Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

What Do Urine Tests Say About Diabetes?

Tests for High Blood Sugar

Your doctor could ask you to take a test that looks for ketones. Your body makes them when it doesn’t have enough insulin and turns to fat stores to create energy for your cells. They're toxic in large amounts. Too many of them can cause a life-threatening emergency condition called ketoacidosis.

How Do I Test?

Your doctor can check for ketone levels, or you can do it at home with an over-the-counter kit. You simply dip a test strip into your urine. It will change color, and you’ll compare it to a chart to see what your reading means.

When Should I Test?

If you have type 1 diabetes, you may need to check your urine for ketones if:

  • You feel sick (have a cold, the flu, or other illness) and have nausea or vomiting.
  • You’re pregnant.
  • Your blood sugar level is over 300 mg/dL.
  • You have symptoms of high blood sugar including extreme thirst or tiredness, a flushed or foggy feeling, or your breath smells fruity.
  • The doctor tells you to.

If you have type 2 diabetes, there isn’t much chance you’ll have too many ketones, even if you’re taking insulin. But it could happen during a severe illness. Your doctor may tell you to check your urine when:

  • You have a cold, the flu, or other illness or have unexplained nausea or vomiting.
  • Your blood sugar level is over 300 mg/dL and continues to rise throughout the day.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

A urine test for ketones should always be negative. Report a positive result to your doctor immediately. You should also let her know right away if your blood sugar remains high or if you have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, sweet-smelling breath, or if you’re peeing a lot.

The doctor may tell you to:

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids to lower the amounts of ketones and stay hydrated.
  • Continue to check your blood sugar. If it’s high, you may need to give yourself a small amount of rapid-acting insulin.
  • Go to the local emergency room so you can get intravenous fluids and insulin.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
Home Healthcare
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow