Pee Tests

I was just thinking (dangerous I know, but I can’t help myself). There are a lot of us old timers here on FUD, and we all remember peeing on a stick. That would let us know what our range of Bg was maybe six or eight hours ago.

The question is, of what value was the pee test? If it’s high or low so long ago what does that have to do with what’s happening now? And if we wanted to treat it, how could we do that with the insulin we had back then?

Was it just a test to make us feel bad, or to make the pee stick makers a good living? What was the rationale? I guess I never asked the question back then, I was just compliant and did the test.

Enquiring diabetics want to know.

Ok, I’ll stop thinking now.


What other options were there ?

@Thomas What options would you need to gain some useless information? It’s not like it was actionable.


Only wondering if there was anything else or if that is all there was.

@Thomas Actually, that was all there was short of a lab drawn blood test.

Of course, the other option was to draw the arterial blood yourself, I guess. I am sure @Eric would know something about that.

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@docslotnick - Actually I don’t remember the stick, I remember a test tube and then a couple of drops of something, and it seemed to me that it turned blue and that meant there was no glucose in your urine? I don’t remember what other color it turned, was it green if there was glucose? I’m sure I’ve got that wrong. And it actually gave even less info than you would think, the renal threshold for glucose is 180 so the test only told you if you were higher than 180 however many hours ago. No info on the low side. :roll_eyes:


Didn’t you fill out a pretty log to bring to your doctor?

I did. They glanced at it and decided if I needed to increase my single/day Lente dose, after confiming that with the weight to insulin chart.

Later I was on NPH + Reg. Then they told me I needed more R or to exercise more, based on logs. But I think visual BG color strip testing started soon after my switch to N/R, and then meters.

The question I have is (prior to meters) how many times did you enter fake logs ?? :grinning:


@MM2 No, I didn’t keep those detailed logs, I was just too busy in dental school. Come to think of it I didn’t even go to the doctor very often, and when I did he never suggested any type of treatment protocol.

I guess it was assumed I knew it all. Fooled them.


My mom made me do the testing and the logs. But she (and doctor) never knew exactly how many times I did a real test!! (Can everyone else pee on demand?)


Doc, if it turned orange you know you spilled sugar in your blood, you know that not all the carbs got processed. You shoulda taken more insulin.

If you felt low, you took too much insulin.

If it was blue and you did not feel low, you nailed it. Next time, you know how much insulin to take.

I think it was useful.


In my case, the doctor never mentioned relationship to carbs, and doctor was the only one that made dosage adjustments, at bi-annual appointments. (1965-85)


Am I remembering correctly that there was a tape you peed on also. Seems like it turned a shade of green?


@docslotnick - I never kept logs either, not for a long time. There was nothing useful to record, all you knew was how much insulin you took and what/how much you ate. You didn’t have any results. I think I took the same amount of insulin everyday. At the beginning I don’t remember taking insulin at each meal, it seemed like I only took 1 shot per day. Does that seem right to you? And I don’t remember what kind of insulin it was, other than mixed beef and pork.


@Kdubs - I don’t remember any tape. I had a small white plastic kit that the top pulled up and off. Inside was a small cup you collected urine in, a small glass test tube that sat in a wooden hole, and a wooden stake you turned the test tube upside down on to dry (I suppose) when you were done. It also had a small clear plastic dropper bottle that contained what ever you dropped into the urine. That’s all I remember. I don’t remember where I got it, or how I refilled it. And I didn’t write down any results. It seems like they were negative all the time. I called the doctor and gave him a report every so often.


Breaking news on test tape ! (1958)
Test tape


I would guess it was pretty useless if you’re running anywhere close to a normal blood sugar as you could be oscillating in and out of high and low between those pee tests. But if you’re always always running high, that pee test could maybe give you the info to drop from say an average BG of 250 to 220 or 200 mg/DL or something like that?


@MM2 - Thanks! Seems like maybe I do remember those, but for some reason they didn’t make as great an impression on me as the test tube test kit!! :crazy_face:


It was actionable in the sense that your doctor could look at six months’ worth of logs and determine that you were taking too much insulin or not enough because god forbid the patient should take such matters into their own hands. So in that sense it gave an overall view of one’s control, much like the A1c does now.

But for zeroing in on what was happening at any particular time of day, yes, it was pretty useless. (Unless you were @Eric. None of my doctors mentioned the relationship to food or activity until I was all grown up.)

I progressed from test tubes to Clinistix to Tes-tape to the honking big Glucometer to smaller meters to a CGM. Next stop is a cure, right? Right? … :cricket::cricket: … Hello?

Pretty much always. I had to be careful not to write in “0” too often or the doctor would cotton on.


Well I didn’t know this stuff when I was a little kid, but my parents sure knew it.

I don’t know how they knew it, but they did.

And they adjusted everything. Even went to the extent of drawing up doses in half unit increments, just by eyeballing it on the syringe.

We did not have 1/2 unit syringes back then. I still can see the image of them using a magnifying glass and drawing it up halfway between the unit marks.

It made sense. If 3 was not enough, and 4 was too much, just eyeball a 3 1/2 on the syringe.


almost always. and I would wait till the last moment to come up with all the bogus numbers. (kind of similar to changing my lancet once a year and reusing syringes and injecting through my blue jeans :rofl:.)