’, the poster was presented at the 17th International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes (ATTD).

Glucose monitoring is a critical component of diabetes management, and new technology advancements like Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring systems provide minute-by-minute glucose readings for up to 14 days.

People living with diabetes, caregivers and their doctors rely on these glucose numbers to manage their diabetes journey and improve their glycaemic control.

But glucose monitoring only provides half the picture when it comes to DKA – a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when ketone levels rise to dangerous levels in the blood.

DKA is a leading cause of death among children and adults with diabetes. Elevated glucose is one of the signs of DKA, and clinical guidance is to check for ketones when someone’s glucose levels are greater than 13.0 mmol/L.

 In the controlled study of 23 participants with type 1 diabetes wearing an investigational continuous ketone monitor (CKM), the investigator evaluated the change in beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) ketone levels in relation to the glucose levels when their insulin supply was cut off for six hours.

The study showed continuous ketone monitoring could detect elevated ketone levels one to six hours prior to elevation of glucose levels.

The findings from this study suggest that relying solely on elevated glucose levels could lead to a delay in the detection of ketones and delayed care.

Today, few people with diabetes are regularly monitoring their ketones because the current methods of testing – typically through blood or urine – are costly and burdensome.

This study provides additional clinical data in support of incorporating continuous ketone monitoring into routine diabetes care management, especially for people with type 1 diabetes.

Author: Philip Lopez