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Urine test for glucose

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Normally urine doesn’t contain glucose. When blood glucose level exceeds beyond normal, then the kidneys cannot absorb them completely and it gets excreted through the urine. The unabsorbed glucose then gets diagnosed when urine is tested.

Why urine test for glucose is done?

Urine test for glucose may be conducted during routine health check-ups. Presence of glucose in urine is an indication of the following disorders

  • Renal glycosuria- the kidneys release sugar into the blood, even if blood glucose levels are normal
  • Diabetes- Urine glucose test is also a diagnostic measure for diabetes wherein your blood glucose levels spike up
  • Presence of sugar in urine can indicate urinary tract infections
  • Pregnant women are tested for urine in glucose as it symbolizes gestational diabetes

How is the test performed?

The test is very simple. Presence of glucose can be detected with the help of a dipstick. The pad contained in the dipstick contains chemicals that react with glucose. Change of characteristic colour of the dipsticks occurs in few seconds, which indicates presence of glucose.

How to prepare for the test?

Make sure you tell your doctor if you are taking any drugs and supplements, because they might interfere with the test. You don’t need fasting or any other modifications in your day to day activities for undergoing the test

How to collect the urine sample?

The hospital will provide you a vial for collecting the urine sample. You need to fill the vial while urinating. Make sure your hands are clean and avoid by mistake contact with the urine.

How long it takes to interpret the results?

Your doctor will tell you the result with few minutes

Interpretation of urine glucose test results

Normal glucose range in urine ranges between 0 - 0.8 mmol/l or 0 - 15 mg/dL. Any value above this indicates an underlying health condition which could be UTI, glycosuria, diabetes or gestational diabetes

What can interfere with the urine glucose test?

Certain drugs like that contain salicylate and Vitamin C can interfere with the accuracy of test results

What are the limitations of urine test for glucose?

  • The urine glucose test does not measure the sugar levels at the time of testing; rather it’s a measure for glucose level for the past several hours.
  • The test results are influenced by parameters like volume and concentration of the urine. So the readings might fluctuate when you sweat, drink more or less water, vomit, etc.
  • Sometimes the colour differences are not that vivid to draw an appropriate conclusion. This mostly happens when you test at home and are not sure about the colour change.

Disadvantages of urine test for glucose

  • Urine glucose test is not as accurate as blood glucose test
  • Many results could be false negative or false positives. This usually happens when the test is not performed immediately after collecting the sample

Advantages of urine test for glucose

  • It’s easy to do and test results are produced within few minutes.
  • The dipstick method is less expensive than blood glucose test
  • Lastly, it is completely painless.

However, your doctor will give you instructions before conducting the test so that test results are fairly accurate. If abnormality has been found out then you need to undergo some more confirmatory tests for determining glucose levels in the body.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 29, 2015

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