If your health care provider believes you may have diabetic ketoacidosis, you will need certain exams and tests to be sure. You should expect to be asked questions about your health history, your symptoms, risk factors and family history of disease. Understanding your background will help your provider make a diagnosis.

If you’re not feeling well or your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or higher, you can use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to check your urine or blood for ketones. If your levels are moderate or high, call your provider right away. If you can’t reach your provider and you are having severe symptoms of DKA, go to the emergency room or call 911. 

Your provider may do the following tests to diagnose DKA: 

  • Arterial blood gas. A blood sample to test for acidity
  • Basic metabolic panel. A group of blood tests that measure kidney function, sodium and potassium levels and acidity
  • Blood glucose test. A blood test that measures glucose levels
  • Blood pressure test. A common test that uses an inflated cuff around your arm  
  • Ketone testing. Usually done first. If urine tests positive, a blood test is done to check for ketones.