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What is Urine Glucose Test? 

A urine glucose test is a screening test for diabetes that is done to check for the presence of excess glucose in the urine of an individual.

Glucose is a simple sugar that makes the primary energy source of our body. It is made by the breakdown of carbohydrates by our digestive system and is taken up by body cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. Excess blood glucose, as in the case of diabetes, is eliminated through urine. Thus, a urine glucose test indirectly helps to determine if the blood glucose levels are too high. This test is usually suggested in cases where a blood glucose test is not feasible such as in people who have small veins that can't be easily detected for blood withdrawal or patients who have multiple needle punctures due to insulin uptake or repeated tests. Abnormal results in urine glucose test, however, do not confirm the diagnosis; a blood glucose test is done for that purpose.

  1. Why is a Urine Glucose test performed?
  2. How do you prepare for a Urine Glucose test?
  3. How is a Urine Glucose test performed?
  4. What do Urine Glucose test results mean?

Your doctor may order this test if you show signs of diabetes such as:

Urine glucose levels are regularly tested for people who are at risk of developing diabetes. The risk factors for diabetes are:

If you are 45 years or older, you should periodically get yourself tested even if the results are normal every time. Additionally, pregnant women are routinely tested for gestational diabetes throughout their gestation period. 

Glucose urine test may also be performed as a part of a routine urinalysis, a test which measures different substances that are present in the urine. 

No specific preparations are needed for this test. Inform your doctor if you are taking any prescription, non-prescription medicines or illicit drugs or supplements, as some of these may alter the results of the test.

The test requires a sterile urine sample. It is collected in a special container. Here are some of the instructions your doctor will provide on how to collect the sample. :

  • Wash your hands and clean the genital area using a cleansing pad
  • Men should wipe the head of the penis  and women should open their labia and wipe the area  from front to back
  • Start urinating in the toilet and after the first few drops, hold the container under the stream of urine
  • Collect the urine in the container up to the marking indicated on it, which would be around 30-50 millilitres 
  • Cap the container and finish urinating in the toilet. Send the sample to a lab. as soon as possible 

Normal results:

Glucose is usually absent in urine. The normal range of glucose in urine is 0-15 milligrams per decilitre (0-0.8 millimoles per litre).

Abnormal results:

High levels of glucose are usually an indication of diabetes, though higher than normal levels of glucose may also indicate the presence of some other conditions such as:

Disclaimer: All results must be clinically correlated with the patient’s complaints to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. The above information is provided from a purely educational point of view and is in no way a substitute for medical advice by a qualified doctor.

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References

  1. American Diabetes Association [internet]; The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose
  2. American Pregnancy Association [internet]: Urinalysis
  3. Merck Manual Consumer Version [Internet]. Kenilworth (NJ): Merck & Co. Inc.; c2018. Urinalysis and Urine Culture
  4. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
  5. Northwest Community Healthcare [internet]. Northwest Community Hospital. Illinois. U.S.; Health Library
  6. UCSF health: University of California [internet]; Glucose: Urine
  7. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; Glucose (Urine)
  8. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Blood sugar test
  9. American Diabetes Association [internet]; Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2014. Diabetes Care Volume 37.
  10. Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH; on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(6):414-420. DOI: 10.7326/M13-2905