What is a urine glucose test?

A urine sugar test is an indirect measurement of your blood sugar (glucose) level. When glucose levels are too high, the kidneys excrete the excess in urine. Therefore, detecting glucose in your urine can be both a signal and a reminder to regulate your blood sugar levels more tightly.

Although this test is not as accurate as a blood sugar test, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a urine glucose test is a quick and easy way to monitor your blood sugar.

This article will discuss how to use the test, how to prepare, and how to evaluate your results and manage your diagnosis.

What Urine Glucose Test Measures

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. It is characterized by an inability to produce enough insulin or use the hormone insulin properly, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Under normal conditions, insulin transports glucose in the blood into cells for use as energy or for storage as fat, but this does not happen with diabetes. As a result, excess sugar is excreted in the urine.A urine sugar test detects and measures this excess sugar, a condition called diabetes.

When using a urine glucose test

A urine glucose test can be Urinalysis, a test to assess the content and chemical composition of urine. It may also be recommended if diabetes is suspected.

early signs of diabetes

Early signs of diabetes may not be obvious. For some people, the early signs of diabetes are subtle, while others may have no symptoms at all.

The onset of symptoms in people with type 1 diabetes is usually more sudden and occurs in childhood. People with type 2 diabetes have a more gradual onset of symptoms, usually in adulthood.

Regardless of the type, the following symptoms can be early signs of diabetes:

  • more frequent urination (polyuria)
  • increased thirst or hunger
  • frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) or yeast infections
  • sudden deterioration of vision
  • extreme fatigue and poor sleep
  • slow wound healing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet

Before Urine Glucose Test

If you plan to have a urine glucose test at your health care provider’s office, you may need to bring a list of medications you are taking, as some medications may affect your test results.

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Still, unless your healthcare provider advises otherwise, you should take your medication as usual. You may also want to drink water before arriving at the appointment so that you can easily urinate when asked.

How to Do a Urine Glucose Test

At your appointment with your healthcare provider, you will be given a container to collect your urine sample and instructions for the “clean capture” method to help ensure the sample is sterile. A healthcare professional will then take you to the bathroom so you can collect the sample privately.

After you’ve collected an ounce or two of urine, you’ll return the container to your healthcare provider, who will then send it to a lab for analysis.

at home version

In some cases, a healthcare provider will provide you with test strips if possible, while others may recommend buying the best over-the-counter test strips.

A self-monitoring urine sugar test usually involves placing a dipstick under your urine stream or placing a dipstick in a cup for your collected urine sample.

After a predetermined time (usually stated on the instruction leaflet or on the box), you will check the color of the urine strip to determine your glucose level.

How do I check my blood sugar and what do the results mean?

Evaluate your results

normal range

Glucose is not usually found in urine, so any glucose found warrants further testing. Normal glucose range in urine: 0 to 0.8 millimoles per liter (mmol/l), equivalent to 0 to 15 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Exception range

Glucose levels above 0.8 mmol/l (or 15 mg/dL) are considered abnormal.

The most common cause of glucose in urine is diabetes. If your blood sugar levels are high, your healthcare provider will recommend a blood sugar test to confirm the diagnosis.

Other causes of high urine sugar levels include renal diabetes (a rare condition in which the kidneys release glucose into the urine even when blood sugar is not elevated) and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy.

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If you are pre-diabetic

A urine glucose test can indicate that you are prediabetic or diabetic, but it is not an accurate diagnostic measure. Blood tests are necessary to make a diagnosis.

Urine glucose levels can be used to monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes if blood testing is difficult or impossible, such as in patients who are afraid of needles or in patients with blood clotting disorders.

kidney complications

Urine glucose tests can also be used to help screen for kidney function and diabetes damage.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease in the United States. Chronically high blood sugar levels are toxic to your blood vessels, causing them to narrow and become more blocked over time.

As your kidneys have less blood, the filtering mechanisms that remove waste and reabsorb important nutrients are impaired. Persistent chronic kidney damage is called diabetic nephropathy. High urine sugar levels can be an early sign of kidney complications.

Manage your diagnosis

Diagnosing diabetes can be shocking and life-changing, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to maintain adequate control of your blood sugar levels.

Lifestyle strategies that have been shown to help control blood sugar levels and prevent or delay diabetes complications include:

  • Eat a healthy, low-carb diet that fits your glucose and dietary needs
  • get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • lose weight (if needed)
  • Take medications as prescribed, especially Glucophage (metformin) and insulin)
  • test your blood sugar levels
  • Protect your feet from injury and infection
  • no smoking, limit alcohol consumption

Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management to keep blood sugar at healthy levels. This requires diligence, which can become difficult and tiresome over time. Early detection and a personalized treatment plan under the care of a trusted medical professional are key to helping you stay on track.

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A urine sugar test is an indirect way to determine if blood sugar levels are too high, which can be a sign of diabetes. It’s usually available at your healthcare provider’s office, but there are also home test kits available.

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VigorTip words

It’s natural to be shocked if your urine test results show elevated glucose levels, but the mere presence of glucose in your urine doesn’t mean you have diabetes.

Remember, the urine sugar test is a screening test and needs to be confirmed with a blood test. Still, a urine glucose test is a relatively inexpensive and quick way to assess whether you need follow-up blood sugar testing for diabetes.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t worry, it’s a very treatable and manageable disease. The sooner you start controlling your blood sugar levels, the better you’ll feel and the better you’ll be able to avoid possible health complications from uncontrolled diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does glucose change the color of pee?

    High glucose levels can make your urine cloudy. By the way, high glucose levels can also make your urine smell fruity.

  • Are blood sugar tests more accurate than urine tests?

    Yes. Blood sugar testing is more accurate than urine testing, and if the urine test is positive for glucose, it is often used to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes.

  • What are the causes of high blood sugar other than diabetes?

    Pregnancy and kidney disease are the most common non-diabetic causes of elevated glucose levels in the urine.

  • Should I go to a lab or buy a urine glucose test online?

    The decision to go to a lab or buy a urine glucose test online is one you will make under the guidance of your healthcare provider, who will need to refer you to the lab.

  • Does the health insurance policy cover urine glucose testing?

    usually. Coverage for diabetes supplies varies by insurance plan, but most private and public insurance plans, such as Medicaid and Medicare, cover urine glucose testing. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can also use these funds to pay for glucosuria test strips.