No Ketones In Urine (But On A Ketogenic Diet!) – Here’s why!

No Ketones In Urine (But On A Ketogenic Diet!) – Here’s why!

August 2, 2019 10 By William Morgan


Are your urine ketone sticks showing that
you’re not in ketosis when you really think
they should be? In this video I’m going to
explain exactly why that is and what you can
do about it.
Hey, carb dodgers. Dr. Dan Maggs here, I’m
so glad you’ve landed on my channel, which
is all about living a longer, leaner, healthier
life through low-carb nutrition. I post new
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This is a photo of me back in 2016, before
I started my low carb weight-loss journey.
To be honest, I’ve never really used these
keto sticks in order to track my ketosis,
but I know a lot of people really find it
very reassuring to be able to simply just
dipstick their urine and test to see if they’re
in ketosis. Except a really common frustration
that people have with this is that after a
few weeks they start to get negative ketone
readings despite not having done anything
obviously wrong with their diet. But there
is a well-known reason why this happens, and
in this video I’m going to explain exactly
why that is and what you can do about it.
Your body is adapting to being in ketosis.
You are still in ketosis, except you’re not
leaking ketones into your urine anymore. It’s
all to do with your kidneys. You see, your
kidneys are a filter. They are filtering your
blood in order to let the bad stuff out and
keep the good stuff in, and they pass the
bad stuff out in the form of urine. And in
doing this our kidneys are really key to helping
us maintain the right levels of all the stuff
we need in our body, like salts and minerals.
And so one of the things that we can measure
in our urine is ketones.
Now, are ketones a waste product or are they
a valuable energy source? Well, ketones are
produced by the liver, from our fat, in times
when our carbohydrate intake is very low,
such as when we’re on a ketogenic diet. So
it’s pretty clear that ketones are a valuable
energy source and we really shouldn’t be passing
them out in our urine anyway. So what’s going
on? I mean, they’re definitely there, we can
measure them with the ketone sticks. So what
is happening? Well, our kidneys aren’t used
to dealing with ketones and they’re getting
confused. They’re getting confused with another
chemical. You might have heard of it, it’s
called uric acid. The reason you might have
heard of it is because uric acid is what crystallizes
in our joints sometimes and causes gout, most
typically in the toes.
So what’s this got to do with ketones? Well,
in the early stages of a ketogenic diet, your
kidneys can’t tell the difference between
uric acid and ketones, so it deals with them
all the same. So they’re essentially competing
with each other, and what we actually see
is ketones coming out in the urine, but in
the blood your uric acid levels are rising.
And something that’s quite common in people
who are predisposed to gout is that they’ll
actually get a flare when they start on a
ketogenic diet. They actually get a painful
joint when starting a ketogenic diet and that’s
because the levels of uric acid in the blood
have gone up. But over time, weeks, maybe
months, the kidneys learn the difference and
they stop leaking out that valuable energy
store, ketones, and they start leaking back
out the uric acid and our uric acid levels
go back down to normal over time.
So this is one of the signs of keto adaptation,
the process at which our body adapts to being
in a state of ketosis, and it’s completely
normal. And that’s why the keto sticks don’t
lie, there is no ketones in your urine anymore
because your kidneys aren’t letting them through.
It’s also the reason why people who suffer
from gout should probably expect a flare of
gout when they start on a ketogenic diet.
But actually, their longer-term risk actually
returns back to normal once they become adapted.
It’s also the reason why people who suffer
from gout probably shouldn’t go in and out
of a ketogenic diet, because they’ll go through
this process all over again every time. So
rather than seeing this as a negative, you
can actually see the fact that you don’t see
ketones in your urine anymore as a positive,
in the fact that your body is actually adapting
to being in a ketogenic state.
Is this something you’ve experienced? Let
me know in the comments below by typing yes
or giving the video a thumbs up. And so the
next question is what can you do about it?
Well, you can switch to measuring ketones
with a device like this, which is a blood
glucose and ketone monitor. It does require
you pricking your fingers whenever you want
to do a test, so it’s a bit more invasive,
and the strips can get quite expensive. They’re
initially quite cheap to buy these things,
but the strips can get quite expensive. So
it’s not a simple, cheap option like the ketone
sticks, but it does give you an actual reading
of what your blood ketone levels are. So from
that side of things it’s probably your most
accurate way of telling whether you’re actually
in ketosis or not. But there is another way
of going about this, you can just monitor
the symptoms that you’re in ketosis. I’ve
made a video about this and the link is going
to be in the description below and up in the
corner here.
So what happens if you test your blood ketones
and you’re not in ketosis on here? Well, I
think you can probably trust that to know
that you’re actually not in ketosis. Now,
that could be due to several reasons. The
first and most obvious one is you consumed
too many carbohydrates in order to be able
to stay in ketosis. It might be that you know
exactly where those carbohydrates have come
from. It might be that it was something that
was hidden in something you consumed, maybe
when you were out at a restaurant, something
that had some hidden sugars, like a salad
dressing. You may not be able to find the
source of carbohydrate. But there are a load
of other reasons why you can be knocked out
of ketosis quite aside from carbohydrate consumption
and I’ve actually made kind of a cheat sheet,
which is called Why Am I Not In Ketosis. And
that is available as a download from my website
and the link is the description below, so
check that out.
Also, you’re very, very welcome in my Facebook
group, which is a group of like-minded people
who are trying to improve their health and
some of them are trying to lose weight. We
share tips and tricks and succeeding in this
way of eating, and sharing recipes, things
like that. Again, the link is in the description
down below this video. So thanks ever so much
for watching this video. I’d really appreciate
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next video. Thanks for watching.