glucose in urine test
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Know All About Glucose in Urine Test

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can imagine the number of medical tests, blood tests, screening, diagnostic tests, urine analyses, etc that you have to go through. Some of these would be much higher in frequency, for example – you may have to get your routine blood tests for HbA1c levels tested once every 3 months. Others, however, may not happen as regularly as this. For example, the c-peptide blood test to understand the level of insulin produced in the body and differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes would only have to happen once at the beginning of the diagnosis and maybe once every year or 18 months to check for any difference. 

This, however, does not negate the fact that several regular tests do become a part of the life of a person with diabetes. Making peace with needles poking you every so often is something that does not come as a choice. One type of test that is also quite frequent, especially during the initial stages of the diagnosis would be urine analysis. The primary purpose of this test would be to understand what does sugar in urine looks like? and in how much quantity is it present. Moreover, it also indicates the ketones present in the urine which would help understand if any immediate action is required. 

What is Sugar in Urine Test?

Simply put, glucose in urine tests is an indicator of the amount of sugar present in the urine sample. The technical term for this would be glycosuria or glucosuria. These levels can be measured using a blood test or can be measured using a cerebrospinal fluid test. In case you are visiting a doctor or a pathology lab, you may also refer to this test as a urine sugar test, urine glucose test, etc. 

This is a test that is performed to measure the sugar quotient of a urine sample. The presence of sugar in the urine is referred to as glucosuria. Usually, urine has a negligible amount of glucose but if your blood has excess sugar in it, then your body will get rid of the extra amount through urine. To undergo a sugar in urine test, you have to provide your urine sample to your healthcare expert who will test it immediately. The expert uses a dipstick that changes its color when tested in the urine to show the sugar levels of your urine sample. Your healthcare expert may also give you some instructions which you must abide by to get accurate results. Know about diabetes treatment in pregnancy.

You must prepare yourself before undergoing the test as consumption of certain medicines can affect the results. Talk to your doctor before undergoing the preparation of the test. Once your test is done, your results are studied as per the urine glucose levels chart to conclude. In the past, this test was done to know if glucose in the urine is in the normal range or elevated to diagnose diabetes. However, currently, a blood sugar test is done for the same. If your results lay between 0-15 mg/dl then the glucose content in urine is normal. If you get abnormal results it may signify you have diabetes, renal glycosuria, or you may be pregnant. Fortunately, there are no risks or discomfort associated with the procedure of undergoing this test.

Why Sugar in Urine Test is Needed?

Any medical test is performed to give an understanding, as accurate as possible, of the effect certain parameters are having and can continue to have in the future. A urine test for sugar and albumin is also used for the same – to gain an estimate of how much glucose is present in the body and if any immediate intervention is required to bring down those levels at the earliest. This test is common for a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes as people often have a large deposit of sugar in their urine. This can lead to several other unwanted complications. When doctors suspect other issues like ketones due to high sugars or renal glycosuria, they are more likely to recommend a urine analysis instead of a simple blood test.

How is Urine Glucose Test Performed?

As with any other urine test, the glucose in urine test is performed by the patient providing a urine sample following the guidelines suggested by the lab techs that are required for receiving accurate results on the test. Once the urine sample is provided, it is tested right away. This ensures that the purity of the sample is intact and there is no contamination due to heat, weather, or other human or external factors. The labs, based on their protocols, would use a dipstick on a color-sensitive pad. The color change would be the provider of the level of glucose in the urine. This urine sugar test results chart would then be interpreted by the team of doctors to determine the best course of action.

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Urine Glucose Test Results

Normal Values

The Absence of Glucose in the Urine, is considered a Normal Result. The Normal Range of Glucose or the minimal amount of glucose that can be present in urine without any cause for alarm would be between  0 - 0.8 mmol/L OR 0 - 15 mg/dL.

