Ketone Test Strips: FSA Eligibility
What are ketone test strips?
Ketone test strips are used with urine to check for ketones. Ketones in the urine can be a sign of type 1 or 2 diabetes. The body produces ketones as a result of burning fat for energy, because for some reason the body is unable to find other energy sources. In the case of diabetes, the problem stems from a lack of insulin, which is used to extract sugar from the blood, which would normally be used as the primary energy source. Ketones may also appear in similar levels as the levels of diabetics in otherwise healthy individuals who are consuming extremely low-carbohydrate diets, or extremely low-calorie and low-nutrient diets (DiabetesMonitor.com).
A medical doctor might normally recommend the use of ketone test strips, but ketone test strips are an Over-the-Counter (OTC) purchase which are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. There is no prescription required.
Ketones can become dangerous at high levels in blood and urine (WebMD). This condition is called ketoacidosis, and it can be fatal. Ketone test strips are useful component of a health plan that should start with speaking to a medical doctor that will help avoid problems like ketoacidosis.
Ketones can be tested for in a laboratory, but ketone test strips can be used at home and therefore more affordable and accessible. Other reasons for having ketones in urine, besides diabetes, include having an active eating disorder, malnutrition, fasting for over 18 hours, and gestational diabetes. The levels of ketones present in the urine are as relevant to a diagnosis and treatment as the actual presence of ketones. Certain medicines and supplements such as vitamin C may also interfere with the results of ketone test strips.