Yikes, really high ketones


Hi, I’ve been doing keto since 2018 with great results. Over the past holidays (2021-2022) I noticed I was feeling hungry between meals and retaining water and my inflammation markers were creeping up (I have crohn’s disease) so I decided to revamp my efforts, cutting carbs below 40 and reducing meals to twice a day.

I’m 11 days in and have noticed huge improvements in physical energy and mental sharpness. But I’m concerned because my blood ketones today were 6.7!! I’ve never had a reading over 4.0. My blood sugar is normal (72). I’m hoping this is just dehydration, and I’ve been increasing fluids and salts.

Has anyone else registered ketones this high when not fasting?

(Bacon is better) #2

Make sure your hands are clean when measuring, that might help. Also, while high 6.7 is not yet at danger level. A diagnosis of ketoacidosis requires a reading of 10.0, and Dr. Phinney says that symptoms don’t start until around 20.0, so you are a little bit high even for fasting ketosis, but you’re fine.


I hadn’t thought of clean hands and possible contamination. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the culprit because my levels have been between 2 and 3 for a solid week, and I haven’t changed my macros or exercise level.

(Joey) #4

Short answer: Yes, I’ve been that high and higher, and all was just fine.

It was shortly after I embarked on carb restriction. My BHB levels shot up to high single digits. Also felt superb, energy, concentration, etc.

Other than the clean hands issue, my guess is that by being more observant with serious carb restriction you’re seeing the near-term consequences. It’s all good.

Your mitochondria are not yet fully geared up to use all the ketones being made available (liver) and some of it is being “wasted” (pee sticks would likely confirm, but don’t waste your time or money).

But your system will adjust as you become even more fat-adapted with lower carbs than you were.

In my case, the higher ketone levels slowly but surely settled back down as my metabolism adjusted. Oh, how I miss those days :wink:

Congrats on your great progress :vulcan_salute:

(Bob M) #5

What inflammation markers do you look at?

72 is a very low blood sugar (for me, anyway). I can only hit that if I fast multiple days.


I’m curious if some foods or fatty acids raise ketones more than others. Would you mind sharing what you eat?


I have had that number while fasting without any negative effects. You are well under 10 which is where the issues come into play.

I have been keto/lc for so long now, I rarely hit that high, I use a breathalyzer, not keto pee sticks.

Have you seen a difference with better hydration?