Diabetes: Urine Test for Sugar

Skip to the navigation

Diabetes: Urine Test for SugarSkip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Sugar (glucose) normally is not found in urine. But when blood sugar levels rise well above a target range—which can occur in type 1 and type 2 diabetes—the kidneys often release some of the excess sugar from the blood into the urine. In pregnant women, the kidneys sometimes release sugar into the urine even when blood sugar levels are within a safe range.

You can test urine for sugar by using plastic strips you can buy at a pharmacy. You dip a strip into a urine sample. The strip changes color to show how much sugar is in the sample. You compare the resulting color to a chart of colors. Each color indicates a level of glucose.

Urine testing for sugar is not an accurate way to measure how much sugar is in your blood. So most doctors no longer recommend it for people who have diabetes. A sample of urine often is stored in your bladder for several hours before you test it. Also, because sugar does not show up in urine until it is much higher than normal in the bloodstream (180 mg/dL), urine cannot be used to check for slightly high or low blood sugar levels.

Diabetes: Urine Test for SugarSkip to the navigation

Health Tools Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

Diabetes: Urine Test for SugarSkip to the navigation

Diabetes: Urine Test for SugarSkip to the navigation

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014