My ketone levels are off the charts?

(Keith Bronsdon) #1

Curious thing. Two times, both about a month apart, I’ve gone off eating keto when out to lunch with a friend. I tested my breath ketones out of curiosity a few hours after the lunches. I was expecting my ketones to be 0.0 after eating a starchy meal for the first time in months. Both times my levels read 9.95, which is off the charts for my meter, being the highest numbers it can show. Why is this? Late in the evening I think my levels were way down about 3.0 which is more my normal level.


Drinking while you were eating off plan?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #3

Haven’t you said the same in other topics? I’m sure I’ve already asked what device are you using to measure your ‘breath ketones’. If 9.95 is ‘off the charts’ for your meter, then your meter is an ethanol BA meter, not an acetone meter. If it even detects acetone it’s not accurate. There’s an entire topic discussing whether or not BA breathalyzers actually can detect acetone or detect isopropanol instead. If you want to measure acetone accurately, get a Ketonix. The normal range for acetone in nutritional ketosis is 5-40 ppm. And, yes, consuming ethanol will affect it.

(Keith Bronsdon) #4

I’ve been posting about my struggles attempting keto with no results. Been easy to eat this way but without results (weight loss) it seems like I’m wasting the effort in eating carefully. From what I’m reading, it would make sense this is an ethanol meter–hence the high reading after a beer that made no sense–despite what the listing says.

Everything about the meter says it’s an acetone meter for keto dieting. I bought it on Amazon. All indications were that is was the right type. The last line of the description mentions acetone readings. Read the user reviews at the bottom too. Here is a link:

I’ve reviewed the included printed instructions. There are two. The User Manual does not say anything about acetone, but it does mention “ketones in the breath” not “acetone in the breath”. I also noticed it says do not consume alcohol before using–so that’s suspicious. The other onoe, tips on using the meter, does mention acetone levels in breath.

Perhaps I’ll wander over to the thread on meters and see what I can see there.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #5

The meter you link on Amazon is a BA and/or BrAC meter. There are two types of sensors in these devices: fuel cell and semi-conductor. Fuel cell sensors are used in the expensive ones and can only detect ethanol - police use these. Semi-conductors are used in the cheap ones (sub $100) that you buy on eBay, Amazon and Alibaba. The devices with semi-conductor sensors can detect acetone - in fact the Ketonix uses a semi-conductor sensor. However, devices designed to detect ethanol will not detect acetone reliably because the concentration is much lower. Just think for a minute how much more your breath stinks of alcohol after a couple of drinks than of acetone after a week in ketosis. I’ve been in ketosis consistently for 3 1/2 years and you can not detect acetone in my breath even if I blow 50-60 ppm on my Ketonix! It’s more likely that the cheap semi-conductor devices are actually measuring isopropanol rather than acetone.

How do I know the device linked is a BA/BrAC device? Two giveaways: 1) the readout is in the format 0.00, which is the format used for % BA and mg/l BrAC; 2) the units are ‘mmol/L’ which is not applicable to BrACE. For comparison, the Ketonix uses a ppm scale of 000.0 - 100.0. While the sensor in the Ketonix is also a semi-conductor, it is much more sensitive than the sensors used in cheap breathalyzers, which is why the Ketonix costs $250+.

Yes, the device says it’s a ‘Ketone Meter’. It’s not. A lot of dishonest people are trying to make a buck off the popularity of keto. Rebranding and reselling a cheap breathalyzer can make a tidy profit. The Chinese can make these things for a couple bucks each.


Are you having odd symptoms? When I push high ketones (4.5+) and my body is not adapted, I get short of breath and tired. If you’re totally fine, it might be the meter or how you’re measuring your ketones.

(Bob M) #7

I have a ketonix (first version), and even the ketonix says it isn’t accurate if you’ve had alcohol or high carb. It’s also very interesting to use, as often BHB and ketonix readings aren’t linked together, at least for me. For now, since I’ve been doing this for almost 7 years, the ketonix readings are always low (just blew a 32 out of 100, which barely puts me into the “green” scale using one of the scales), and often I’m below the “ketosis” level for both BHB and breath. Often, the ketonix just tells me how much fat I ate yesterday. If I eat a ton of fat, I’ll get a higher reading the next day (only take it at work).

So, I use it mainly because I have it. Otherwise, I don’t consider it to be useful.

(Keith Bronsdon) #8

No, never had any odd symptoms that I know of. I’m suspecting the meter is junk based on what amwassil has told me. That would make sense in that I have been measuring I’m in ketosis for months and have seen little to no keto benefits, and my numbers spike when I drink alcohol (which has been twice). Going to look into another testing method. Is there an alternative to a ketonix meter?

(Keith Bronsdon) #9

OK things are making a LOT of sense now. Perhaps I’ve not been in ketosis at all for the past few months and that’s why I’m seeing no effects from keto. Is there an alternative to the very expensive ketonix meter? New they are pricey, and I’ve been out of work since March, and no end in sight. I’ve found some older meters for sale on eBay—do the older ketonix meters continue to work or deteriorate over time? Considering the RED meters which are circa 2016, used, so considering with caution. Would generously disinfect of course.

Now I’m also questioning everything I’ve been eating. I’ve been thinking I’ve been in ketosis this whole time, based on my meter readings win the morning. I had thought I was doing OK with a bit higher carbs since I was reading good numbers—so now I’m guessing not. Need to start over and re-educate myself I suppose. I like to keep things simple so I’m hoping to find a diet resource/planner for someone who doesn’t really cook much. Any recommendations? I also have not done the keto things that a lot of people are—keto coffee, fat bombs, “keto supplements” like collagen and BHB. I’ve been only eating decent food, simply cooked fatty meat, etc.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #10

At work and won’t be home until after 5. Will respond then.

(Bob M) #11

That’s all I’ve ever done. (Ok, well I did try keto coffee for a few weeks. And Paleo until I saw what it did to my blood sugar.) Just keeps carbs low. The rest follows.

And if you want to test cheaply, urine strips are OK. I quit using them a while ago, as they never registered anything after a while (but I’ve been doing this a long time), but if they do work for you, they are fairly good.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

@Keith_Bronsdon I agree with @ctviggen buy some so-called pee stix. You can get them very cheap at Walmart. They’ll tell you whether or not you’re generating ketones at least for a while. Drop your carbs to sub-20 grams per day or less for several days - or better yet do a 4-day water fast. You should then show color on the pee stix. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the color on the stick actually means anything other than you’ve got ketones. That’s all you’re trying to verify.


The best is a ketone blood meter. They’re fairly good.