If the amount of glucose found in the urine sample is more than 0.8 mmol/L OR 15 mg/dL, then most often than not, further testing is required. Although different labs may have different parameters or methods to measure glucose in urine, having a value between 0 - 0.8 mmol/L OR 0 - 15 mg/dL is the most accepted measurement and standardized range for normal urine glucose. To be more certain, ask your doctor about what could be considered as the normal range for you.

Abnormal Values

If the amount of glucose found in the urine sample is higher than 0.8 mmol/L OR 15 mg/dL, it can be considered as an abnormal result. Interpreting the reason for the high glucose in urine is key to determine further course of action and management. The top 3 reasons for glucose levels being higher than normal are-

1. Diabetes

If there is a significant level of glucose present in the urine sample, it could be an indicator of diabetes. If the person already has diabetes, the level of glucose would be used as the stepping stone to decide what action needs to be taken to prevent further risks such as DKA

2. Pregnancy

More than 50% of the women who are pregnant have traces of sugar in their urine. So, at times, glucose in the urine might also be an indicator of gestational diabetes

3. Renal Glycosuria

This is an uncommon condition wherein glucose is released from both the kidneys into the urine even when the overall blood sugar levels are normal. 

Urine glucose level chart

Sugar in urine test results are concluded by observing the dipstick. The indications of the dipstick are then studied as per the urine glucose level chart. The following table shows the meaning of various test results.

  Test Result                         MG/DL       MMOL/L  INTERPRETATION                                                  
  The glucose content of urine: Trace 100 mg/dl   5.55      The minute presence of sugar in urine signifies high blood sugar
  Glucose 1 +                          250 mg/dl    11.1    This signifies 250 mg/dl of glucose is let out in the urine      
   Glucose 2+                         500 mg/dl    27.75   Signifies 500 mg/dl of glucose is let out via urine              
  Glucose 3+                            1000 mg/dl  55.5   1000 mg/dl or above sugar is let out via urine                    
  Glucose 4+                            2000 mg/dl  111     Over 2000 mg/dl of sugar is lost via urine                        

Any Risks in getting a Urine Glucose Test?

Apart from the abnormal results or any alarming factors discovered, there are no risks in conducting a urine sugar test and albumin. 


Diabetes can come with several complications, but not all of them are well known to everyone. Glucose in the urine can be one such complication that you may want to avoid. Therefore, it is important to get tested on this frequently, especially if your sugar levels have been high for a sustainable period and you are suspecting ketones in the urine. 


1. What are the causes of high glucose in urine besides diabetes? 

There can be some different causes, apart from diabetes, that can result in some amount of glucose in the urine – kidney diseases, hereditary conditions, some diabetes medications, pregnancy, etc.

2. Does glucose in urine always mean diabetes?

Most often than not, glucose in the urine is an indicator of diabetes. Another condition that could cause this would be related to the kidneys. In case you find traces of sugar in the urine sample, you can get checked out for both.

3. How can I reduce sugar in my urine?

To reduce sugar in the urine – drink a lot of water, reduce your overall carb intake, have a consistent diet, exercise regularly, lose any extra weight, do not eat sugary foods, etc. In case you have traces of sugar in the urine, have a lot of water and flush out the toxins and ketones from the body. 

4. What causes high glucose in urine?

Diabetes is the major cause of high glucose in the urine. When there is not enough insulin in the body, the excess sugar molecules are not filtered and reabsorbed by the kidneys causing the sugars to be present in the blood and urine.

5. What is the normal range of glucose in the urine? 

The normal amount of glucose in the urine is between 0-15 mg/dl. If your urine sugar test results cross the normal range it signifies that there are certain complications in your body. The presence of extra glucose in urine means that your body is getting rid of the extra sugar through urination. This may diagnose diabetes as well.

6. What does glucose in urine mean? 

Normally there is a negligible amount of glucose that our body lets out through urine. However, if your body is letting out too much sugar through urine it means that your blood sugar levels are high and your kidneys are getting rid of the excessive sugar via urine. This can be studied by your healthcare expert by observing the results of your urine sugar test.




This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.