Sugar in Urine But Not in Blood

You can have your blood sugar and urine sugar levels checked when going to the doctor for a regular blood work and urine sample test or check these levels yourself at home using a blood glucose meter and urine glucose strips. If you have diabetes, regularly monitoring your sugar levels can help you determine whether your treatment plan is adequate or require adjustments. If you find that you have sugar in your urine, it is a sign that your sugar levels are excessively high. Consult with your physician promptly.

A urine sample. (Image: Alexander Kurlovich/iStock/Getty Images)

Sugar in Urine

Under normal circumstances, you do not have sugar in your urine. Historically, physicians diagnosed diabetes by tasting the patient's urine to determine its sweetness, documented by Thomas Willis in the 17th century. Sugar in your urine, or glycosuria, only occurs if your blood sugar levels exceed a certain threshold. It is a sign that your body is struggling to keep your blood sugar levels under control by trying to get rid of the sugar in your urine. If your diabetes is well controlled, you should not have sugar in your urine.

Sugar in Blood

It is impossible not to have sugar in your blood. The body tightly regulates the amount of sugar, or glucose, you have in your blood to have energy available at all times to your body cells. A healthy person has fasting blood sugar levels of below 100 mg/dL, while levels up to 125 mg/dL indicate prediabetes and 126 mg/dL indicate full-blown diabetes. If your blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL, you can experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and may even have seizures, pass out or die if nothing is done to correct your low blood sugar. However, although your blood sugar levels may get low, your blood sugar levels will never reach zero.

Sugar in Urine but not in Blood

If your urine sugar strip indicates the presence of sugar in your urine, but your blood sugar meter shows that you do not have sugar in your blood, something is not functioning properly. Since having sugar in your urine is a sign of high blood sugar levels, your blood glucose meter should indicate a high amount of sugar in your blood. Repeat the test with a new strip to see if you get a different result. If your meter still does not work, go to the drugstore and ask your pharmacist to have your meter checked with a control solution to ensure it is still accurate and working correctly. Your meter is likely to be the problem.

Preventing High Blood Sugar

To prevent having sugar in your urine, which indicates hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels, it is important to follow the recommendations of your doctor and take your medications or insulin as prescribed. To improve your diabetes control, try to achieve a healthier body weight, exercise regularly and adopt a healthy diet with the right amount of carbohydrates for your body. Make sure your blood glucose meter is working properly and check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis to see how your lifestyle is impacting your blood sugar levels.

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