Metabolic Health

Glycosuria - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment - Sugar.Fit

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Glycosuria : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment.

You may have wondered many times what is glycosuria? Glycosuria is a condition when the sugar levels in the body rise and is maintained by expelling extra sugar out from the body through urine. The sugars can be glucose, fructose, lactose, or galactose. The body needs a certain level of glucose to function but if the levels increase too much, nerve damage or organ damage may occur. 

Causes of Glycosuria

When a body is healthy and all the functions of the body are normal, the kidney filters the glucose out of the system and passes it back to the body to reuse it in the form of energy. However, in Glycosuria, the extra sugar is filtered out. This is generally seen in people with diabetes when the blood sugar level increases. There are 3 main causes of Glycosuria that have been identified so far. 

  1. Eating a meal that is high in carbohydrates or sugar can cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. 
  2. Defects in kidneys and conditions where the kidney tubules are damaged. 
  3. Problems with the production of insulin or issues with the body’s sensitivity towards insulin. This is generally categorized as diabetes. 

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas which regulates the blood sugar level. Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot use the available insulin or produce enough insulin. There are 2 types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes – This type of diabetes is due to an autoimmune reaction when the body attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and your body does not get enough insulin to deal with the glucose levels. This is usually detected in children. 

Type 2 diabetes – This type of diabetes is caused by the body not responding to the insulin in the body. Excessive weight gain and obesity are the major causes of type 2 diabetes. 

These factors in return increase the blood sugar and since the kidneys filter out the excess, it is excreted out in the urine. 

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Your body needs extra energy to deal with the baby’s growth. But the production of insulin does not go up. Higher levels of blood sugar during pregnancy can be dangerous for you and your baby’s health. Here are the complications that can occur. 

  • Your baby can grow too big and you may need a C section. 
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Higher blood sugar in your baby
  • Heart issues and type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy is over

Doctors prefer to do a urine test at the prenatal visits and ensure there are no signs of glycosuria. A glucose drink has to be consumed and a blood test is done. If the levels are elevated, they may ask the person to do more tests. 

Hyperthyroidism is one of the reasons why glucose gets passed out of the body in the urine. Thyroid hormones can result in poor absorption of glucose from the filtrate.  

Symptoms of Glycosuria

There are few Glycosuria symptoms and sometimes the symptoms are too mild and you may not realize it. Here are a few symptoms you can be on the lookout for. 

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Excessive urination
  • Too much thirst
  • Sudden and too much weight loss
  • Feeling nauseous 

Book a Free Session

Types of Glycosuria

Types of glycosuria depend on the root causes. 

1. Renal Glycosuria

Renal glycosuria is a genetic condition that leads to the expulsion of glucose from the body even though the glucose levels in the blood are normal. The body essentially gets rid of the glucose irrespective of the levels in the blood. The genetic component leads to defects in the kidney tubules. It does not have any symptoms and does not need treatment either. There are no other lifestyle renal glycosuria causes. 

2. Fanconi Syndrome and Glycosuria

Fanconi syndrome is a common term used for a defect in your kidneys that causes issues while absorbing glucose. These may be due to:

  • Lack of vitamin D
  • Recent kidney transplant
  • Too much exposure to metal
  • Drugs
  • Genetic factor – This can be caused due to Wilson disease, Dent disease, Lowe disease, and Cystinosis. 

3. Alimentary Glycosuria

Alimentary Glycosuria can happen when you eat too many carbohydrates or sugar in one meal. The excess glucose from the blood is removed through the Levels urine. This can happen in the body of a healthy person as well. Sugar levels take longer to normalize and although it is normal in healthy people, it can be a sign of renal glycosuria as well. 

Diagnosis of Glycosuria

There is some amount of glucose in the urine. However, if the quantity exceeds 0.25 mg/ml, that is considered glycosuria. 

Treatment of Glycosuria

The Glycosuria treatment depends on the root cause. If it occurs due to diabetes. Then the best option is to manage through medications and lifestyle changes. Some of the treatments that have known to work are – insulin, metformin, ACE inhibitors, diet adjustments, exercise, statins, anti-glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonists

Prevention of Glycosuria

Glycosuria through genetic predisposition cannot be prevented. However, it can be prevented through the route of diabetes. Make lifestyle changes and opt for a healthier lifestyle. There are medications available for the same. Insulin injections are one of the ways to prevent glycosuria. 

Bottomline

Glycosuria is not a sign of diabetes. It may be an indication. There may be multiple causes of Glycosuria. The treatment exclusively depends on the cause. 

FAQs

Is glycosuria a symptom of diabetes?

Yes, glycosuria is a symptom of diabetes. 

What medications cause glucose in the urine?

Acarbose, metformin, and SGLT2 inhibitors cause glucose in the urine. 

Can you have Glycosuria without diabetes?

Yes, you may have glycosuria without diabetes as there are many reasons for glycosuria.

How do I reduce glucose in my urine?

There are many ways to reduce glucose in urine. Here are some of them:

  • Avoid having sugar or processed foods.
  • Include vegetables and fruits in your diet.
  • Reduce the number of carbohydrates in your food. 
  • Drink plenty of water and reduce sweetened beverages.
  • Establish an exercise routine.
  • Try to lose weight if you are above the recommended range. 
  • Measure your alcohol intake.
  • Reveal everything to your doctor when you go for consultations. 
Back to Top

1-on-1 call with our health counsellor