Diabetes is a medical disorder that causes an abnormal amount of sugar in the blood. The effect the disease has on metabolic processes in the body affects other normal processes. A doctor can spot signs of the condition through urinalysis for diabetes. He or she can perform glucose tests, ketone tests, and microalbuminuria tests on the urine of an affected person. This analysis can help a doctor diagnose the disease, spot a complication of existing disease, and potentially prevent any further damage from happening.
Glucose is the manner in which sugar is carried around the body through the blood. Diabetes affects a hormone called insulin, which normally regulates the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Insulin carries the glucose from the blood into the cells that use it.
In Type 1 diabetes, the person does not make enough insulin, and he or she has to inject insulin regularly. In Type 2 diabetes, the patient makes insulin, but the body is not sensitive enough to the insulin that is present. Gestational diabetes, which is abnormally high blood sugar, can occur in pregnant women. These unhealthy levels of blood glucose can cause many serious effects over time, such as coma, kidney disease, or heart disease.
A common sign of diabetes is this abnormal glucose level, and an important form of urinalysis for diabetes is the glucose test. A healthy person's urine does not usually contain any glucose, and presence of the sugar can indicate the presence of diabetes. The urine test itself can be performed by dipping a special test stick into the urine and comparing the color of the stick to a control panel to figure out how much glucose, if any, is present. The glucose urinalysis for diabetes is one of the initial tests used to diagnose the disease, but the results need to be further investigated before the doctor can diagnose the illness.
For people who have had diabetes for some time, there are more forms of urinalysis for diabetes complications. If the disease is not controlled properly and the insulin in the bloodstream cannot effectively carry the blood glucose to the cells, the body can begin to break down fats abnormally as a source of energy. This fat breakdown produces compounds known as ketones, which are also not usually present in urine. Too many ketones in the body can cause ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous condition. Ketones are also tested for using dipsticks and color changes.
Kidney problems can also develop in diabetic people. A microalbuminuria test checks for the presence of albumin in the urine, which is a protein. High levels of this protein can indicate that the diabetes has affected the normal workings of the kidneys. This test is part of a regular checkup for diabetics.