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Glucose test - urine

Definition

The glucose urine test measures the amount of sugar (glucose) in a urine sample. The presence of glucose in the urine is called glycosuria or glucosuria.

See also:

Alternative Names

Urine sugar test; Urine glucose test; Glucosuria test; Glycosuria test

How the test is performed

A urine sample is needed. For information on collecting a urine sample, see clean catch urine specimen.

Usually, the health care provider checks for glucose in the urine sample using a dipstick made with a color-sensitive pad. The pad contains chemicals that react with glucose. What color the dipstick changes tells the provider how much glucose is in your urine.

How to prepare for the test

Different drugs can change the result of this test. Make sure your health care provider knows what medications you are taking.

How the test will feel

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

Why the test is performed

This test is most commonly used to test for diabetes.

Normal Values

Glucose is not usually found in urine. If it is, further testing is needed.

Normal glucose range in urine: 0 - 0.8 mmol/l (0 - 15 mg/dL)

The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What abnormal results mean

Greater than normal levels of glucose may occur with:

  • Diabetes, although blood glucose tests are needed to diagnose diabetes. Small increases in urine glucose levels after a large meal are not always a cause for concern.
  • A rare condition in which glucose is released from the kidneys into the urine, even when blood glucose levels are normal (renal glycosuria)
  • Pregnancy -- up to half of women will have glucose in their urine at some point during pregnancy. Glucose in the urine may mean that a woman has gestational diabetes.

Glucose will only show up in the urine once it has reached high levels in the blood. As a result, a glucose urine test is not useful for helping a person monitor and control their diabetes.

What the risks are

There are no risks.

References

Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.


Review Date: 9/20/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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