Urine Glucose Test

What Is Urine Glucose Test?

Urine glucose test is a simple blood test which measures the amount of glucose in your urine. Your doctor may order it if you have symptoms of diabetes such as: dizziness, weakness or tiredness; frequent urination; weight loss; nausea and vomiting; dark colored stools (diarrhea); pale stools (jaundice) after eating foods high in fat or sugar like candy, cakes, pies etc. If you are diabetic, your doctor will want to check your urine glucose level before prescribing insulin.

How Does Urine Glucose Test Work?

The main purpose of the urine glucose test is to detect diabetes. When you eat food with carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into simple sugars and passes these through the kidneys where they are absorbed into your bloodstream. These sugars then enter cells in your blood stream and cause a rise in blood sugar levels.

If your urine contains too much glucose, it means that your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin to control the blood sugar level. Insulin is a hormone produced by the liver and stored in fat cells called beta cells. When there’s not enough insulin in your system, your blood sugar levels rise causing you to feel hungry and thirsty. You may also experience fatigue, weakness or even lose consciousness due to low blood sugar levels.

A urine glucose test can detect the excess sugar levels in your body. The body doesn’t store excess sugar so it is passed out through the kidneys. It is important to get a urine test to monitor blood sugar levels because if this isn’t done, the high blood sugar levels may lead to diabetic complications like heart disease and kidney failure.

What Are Normal Results Of Urine Glucose Test?

A normal result of a urine glucose test is negative. This means that you will not have an increased risk of developing diabetic complications. When the result is positive, it means that you have high levels of sugar in your urine and have an increased risk of diabetic complications.

What Are The Causes Of Glucose In Urine Other Than Diabetes?

When you have a urine glucose test, you could also get a lot of false positive results due to other factors. This results in a lot of unnecessary follow-up tests. Here are some of the causes of high blood sugar levels that show up in your urine without actually being a case of diabetes:

Caffeine influences the amount of sugar in the urine. You may experience a temporary rise in blood sugar levels when you drink too much coffee and this is detected during your urine test.

Too much Vitamin C can also cause temporary high blood sugar levels. Your urine glucose test may show high blood sugar levels.

If you have been eating a lot of fruits, particularly bananas, dates, raisins, figs and dried peaches, your urine test may show high blood sugar levels. You can however consume these foods in moderate amounts as they are healthy for you.

If you have been stressed out or undergone emotional trauma, it may trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. This may cause temporary high blood sugar levels.

If you have a urinary tract infection, it may lead to the growth of bacteria that consume glucose in your urine. This leads to a false positive result of your urine test.

What Are The Complications Of Diabetes?

Diabetes is a common but severe condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate the amount of sugar in your blood or you’re unable to properly use the insulin that is produced.

The complications of diabetes are:

Kidney disease: There’s a greater risk of kidney disease in people suffering from diabetes. This is due to high blood pressure and high cholesterol which damages the small blood vessels in the kidney. This makes it harder for the kidneys to filter out waste from the blood.

Diabetic retinopathy: This is a condition in which the small blood vessels at the back of the eye burst causing blurred vision and even blindness.

Blood vessel disease: If left untreated, high blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels supplying the heart, kidneys, and legs. This can lead to a stroke, coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease.

Skin conditions: Rashes that occur due to diabetes lead to skin wounds that don’t heal properly. This leaves the skin open to infection and even gangrene.

Amputations: Poor circulation caused by diabetes can lead to a higher risk of foot amputation.

There are some lifestyle changes and medication that can help control diabetes in most people. A healthy diet, regular exercise and loss of excess weight if required can reduce the risk of some of the complications listed above.

If you experience any of the symptoms listed in this article or suspect that you may have diabetes, it is important that you see a doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to prevent some of the devastating effects of this disease.

You can also read my other articles about risk factors of cancer and treatment of hepatitis.


Sources & references used in this article:

Simple specific test for urine glucose by AH Free, EC Adams, ML Kercher, HM Free… – Clinical …, 1957 – academic.oup.com

A study on the preparation of polyurethane diagnostic membrane for urine glucose test by SK Kwon – Applied Chemistry for Engineering, 1994 – koreascience.or.kr

Design of a portable urine glucose monitoring system for health care by HD Park, KJ Lee, HR Yoon, HH Nam – Computers in biology and medicine, 2005 – Elsevier

… cost-benefit analysis of intensive treatment and teaching programmes for type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in Moscow—blood glucose versus urine glucose … by EG Starostina, M Antsiferov, GR Galstyan, C Trautner… – Diabetologia, 1994 – Springer

Semiquantitative specific test paper for glucose in urine by JP Comer – Analytical Chemistry, 1956 – ACS Publications

Urine glucose screening program at schools in Japan to detect children with diabetes and its outcome-incidence and clinical characteristics of childhood type … by T Urakami, S Morimoto, Y Nitadori, K Harada… – Pediatric …, 2007 – nature.com

Colorimetric Detection of Urine Glucose Based ZnFe2O4 Magnetic Nanoparticles by L Su, J Feng, X Zhou, C Ren, H Li, X Chen – Analytical chemistry, 2012 – ACS Publications