A urine glucose test is used to find out if your levels of blood sugar (glucose) are within a healthy range. It may be used to monitor both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Your kidneys get rid of the extra glucose in your urine if your blood glucose rises above normal. That's why a urine glucose test may help to find out if your blood glucose is too high.
A urine test for glucose is easier to do than a blood test, but it's not as accurate. Urine tests are usually used only when blood testing for glucose is difficult or can't be done.
You may need this test if you have symptoms of diabetes. These include increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, increased pee, tiredness, blurred vision, or sores that don't heal. Sometimes people with prediabetes or diabetes don't have any symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may check your glucose levels if you have risk factors for diabetes. These include:
Being overweight or obese
Not getting much exercise
Having high blood pressure
Having high cholesterol
Having a family history of diabetes
If you don't have these risk factors, you should also be checked for diabetes beginning at age 45. You should get checked every 3 years as long as your results are normal.
If you are pregnant and are at risk of developing gestational diabetes, you may be screened often during and after your pregnancy.
A urine glucose test may be done along with more sensitive and accurate blood tests. A urine test alone is not typically used to screen for or diagnose diabetes. Other tests that are used to screen for or diagnose diabetes or monitor blood glucose include blood glucose and A1c blood testing. Because heart health is so closely tied to diabetes, regular checks of blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides are important, too.
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, and other things. Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
Urine glucose testing involves checking the color of a test strip to see if your glucose is too high. Depending on the results, you may have blood sugar problems that need more testing or management.
A healthcare provider will usually test your urine glucose only if a blood test can't be done.
If you need to self-monitor urine glucose levels, your healthcare provider will likely give you test strips or tell you which ones to buy. Self-monitoring urine glucose levels involves holding a test strip under a stream of pee. Or you may place a test strip into a sample of pee you collect. After a set amount of time, you check the color of the urine strip to figure out your glucose levels.
The test poses no known risks.
Urine glucose tests are not as accurate as blood glucose tests. Many things can cause false positives or false negatives. For instance, the test actually reflects what your blood glucose level was a few hours earlier, so it might not be very accurate. Other factors that can affect your test results include certain medicines and vitamin C. Even the light that the test strip is checked under can lead to a false reading. Because of all these issues, a blood glucose test is done whenever possible.
You don't need to prepare for this test. Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions on when to collect or test your urine and what to do before and after each collection. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use.