Blood Sugar Rise in Non-Diabetics
Metabolic Health
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Blood Sugar Rise in Non-Diabetics

What Is Non-Diabetic Hyperglycemia?

Non-diabetic Hyperglycemia is a condition in which the blood glucose (sugar) level is high, but the individual does not have diabetes. This condition may result from stress, trauma, major illness or a longstanding underlying chronic condition you're unaware of. Hyperglycemia not only makes the body vulnerable to catching infections, but also interferes with the healing process, making it hard to manage and crucial to identify it early. Another reason for increased sugar levels can be Prediabetes also called Impaired glucose tolerance, refers to raised blood glucose levels, but not in the diabetic range.

Why is Hyperglycemia dangerous?

Whether its low or high, the blood sugar levels play an integral part in our body functions. Most often we may not even know or realise that our blood sugar levels are fluctuation; thus making it dangerous since  if it's left untreated, it can lead to irreversible health problems like increased risk of heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, damage to your blood vessels, organs, and tissues. Read more to know about what level of blood sugar is dangerous?

How is Hyperglycemia Diagnosed?

The most common way to diagnose Hyperglycemia is by the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. In this you will be asked to take about 75 grams of carbohydrates in a fasting state, and your blood sugars will be tested two hours later. Range of fasting blood sugar between 140-200 mg/dL is considered as Prediabetes while levels above 200 mg/dL are diagnosed as Diabetes.

Hyperglycemia doesn't cause symptoms until glucose values are significantly raised, and even then they develop slowly and over several weeks/months and sometimes even years.

The longer our blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the complications and more difficult to reverse the condition. However, quite often many may not show any symptoms and not even notice or be aware of it for a long time despite elevated blood sugar levels. Hence it is highly recommended to Look out for both Early and Later Signs and Symptoms.

It is important to remember that although Hyperglycemia has symptoms, you may not notice them or be aware of it for a long time. Hence it is highly recommended to keep an eye out for the Signs and not ignore them. If you have any of the mentioned Signs or Symptoms, make sure you meet your doctor and take a blood sugar test to assess your risk and determine whether you need any treatment or management for the same.

Blood Sugar Rise in Non-Diabetics
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What Causes Non-diabetic Hyperglycemia?

Certain conditions can increase your blood glucose levels by interfering with the ability of insulin to transport glucose out of the bloodstream. When this occurs, you develop hyperglycemia, which puts you at an increased risk of prediabetes, diabetes, and other related complications. The most common causes of high blood sugar in Non-diabetics are-

1. Pancreatic Diseases

The pancreas produce certain enzymes and hormones including insulin, which is a key player in blood sugar regulation. Certain disorders of the Pancreas like Pancreatitis, Pancreatic Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis, result in inflammation and damaged pancreatic cells. This results in the pancreatic cells being unable to produce enough insulin to remove glucose from the blood causing it to build up leading to hyperglycemia.

2. Obesity and Weight Related Factors

Obesity refers to the state of being grossly overweight. It can lead to inflammation in the body due to excessive build-up of body fat—this inflammation results in insulin resistance

If you are obese, talk immediately with your healthcare expert regarding this problem. Your healthcare expert or dietician will provide tips to reduce excessive weight like a physical activity routine, diet plan, medications, etc. Also read about can diabetes be cured.

3. Cushing's Syndrome

Cushing's Syndrome is a disorder that results due to the consumption of or exposure to an excessive amount of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol is a hormone whose production takes place in the human body. Certain medications also contain it.

If your body begins the overproduction of cortisol, you may develop Cushing's Syndrome. 10–30% of people affected with this syndrome tend to have impaired glucose tolerance. Certain metabolic changes may also happen in such patients that make the process of blood sugar regulation hard. Cortisol also hinders the effects of insulin in your body. This results in an enhanced level of insulin resistance. Also read about can diabetes be cured.

4. Surgery and Stress

Trauma to the body results in a massive stress response from it. This results in a significant rise in cortisol levels. Consequently, what happens is an insulin resistance response by the body. 

Therefore, after surgery, it is crucial to monitor the body’s condition during the healing process. One of the key things to keep in mind during this process is to keep the body hydrated and healthy. 

5. Medication Side Effects

You need to be wary of certain medications as they can cause high blood sugar levels. Usually, these consist of diuretics or steroids. Also, you need to be careful of medications that can produce insulin resistance. 

This is why it is a matter of paramount importance to read directions on medications before using them. Make sure to review any medications that your doctor prescribes. Also, ensure to consume medicines in the correct manner and the correct dosage. Read more about diabetes causes.

6. Prediabetes

Prediabetes is a condition that is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. However, it may not display any signs or symptoms. If left untreated, the progression of pre-diabetes may continue and take the form of diabetes. Moreover, various related complications can take place if you leave pre-diabetes on its own without intervening.

This condition is also known by experts as impaired glucose tolerance. Another popular name for this condition is impaired fasting glucose. Adults between the age of 40–60 years are at the most risk for developing prediabetes. Also know about prediabetes diet.

