Blood tests are common for people looking to control their blood sugar levels. Sometimes, your physician may ask you to go for a urine analysis as a routine test. Easy and non-invasive, urine tests for diabetes help to detect different conditions and complications that are associated with diabetes.
In people with unregulated blood glucose levels, urine testing may help to detect the presence of glucose, ketones, and proteins in the urine. Additionally, it will help detect the presence of bacteria or blood in the urine. The presence of these substances in urine are warning signs of some medical conditions, which need immediate attention. Let’s take a closer look at urine tests for diabetes.
Urine analysis is a routine test done for people with diabetes. The urine test for diabetes type 2 or even for type1 diabetes is conducted to detect the presence of glucose and ketones in urine. Both indicate that your body is not producing enough insulin to digest the glucose produced. As a result, sugar will be present at high levels in the urine, which normally would be absent in urine. Hence, if you have the following symptoms, you should have a urine test for diabetes done:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Breath that smells fruity
- Blurred vision
- Persistently high blood sugar levels
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling of exhaustion
- Dry skin
- Blood in urine
Another important parameter in urine tests is the ACR urine diabetes test. ACR stands for the albumin to creatinine ratio, which is a ratio analysis of proteins in your urine. It helps to detect kidney disease, which is a complication of diabetes. If you have had diabetes for more than five years, your physician may recommend the ACR urine test. Higher ACR levels indicate severe kidney disease.
Glucose is not a normal component of urine. The glucose is reabsorbed by the body while urine is being generated. However, in people with high blood sugar levels, the kidneys may leak glucose into the urine. In some medical conditions or during pregnancy, there are chances of passing glucose in the urine. If you suspect your blood glucose levels are high, you can test yourself at home by using a home urine test kit. Although home tests may not be as accurate as a blood test done in a lab, they can still be used to find out if you have a problem with blood sugar levels.
In people with diabetes, glucose molecules are unable to enter the body cells, depriving them of energy. As a result, the body starts breaking down fat cells and leaving a toxic product called ketones. These ketones may pass into the urine. In urine analysis, the presence of ketones will be detected, which indicates higher ketone levels in the blood. This condition may further worsen into a medical emergency known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. A urine test for diabetes includes testing for ketones in your urine especially if your blood sugar levels rise above 240mg/dl (milligram/decilitre).
No special preparations are needed to take a urine test. However, you should ensure that you are not dehydrated before the test. If you are taking any supplements or medications for any other disease, you should inform your doctor. Also, keep your private areas clean before you take the test to avoid any contamination in the urine sample.
If you are visiting a laboratory for the test, the lab technician will give you a urine collection container. You will have to take the following steps during the test:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Urinate after you sit on the toilet seat while holding the collection container ready in your hand.
- Let some urine flow and then collect a sample midstream by strategically placing the container.
- Fill three-quarters of the container and shut the lid tight.
- Return the filled container to the technician.
If you are using a diabetes home test, follow all the instructions on the kit. Collect your urine in the provided container and use the dipstick provided. The stick has a coating of chemicals that changes color in presence of ketones. Compare the changes in the color of the stick with the reference chart that comes with the kit. Note down the results immediately.
The presence of glucose in urine indicates that you may also have high blood sugar levels. Some medications may increase the level of glucose in urine. Therefore, a blood glucose test is a more reliable method for monitoring diabetes. Doctors will recommend further tests such as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and a glucose tolerance test to confirm the levels of blood sugar and decide the course of treatment. The presence of glucose in the urine may also be a red flag for kidney disease. With the help of your physician, you can take proper precautions to avoid complications.
After the urine test, if your doctor detects the presence of glucose, ketones, or proteins in your urine, they will explain to you what this means for your health. You will receive advice on a proper diet, lifestyle changes, exercises, and regular monitoring of sugar levels.
If you are suffering from type 1 diabetes, your doctor will advise you to regularly monitor the ketone levels in your urine. There are chances of developing diabetic ketoacidosis if high levels of ketones keep occurring in the urine. In such a case, your doctor will change the plan of treatment.
What does high protein in the urine indicate?
Typically, urine contains low levels of protein. A high level of protein in the urine indicates a kidney disease and immediate treatment is needed.
Is a home urine test kit reliable?
A diabetes home urine test kit is reliable. But it is always best to visit a doctor and confirm the findings.
Can keto strips test for diabetes?
Keto strips are used to monitor the progress of diabetes. It is used for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The presence of ketones in the urine indicates that your body does not have enough insulin.
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