Are pee strips worthless?

(Jim) #21

JThanks for all the feedback. The strips arrived today before I had a chance to cancel the order and curiositiy got the better of me and I used it rather than return. I came in at 8.0 on the chart, which I assume is pretty good. I’ve been on a gross carb, rather than net carb diet all week and I’m going to see if going to net carbs this weekend changes anything.

Switching gears, is there a commonly available (read: can find at Walgreens) blood tester that folks recommend?

(Cindy) #22

Personally, this soon, I’d be trying to limit carbs as much as possible. As in, don’t push that 20g carb limit, don’t play with net carbs, etc.

If you’re in the habit of trying to stay as close to zero carbs as possible, then you’re going to be ok when you eat a bit too much broccoli, or you really want to look at the carbs in a piece of dark chocolate.

I think the problems occur when someone is used to hitting right at that 20 g limit, whether total OR net, and then when things start to slide a bit, they’re way over.

(Jim) #23

Looking at the Walgreens website, I see a number of blood glucose testers that are around $20. Is this all I would need to test for ketones? Any recommended brands/units?

(Robert C) #24

You need a blood ketone meter - some do glucose also with different strips.
Walgreens does not show anything to me for “blood ketone” search.

I am happy with my Precision Xtra ($25 on Amazon) - ketone strips are less than $1 each when you buy 30 on Amazon.

It works with Precision Xtra glucose test strips also.

(David Cooke) #25

I believe that they were developed for use by diabetics, so not necessarily useful for everyone.

(Jim) #26

@RobC is this the one?

DSS Precision Xtra Blood Glucose Meter Kit, Results in 5 seconds, Strips Not Included (1 Kit)

(Robert C) #27


I can’t remember if it came with one or not but, don’t forget that you need a lancet also.

It look like it does - but only 10 needles.

I bought this one:

Works fine.

(Jim) #28

Thank you!

(Herb Martin) #29

Absolutely not worthless, Ketosticks are the MOST PRICE EFFECTIVE way to monitor you progress especially when you are new to keto.

We’ve been using them for 40 years (literally) and they’ve worked for everyone in our family and everyone we’ve helped with keto.

Some experienced people don’t need them, but better to use them and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Many beginners fail simply because a) they accidentally ingest carbs in all kinds of food where you would never expect to find it MUCH LESS SUGAR and b) no feedback.

Only recently did we buy a ketone blood meter (which is BETTER but more expensive) and I’ve been calibrating our ketosticks to the meter.

I am doing this for both my 8-month carnivore 9 day extended fast into DEEP AUTOPHAGY (beyond deep ketosis). (For reference my meter his my highest at 6.9 tonight) and also for my who just restarted keto “as a beginner”.

Her’s tracked for starting, which is where it is most useful and most needed, but my tracks perfectly within the limits of accuracy as shown on the label.

I am doing both every day just to prove these darn things work.

It’s all we had in 1979.

99% of the time if you can turn the stick rosy you are losing fat, and if you can’t even make it pinkish you aren’t.

If you go to the local drug store they are double the cost but on Amazon they are cheap.

Stick a few in your pocket each day so you can test away from home (throw them away if you don’t use them because once out of the bottle they spoil after that.)

So for $8 bucks on Amazon you can have a cheap, easy, and portable way to test your level of ketosis and get feedback on how you are doing

When you don’t need them you will know, and the $8 is almost meaningless compared to making your chance of success go up several times over.


I purchased Keto Perfect strips. Matching the strip color to the label is too vague IMO. I will feel better when I get more accurate feedback. I’m not yet at the point that I am sure that it’s really working.

What would it take to get that sense of reassurance? Weight is going down and clarity is up so what really does one need to be satisfied? (Rhetorical question, ahem)

(Jim) #31

So in the couple of days I’ve been trying the pee strips I’ve been in the dark purple every time I’ve tested. Yesterday I topped out at 19 gross carbs (the most carbs I’ve consumed in about a week). I woke up this morning and the test strips were still dark purple. Today I’ve only eaten 9 gross carbs and I just tested after dinner and it was as pinkish as it’s been yet. I’m guessing the strips are going to detect more ketones in the morning. I don’t think I’m out of ketosis. The strip indicates I’m somewhere around 2.5-3.0 if my eyes can be trusted. My blood tester will be here on Wednesday and I can’t stop playing guessing games.

(Danielle) #32

I find it depends a lot on how hydrated you are. If you’ve just woken up and haven’t had anything to drink all night, your number will likely be higher. If you just drank a big bottle of water, then your keto strips are going to show a low reading because your urine is much more diluted. Don’t worry too much about it, and don’t obsess over how dark the colour is. Keto strips are a guide at best, so don’t put a ton of analysis into the numbers themselves.