What Are The Complications Of Hyperglycemia In Non Diabetics

When a person’s blood glucose levels are high even without having diabetes, this condition is known as non-diabetic hyperglycemia. There are various causes of this condition to rapidly develop, especially when a person is chronically ill or has suffered an injury. Other than these, hyperglycemia can be caused by various factors gradually over the course of several years. 

The risk of developing this condition increases tenfold when a person is obese, has a history of diabetes in their family, have recently had surgery, or use certain drugs and medications. Hyperglycemia due to conditions other than diabetes, if not addressed, may result in the following:

  • Nerve injury (neuropathy)
  • Injury to the arterial walls of blood vessels, which raises the risk of both a heart attack and a stroke for the patient.
  • Slow recovery due a preexisting condition
  • The risk of developing other infections, mainly ocular, due to a compromised immune system. 

If you are experiencing signs of hyperglycemia, it is possible that you may need to take insulin or another kind of treatment that regulates blood sugar in order to bring your blood sugar levels under control. Finding the trigger that is causing spikes of blood sugar levels is crucial as that is what determines the course of action and treatment which will help in the remission of your hyperglycemia in cases of nondiabetic hyperglycemia. Read more about medications for diabetes.

When To See A Doctor

It can be difficult to determine the existence and cause of hyperglycemia in people without diabetes. Nondiabetic hyperglycemia can be caused due to a sudden illness or injury and often silently creeps up on people. Here are the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar in non diabetics and these should be looked out for. In case you experience these symptoms, know that it is time to see a doctor. 

  • Fever
  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Persistent Dizziness Or Vomiting
  • Sour Breath
  • Terrible Headache
  • Seizure
  • Breathing 
  • Difficulty In Speaking Clearly
  • Weakness
  • Bouts Of Confusion

If one experiences these symptoms of high blood sugar in non diabetics they should seek immediate medical assistance. If treatment is not received, the signs and symptoms described above may develop into diabetic ketoacidosis which may be fatal if left untreated. The good news is that prompt diagnosis and treatment of these symptoms may bring about a speedy reduction in the elevated levels of blood sugar that one experiences. The best way to avoid hyperglycemia and acute complications is to live a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet and routine exercise. While more research is required to elucidate the long term impacts of this disease, it's clear that leading a healthy lifestyle overall is extremely important in avoiding the development of nondiabetic hyperglycemia. Also know about ayurvedic medicine for diabetes.

How can Hyperglycemia be managed?

The standard recommendation to prevent and manage hyperglycemia is by using the 4 ways mentioned below.

1. Dietary management

2. Regular exercise or physical workout 

3. Weight loss

4. Prescribed medication

Also read about how to prevent diabetes

How To Prevent Hyperglycemia

When signs and symptoms of high blood sugar in non diabetics are experienced, treating the condition becomes a priority. But as it’s said, prevention is better than cure and nondiabetic hyperglycemia is also something that can be prevented if one follows a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here are the things you can do to prevent this condition before it becomes a problem:

  1. Workout: Regularly working out for a total of at least 150 minutes each week at a moderate level is highly recommended. Exercise helps regulate high blood sugar and also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable for longer. Exercising also has various other benefits that will have positive effects on the body. 
  2. Maintain a stable weight: Maintaining a stable weight for a long time ensures that blood sugar levels are regulated. A healthy body weight also ensures lower blood sugar levels. 
  3. Following a nutritious diet: A balanced diet not only ensures proper nutrition, it also helps to maintain weight and keep blood sugar levels stable. Increasing your fiber and protein intake will help avoid nondiabetic hyperglycemia. 
  4. Avoiding smoking and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol have a direct and major impact on blood sugar levels. Avoiding these habits goes a long way in remaining healthy and avoiding major health complications. Also know how to reverse prediabetes.

Bottomline

A variety of factors can contribute to high blood sugar, and some of them like diet and exercise can help keep your blood glucose in check. Sometimes high blood sugar in people without diabetes could be due to prediabetes, which could lead to the development of diabetes. If you have high blood sugar often, it’s important to check with your healthcare provider and monitor it. Also know about random blood sugar level.

FAQs

Can You Have High Blood Sugar Without Diabetes?

Yes, it is completely possible to have high blood sugar without having diabetes and this condition is known as nondiabetic hyperglycemia. Various factors can cause nondiabetic hyperglycemia, out of which the most common are suffering through a major illness or injury. An unhealthy lifestyle also causes high blood sugar without it developing into diabetes. 

Can Infection Cause High Blood Sugar In Non Diabetics?

Yes, as a natural response to the demands of organs including the brain, kidneys, and red blood cells that rely on glucose for energy to support the immune system's response to fight off an infection, high blood glucose levels are also a common side effect of infections.

Can Stress Cause Blood Sugar To Rise?

Yes, a person’s insulin and glucose function might be negatively impacted by the ordinary stress and worry that comes with daily life, which can make their diabetes worse. In addition, persons who do not have diabetes but do experience stress and anxiety are at a greater risk of gaining weight and having high cholesterol, both of which may ultimately lead to hyperglycemia.

References

  • https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/blood-sugar.html

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.