What does sugar in your urine mean ?
Healthy individuals usually have very low levels of sugar in urine or not at all. The presence of very high levels of sugar in urine indicates the presence of a condition known as glycosuria. The condition is caused due to high levels of blood sugar which occurs in diabetic patients, particularly in those individuals where diabetes remains untreated.
The kidneys perform the function of filtering the blood and eliminating the unwanted waster from the body. At the time of this process, some quantity of sugar is present in the liquid that later becomes urine. If this sugar is present in low levels, then it is possible for the body to reabsorb the sugar, before the urine is removed by the kidneys. However, when the sugar levels in the fluid are very high, then it is not possible for the body to reabsorb all that excess sugar. In such a scenario, this excess sugar is passed out along with the urine.
Sugar in Urine – Test
Individuals can detect the presence of sugar in urine by undergoing a urine dipstick test. Individuals may also visit a doctor or a diagnostic center to check for the presence of sugar in urine. It is important to note that sugar in urine is indicative of the presence of diabetes and high blood pressure. Hence, it is important for all individuals to consult a doctor, if they feel that there is sugar in their urine. There are many other signs that accompany the presence of sugar in urine. Most of these other symptoms are similar those felt by diabetic patients and include fatigue, increased hunger and/or thirst, inexplicable loss of weight and persistent urge to urinate.
Symptom of sugar in urine
There are many signs and symptoms that may occur along with sugar in urine. Most of these symptoms are similar to those experienced by individuals with diabetes. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Increased weariness or fatigue
- Increased hunger
- Persistent infections
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent desire to urinate
- The feet or hands may experience tingling sensations or other abnormal feelings
- There may be changes in vision and even loss of vision
- Loss of weight without any known reason
- The wounds, cuts, etc. may be very slow to heal
Sometimes, an individual may experience certain other symptoms along with sugar in urine. This may indicate a very serious underlying condition. In such a scenario, it is important to immediately seek medical attention. Some of the signs that may point to a serious medical condition include:
- Pain in the chest
- Alteration in the level of alertness or consciousness, such as becoming unresponsive or passing out, fainting, etc.
- Increased chest pressure
- Fits or seizure
Causes of sugar in urine
Some of the common causes of sugar in urine are discussed below:
- The most common cause is the presence of diabetes, which is a condition that affects the capability of the body to use the sugar in the body to make energy.
- High levels of blood sugar or hyperglycemia, particularly when the condition is left untreated
- A condition known as prediabetes, which indicates increased levels of glucose in the body but not sufficient enough to be diagnosed as diabetes
Some of the rare causes of sugar in urine are as follows:
- Nephritic syndrome
- A kidney transplant
- A condition known as benign glycosuria, wherein the ability of the kidneys to filter out sugar is absent and sugar is allowed to travel through into the urine. This disorder is not accompanied by other symptoms and is generally inherited.
- Pregnancy may sometimes lead to sugar in urine, as pregnancy tends to weaken the ability of the kidneys to filter glucose. However, regular cases of sugar in urine during pregnancy, has to be immediately checked by a doctor for diabetes and other conditions.
As discussed above, low levels of sugar can be reabsorbed by the body from the kidneys. However, high levels of sugar in the blood means that excessive sugar is passed onto the kidneys and the body is then unable to reabsorb this increased levels of sugar from the kidneys. This leads to sugar in urine.
High levels of sugar are generally caused by diseases like diabetes and hence sugar in urine is generally associated with the presence of diabetes. The body cells in a diabetic patient are unable to absorb the glucose or sugar in the blood either due to lack of insulin or due to failure to respond to insulin. This causes the blood sugar levels to elevate, eventually causing sugar in urine.
Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly and thyrotoxicosis are some of the other conditions that may cause elevated blood sugar levels
It is important to note that sugar in urine may also occasionally result from simple causes like consumption of a heavy meal or intake of excessive quantities of foods rich in sugar or even increased emotional stress
Treatment of sugar in urine
- Since sugar in urine is caused due to elevated levels of blood sugar, the affected individual has to consult a doctor for appropriate treatment so as to normalize the levels of blood sugar.
- Diabetic patients will usually be recommended insulin injections, lifestyle and dietary changes to get the blood sugar levels down.