For a diabetic, Ketones are a warning sign that their diabetes is getting out of control. It is a chemical the body produces when it is short on insulin in the blood. The body breaks down body fat to get energy.
Although Ketones in the urine is more common in Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetics can also experience them. The Ketones let not only the person with diabetes know, but they are a sure sign for a caretaker as well. The indication is a sweet, fruity scent emitted from the breath indicating that the body is using fat for energy instead of glucose because the person’s body does not have enough insulin available for use.
Sometimes the smell is not distinguishable to human beings, but dogs trained to sniff for the scent can alert the individual that they have an issue. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a trained dog though. (Those wishing to get a dog of this caliber may have to wait years as it takes a couple of years to train them about the detection methods!)
If the senior in your care does not have a dog, there are actually Ketone tests available through most pharmacies. Stop by your client’s pharmacy or speak with their doctor upon their next visit about where to acquire the tests and what type of record-keeping methods about the Ketone levels they would like to see so they can best treat your client.
The better the records and the more you focus on the medical issues at hand for your client, the more you are proving that With Age Comes Respect!