Ketonuria occurs when fatty acids are moved from triglyceride stores in the body in response to inadequate intake or availability of carbohydrates. Under conditions of abnormal carbohydrate metabolism, such as occurs in diabetes mellitus, ketones accumulate in the blood (ketonemia) and are excreted in the urine (ketonuria). The accumulation of ketones is often the cause of acidosis and coma in diabetics.
Ketonuria is also associated with:
- Digestive disturbances
- Dietary imbalance (high fat/low carbohydrate diet)
- Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea
- Glycogen storage diseases
- Severe, sustained exercise
- Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures
Ketones are mildly toxic to the body, tending to interfere with the excretion of uric acid, produce mild depression of the central nervous system, and cause acidosis.