Acetone (ketones) in urine during pregnancy: causes and treatment
Acetone belongs to the group of ketones, which are formed as a result of fat and protein metabolism. Acetone does not harm the body unless it exceeds the norm in blood and tissues. High concentration of ketones leads to poisoning and may provoke dangerous symptoms.
High level of ketones in the urine is frequently observed during pregnancy. A healthy human blood typically contains 1−2 mg / 100 ml of ketones. Normally, ketones are easily excreted with you sweat through the skin or through the lungs while breathing. The number of ketones in the urine of a healthy human is so small that a usual laboratory test cannot detect it.
How acetonuria manifests itself.
The condition, when the level of acetone in the urine is higher than normal, is acetonuria. Sometimes the concentration of ketones is so high that the urine has a characteristic odor.
Acetonuria during pregnancy may be asymptomatic, but most often it is accompanied by severe weakness, vomiting, fever, swelling, depression, and increased irritability. On the whole, these signs are characteristic of early periods of gestation, but if they are severe, the problem can be the increased of ketones in your blood and urine.
Causes of acetonuria during pregnancy
The level of ketones in the urine of a pregnant woman can increase for different reasons:
- The number of ketones in the urine during the first trimester of pregnancy rise because of severe toxemia, which is accompanied by copious vomiting. That means you have acetonuria because you don’t eat properly.
- The appearance of ketones in urine during pregnancy may be associated with drastic lack of nutrients in the body (especially with the lack of carbohydrates).
- An unbalanced diet, when a woman eats too much protein and fat can also be the cause.
- Increased body weight can be the reason for high levels of acetone in the urine during the second trimester of pregnancy. If the levels are only a little higher than normal and there are no ‘ketone jumps', it’s OK.
- Ketones in the urine in the later stages of pregnancy may indicate the development of preeclampsia.
- Many women have problems with liver, pancreas, kidneys. These problems also lead to acetonuria.
- Infectious diseases and alcohol can also cause acetonuria.
- Hormonal disorders, as well as stressful situations, are often the reason.
Why is this condition dangerous?
Acetonuria may be the first symptom of some very serious abnormalities, so you need to consult the doctors to prevent them. Over time, ketone substances can accumulate in the blood and tissues and poison not only your body, but the baby as well. High levels of ketones in the body lead to dehydration and severe metabolic disturbance, which is also very dangerous and may provoke miscarriage or premature birth.
How to treat?
If your urine test shows acetonuria, you are to do several more tests (blood and urine tests, ultrasound, glucose tolerance test) to find out the real cause. The treatment mainly depends on the cause of the problem. First of all, you need to eliminate the reason of acetonuria.
It is also necessary to reduce the content of ketones in the body as soon, as possible. You need to eat healthy food and drink more. Fried meat and fatty gravies, sweets, citrus fruits are not allowed if you have high ketones levels. Your doctor may prescribe some sorbents to reduce the intoxication of the body.
Do not be afraid, the problem is serious only unless you indicate it. Since you know about it, you’ll solve it.