Measuring sugar in urine: Learn about the procedure & result.
Sugar (glucose) is generally present at very low levels or is completely absent in the urine of most people. People with diabetes (especially when untreated) have excess glucose in the blood, which the body is constantly trying to flush out through the urine. Therefore a urine glucose test is performed as a quick and simple way to test an unusually high amount of sugar in urine.
Why do they test for sugar in urine?
Generally, glucose in urine test is done as part of a urinalysis, a bigger test that can measure chemicals, cells of the body and other substances. It is typically recommended as part of routine health check-up. For patients who are suspected of having diabetes, a urine glucose test may also be recommended. While it is not as accurate as a blood test for glucose, it is recommended if blood testing is not possible. Some people refuse to get their blood drawn out of fear or anxiety or that they are too scarred from needle pricks. It is also used if the veins are too narrow to draw blood.
If you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and fatigue, you could ask for a quick urine glucose test. Glucose in urine can also be an indicator of gestational diabetes in pregnant women, and the test is a simple and easy check before taking up a blood test.
What is a urine glucose test?
The urine glucose test is done to detect the presence of sugar in the urine. It is a simple test where you have to give a sample of your urine in a small collecting cup to the lab where you are being tested. The technicians will then use a small device called a dipstick to measure the glucose levels. It indicates glucose levels by changing colours depending on the amount of glucose present in the urine sample. The colour change of the dipstick is compared with the colours on a urine glucose levels chart to estimate how much glucose there is in the urine. If the test shows moderate to high amounts of glucose, you will be asked to perform a blood test further to determine the exact amount and the underlying cause.
How is the urine sugar test performed?
Unlike other blood tests, there is no need to prepare for the urine glucose test. You may have to tell your doctor about any prescription drugs you may be taking or any over-the-counter medicines because certain substances can interfere with the test. Therefore inform your doctor and only stop the medications momentarily if you are told to do so.
On the day of the test, you will be given a container to collect the urine sample along with exact instructions on the procedure. The method is what’s popularly known as the “clean catch method”. The procedure goes like this:
- Wash and cleanse your hands.
- Using a cleaning pad, wipe the genital area clean. Men need to wipe the tip of the penis, and women will have to open the labia and wipe from front to back.
- Start urinating into the toilet.
- In the middle of it, move the collection container under the urine stream.
- Collect enough urineenough amount of urine to fill up to the mark on the container.
- Finish urinating into the toilet.
- Return the cup with the urine sample to the lab personnel.
The laboratory will use a dipstick to measure the glucose in the urine. Since the test is often performed on the spot, you should be able to get your results soon after.
Urine sugar level test results
Sugar is not meant to be present in urine in any significant quantity in healthy people. The range that is considered normal is between 0 to 0.8 mmol/L (millimoles per litre). A higher measurement could potentially indicate health problems. Diabetes is most often the reason for high sugar in urine. If your doctor suspects so, a blood test will be done to determine the sugar levels and confirm the diagnosis.
Pregnancy can also lead to elevated levels of glucose in the urine as pregnant women often have higher glucose in their blood than women who aren’t pregnant. However, pregnant women who show increased glucose levels than normal will have to be screened for gestational diabetes.
If your urine glucose test shows elevated levels of glucose, your doctor will ask for further testing to identify the cause. It is essential that you tell your doctor about all the medications, supplements, or any other substances that you may be on; such other possibilities can be ruled out.
Having elevated levels of sugar in urine is an indicator of an underlying health problem. Diabetes is most often the cause of excess glucose in the urine, and it is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible. With timely care, diabetes and the complications that come with it can be managed.
Upon signing up with Twin, you can know your HbA1c levels with the help of a blood test that is conducted at your home. We will then assign one of our best doctors to walk you through the report followed by the next steps on how it can be lowered to a non-diabetic range to ultimately reverse your Diabetes.