(Jim) #33

How much of a lag would there be between eating a relatively high carb meal (or an over 20g day) and it showing up in a blood test (or pee test for that matter, if there’s a difference)?

(Jennibc) #34

I have been using them since June and they still register for me. As long as they turn pink I don’t care about the shade, it means everything is going okay. And they still do.

(Herb Martin) #35

It is a little vague but don’t worry about it. If you don’t see a clear indication call it the lower reading.

They are accurate enough to work.

Simple tighten up to the next higher reading.

(Herb Martin) #36

No. Glucose is SUGAR.

You need KETONES too.

Glucose is highly useful but ketones are needed for a keto diet.

Urine strips for ketones are less then $20 even in Walgreens (probably about $14).

$8 on Amazon will get you strips.

(Herb Martin) #37


If you are purple you will be losing real weight.

Stick with it.

Stay with what you are eating if you can.

If not, introduce VERY LIMITED carbs like low-carb veggies VERY slowly while monitoring.

You are doing it correctly and effectively. Just continue.

Probably a few hours.

Also the question of concentration: Technically the strips are measuring “ketones SPILLED” into the urine because your body made them in excess.

A really advanced keto dieter after MONTHS might be so efficient at using ketones as to spill very few.

Our tissues do not all adopt ketone burning immediately and even those that do only shift some percentage of cells at a time.

But for beginners, if you are turning the stick PURPLE you are doing it correctly.

If you are turning the stick very rosy you PROBABLY are doing it effectively.

If you get a good rosy you are on the way…keep going…

If you get a negative or trace you need to TIGHTEN UP the carb consumption.

It really is THAT SIMPLE.

(Jim) #38

I got a blood ketone monitor. I think I did it right. :stuck_out_tongue: It said 4.0. I assume that’s good? Seems that is marginally high. I might switch my tracking to net carbs and see how that goes. Any thoughts?

Just tested my wife and she is at 3.6.

(Herb Martin) #39

4.0 is an EXCELLENT ketone reading for a ketogenic diet or even a fast.

If you had a 100 glucose reading (your meter probably does both if you buy the glucose strips) then your numbers would be:

100 / 4.0 = 25 DrBozRatio and a GKI of 1.3

– a sign of deep ketosis and therapeutic autophagy.

GKI is Glucose mg/dL / 18.016 / Ketone mmol/L. (The 18 divisor simply changes the glucose to the same units.

Dr. Box Ratio simplifies to Glucose / Ketone and just uses a different “rating” scale.

I can get you some more references, but this will get you started.

  • 0-1 very deep autophagy
  • 1-3 deep ketosis - therapeutic autophagy
  • 3-6 moderate keto - functional weight loss
  • 6-9 low keto - weight maintenance
  • 9-12 (or higher) - no ketosis, highly anabolic (fat or muscle depends on demand)

These are from Dr. Seyfried – he offered the Glucose Ketone Index GKI.

See the thread here about Dr. Box calculates autophagy.

Monitoring and Measuring Autophagy Saori R. Yoshii1 and Noboru Mizushima2,
Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Sep; 18(9): 1865. Published online 2017 Aug 28. doi: 10.3390/ijms18091865 PMCID: PMC5618514 PMID: 28846632

Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours.
And they’re less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.

Also, a must listen is the 2 keto dudes podcast with Dr. Boz from last Decembers podcast? episode 0143 I think. Definitely a folk hero rebel for me, standing up against the establishment for her patients.

About minute 22-26 Autophagy and Glucose Ketone Ration
Glucose Ketone Ratio needs to have UNITS specified to keep this straight.
Glucose in mg/dL makes 100 a sensible reading
Ketone in mmol(/L) is what makes sense with the numbers you are giving.
Seyfried uses a conversion factor with these units rather than a straight ratio but then doesn’t give a set of clear targets (that I’ve found) but seems to want cancer patients at less than 1.0

So Seyfried’s Glucose Ketone Index (GKI) looks to be a factor 18.016 (Glucose to mol conversion) smaller than Dr. Boz Glucose Keto ratio. (His 1.0 would be her 18 or approximately 20)
Both of these would be different numbers of either of the 2 measurements were using different units.
Seyfried’s paper comes with a spreadsheet link for calculating his GKI, and giving all the conversions.

(Jim) #40

I’m 16 days in. Are these numbers inflated because I’m in the early stages? Further, if I were to switch to a net carb diet, could the numbers go down to 2.5 or 3.0 and it still be a good number? As I’m in the beginning, I’m wanting to experiment a bit with what my diet will look like. Honestly, I feel a net diet will allow me more fiber which I feel I’m currently lacking. But I don’t want to risk stalling as I really want to get to fat adapted as quickly as possible.