Glycosuria is the presence of reducing sugars in the urine, such as glucose, galactose, lactose, fructose, and others. In healthy people, glucosuria can reach 0.25 mg/ml. More than 0.25 mg/ml in fresh urine is considered high glucosuria and can be caused by excessive plasma glucose or impaired renal glucose absorption, or both. Small levels of glucose in the urine are considered normal, however the term glucosuria usually refers to pathologic circumstances in which the amounts of urine glucose in random fresh urine exceed 25 mg/dL.
Main Causes of Glucosuria:
It can occur due to a number of reasons, including:
Increased concentration of glucose in the circulating blood: This phenomenon can occur in normal individuals who consume excess carbohydrates, known as 'alimentary glycosuria.' It also presents in diabetic patients. In diabetes mellitus, with increasing duration, glomeruli can be damaged, resulting in albuminuria and a decrease in the glomerular filtration rate. In diabetic patients, the kidneys are more susceptible to the effects of hyperglycemia; many of the kidney cells are unable to decrease glucose transport rates and unable to prevent intercellular hyperglycemia in an increased glucose concentration state.
Conditions that Raise the Threshold for Renal Glucose:
Certain conditions may raise the threshold for the renal glucose includes:
- Renal disease (diabetic glomerulosclerosis)
- Heart failure
- Chronic hyperglycemia
Normal aging and glomerulosclerosis in long-standing diabetes are associated with an increased renal threshold for glucose, and because of that, urine glucose testing becomes of little value, if any.
Substances that Cause Glucosuria
Certain substances known for their capability to cause glucosuria:
- Nitrate of sodium
- Glucosuria can also occur in a condition where there is a lack of oxygenation of the Proximal Convoluted Tubule of the kidney.
It's also important to note that certain factors can affect urine glucose levels, such as stress, illness, and certain medications.
For example, if a person is experiencing stress, their urine glucose levels may temporarily spike. Similarly, if a person is taking certain medications, such as steroids, it can cause an increase in urine glucose levels. Therefore, it's important to keep track of any changes in lifestyle or medication regimen, and to discuss them with a healthcare professional to understand the impact they may have on urine glucose levels.
How to Reduce Urine Glucose Levels?
Following are some of the best ways to reduce urine glucose levels include:
- Eating a diet that is low in sugar and high in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Monitoring blood sugar levels and taking any prescribed medication as directed by a healthcare professional
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Managing stress levels
- Getting enough sleep
- Quitting smoking
Another important aspect of reducing urine glucose levels is monitoring carbohydrate intake. For people with diabetes, monitoring carbohydrate intake is crucial because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the body. By keeping track of the amount of carbohydrates consumed, people with diabetes can better control their blood sugar levels, and in turn, reduce urine glucose levels.
Another method that can help reduce urine glucose levels is by incorporating high-fiber foods in the diet. High-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, can slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, which can help regulate glucose levels.
In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, medication can also play a crucial role in managing urine glucose levels. For people with diabetes, medication such as metformin, sulfonylureas, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, and SGLT2 inhibitors, can help control blood sugar levels, and in turn, reduce urine glucose levels.
Also read the article - How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately?
It's also important to be aware of the potential complications that can arise from uncontrolled glucose levels, such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and cardiovascular disease. Regular check-ups with a healthcare professional and monitoring of urine and blood glucose levels can help to detect and prevent these complications.
How to Do Urine Glucose Test?
During a urine glucose test, you will need to give a urine sample. A health care professional will provide you with a cleansing wipe, a small container, and instructions on how to collect your urine sample. It is important to follow these instructions to prevent germs from your skin getting into the sample.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them.
- Open the container without touching the inside.
- Clean your genital area with the cleansing wipe:
- For a penis, wipe the entire head (end) of the penis. If you have a foreskin, pull it back first.
- For a vagina, separate the labia (the folds of skin around the vagina) and wipe the inner sides from front to back.
- Urinate into the toilet for a few seconds and then stop the flow.
- Start urinating again, this time into the container. Don't let the container touch your body.
- Collect at least an ounce (30 ml) or two (60 ml) of urine into the container. The container should have markings to show how much urine is needed.
- Finish urinating into the toilet.
- Put the cap on the container and return it as instructed.
- If you have hemorrhoids that bleed or are having your menstrual period, inform your provider before the test.
Your provider may ask you to monitor your urine glucose at home with a test kit. The kit will include a package of strips for testing and instructions on how to do the test. Follow the instructions carefully, and talk with your provider about what time of day you should test your urine to get the most accurate results.
Glycosuria is a medical condition that occurs when reducing sugars such as glucose, galactose, lactose, fructose, and others appear in the urine. It can be caused by several factors such as diabetes, renal disease, heart failure, hyperthyroidism, pregnancy, and fever. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, monitoring blood sugar, limiting alcohol consumption, managing stress, getting enough sleep and quitting smoking can help to reduce urine glucose levels. Medications can also play a role in managing glucose levels, but it's important to be aware of the potential complications that can arise from uncontrolled glucose levels such as nerve damage, kidney damage, and cardiovascular disease.
1. Liman MNP, Jialal I. Physiology, Glycosuria. [Updated 2022 Mar 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557441/
2. Cowart SL, Stachura ME. Glucosuria. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 139. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK245/
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