This is a simple at-home test with immediate results to detect glucose and ketone levels in your urine sample as an aid in diagnosing diabetes. The test result is shown by visually comparing it with a color chart found inside the package, so you do not need to send this test to a lab for analysis.
Diabetes is a common disease caused by high blood sugar (glucose). This condition is called hyperglycemia and is related to reduced insulin secretion. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its main function is to regulate sugar levels in the blood.
There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Type I (known as insulin-dependent type) is characterized by an absolute lack of insulin production. Type II (non-insulin-dependent type) is characterized by a relative lack of insulin, which means insulin is produced in lower amounts or the glands do not function properly. When the glucose level in the blood rises above the kidney’s capacity, it begins to appear in the urine. Therefore, measuring the presence of glucose in the urine can be used as a tool to monitor diabetes.
People with diabetes are more prone to developing specific complications such as retinopathy (a pathological disorder of the retina), blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and circulation problems, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Therefore, detecting glucose and seeking medical help as early as possible can help prevent the development of these symptoms.
When diagnosing diabetes, doctors always recommend checking for the presence of ketones to further confirm the diabetic status. Ketones are groups of organic compounds formed during the metabolism of fatty acids. Non-diabetics use glucose as an energy source, but in diabetics, glucose is not transferred to the cells, so the cells will use fatty acids as an energy source instead. The less glucose absorbed by cells (as in more advanced diabetes), the more fatty acids are consumed, and consequently, more ketones are produced. This condition is called diabetic ketoacidosis. When the level of ketones increases in the blood, they will appear in the urine.
Store at room temperature 15-30°C. Do not store the test strips in the refrigerator or freezer. Do not expose the test strips to moisture, heat, or light before use. Use the test strip immediately after opening the foil pouch.
How does the diabetes test work?
- Start by collecting urine in a glass or cup. It is preferable to perform the test in the morning when you are freshly showered, as morning urine is best for urine testing.
- Take one test strip out of the package and hold the end that is completely white without colored squares.
- Dip the colored part of the test strip into the glass with urine for a maximum of one second.
- Take out the test strip and gently tap it against the edge of the glass to remove excess urine.
- Hold the test strip horizontally for 30-60 seconds for the reaction to occur.
- Read your result by comparing the colors of the reaction on the strip with the color chart in the package.
Questions and Answers about Diabetes and the Diabetes Test
QUESTION: When is the best time to perform the test?
ANSWER: This test can be performed at any time of the day. It is suitable to perform the test once before eating and once 2 hours after a meal.
QUESTION: If I dipped the strip for more than 1 second, will the result be affected?
ANSWER: The reaction takes place immediately after you dip the strip. If you dip the strip for 2 – 3 seconds, it will not affect the result, but if it is held for more than 5 seconds, the result cannot be considered accurate, and you must repeat the test.
QUESTION: I left the strip for 10 minutes, will the result be reliable?
ANSWER: Results read after more than 60 seconds (1 minute) cannot be considered reliable, so you must repeat the test.
QUESTION: What are the signs of diabetes?
ANSWER: The most common signs of diabetes are being very thirsty, frequent urination, feeling very hungry or tired, weight loss, slow-healing sores, dry itchy skin, blurry vision, numbness in feet, or tingling in feet.
QUESTION: What can I do to control glucose levels?
ANSWER: The following can help regulate glucose levels: follow a diet recommended by your doctor or dietitian, be active and engage in some form of exercise for 30 minutes every day. Quit smoking if you smoke.
Limitations of the test
Substances that cause normal urine color, such as certain medications, can affect the color development of the strip. The color development in the reaction area may be masked, or a color reaction may be produced in the area that can be visually interpreted as a false positive. Therefore, it is recommended to repeat the test after discontinuing medication (in consultation with your doctor).
Ketones: False positive results may occur in urine samples with high color intensity or those that contain large amounts of certain medication by-products.
Glucose: The reaction may decrease if there is a high salt content in the urine sample or if the urine is highly alkaline. Ascorbic acid (more than 50 mg/dl) and ketone bodies (more than 40 mg/dl) may give a false negative result if the urine sample contains a small amount of glucose (100 mg/dl); however, the combinations of such ketone levels and low glucose levels are unlikely to occur.