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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: June 24, 2013
    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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