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Diabetes: Urine Test for Sugar - 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.

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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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 01, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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Diabetes: Urine Test for Sugar Topics

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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.

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