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 colour to show how much sugar is in the sample. You compare the resulting colour to a chart of colours. Each colour 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 (10 mmol/L), urine cannot be used to check for slightly high or low blood sugar levels.
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Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
Current as of: December 7, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology