Glossary of Diabetic Terms - K

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Ketoacidosis: See diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Ketone bodies: Often simply called ketones, one of the products of fat burning in the body. When there is not enough insulin to use blood sugars, your body breaks down its own fat and protein for energy instead of glucose. When fat is used, ketone bodies, an acid, appear in your urine and blood. A large amount of ketones in your system can lead to a serious condition where acids build up in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketones can be detected and monitored in your urine at home using products such as Ketostix, Chemstrips, and Acetest. When your blood sugar is consistently greater than 250 mg/dl, if you are ill or if you are pregnant and have diabetes, ketones should be checked regularly.

Kidney disease (nephropathy): In a person with diabetes, nephropathy is any one of several conditions caused by changes in the very small blood vessels in the kidneys. These changes cause scarring of the kidneys which can eventually lead to kidney failure. People who have had diabetes for a long time may develop nephropathy. An early sign of nephropathy is when proteins can be detected in the urine.

Kidney threshold: See renal threshold.

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