Glucose in Urine

The condition marked by the presence of high amounts of glucose in urine is known as glycosuria. Healthy people usually feature low levels of glucose in urine. High levels of glucose in urine is a common feature in diabetic patients, especially if the high levels of blood sugar in diabetics remains untreated.

In addition to varied other functions, the kidneys are responsible for filtering blood and removing waste matter in the form of urine. The urine thus eliminated contains minor amounts of glucose, which is then re-absorbed by the body. It may be noted that the renal limit for glucose content is 160 to 190 mg/dL. Thus, if the levels of glucose in urine cross this maximum limit, then the body is unable to absorb the additional amount. It is then passed out from the body as glucose in urine.

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Glucose in urine can be easily detected at home via a urine dipstick test. It can also be checked at a doctor’s office or other diagnostic centers.

The detection of glucose in urine may be a symptom of an underlying case of diabetes. Hence, patients need to get checked for diabetes if high levels of glucose are detected during a urine test. Fatigue, increased hunger and thirst, random loss in weight, and frequent urination are other additional diabetes-related symptoms that may occur along with glucose in urine.

Symptoms occurring along with glucose in urine 

There are many symptoms that people may exhibit along with glucose in urine. Most of these additional symptoms are associated with an underlying case of diabetes.

Listed below are some of the common signs and symptoms:

  • Patients may urinate often, or have a persistent urge to urinate.
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Elevated thirst and hunger
  • Patients are easily irritated
  • Loss of weight, without an explicit cause
  • Recurrent or prolonged infections
  • Slow healing of minor wounds, bruises, and cutson the body
  • Vision problems and changes. Some affected people may even lose sight.
  • The hands and feet may experience numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations.

In some cases, individuals affected by glucose in urine may exhibit a variety of symptoms that are more severe in nature than those listed above. In such instances, glycosuria may be a symptom of some other more serious condition. A few such signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain or increased pressure in the chest region
  • Fits, seizures, or convulsions
  • Patients may elicit altered levels of consciousness. They may feel dizzy, faint, pass out, or not respond to any kind of normal stimuli.

Glucose in Urine – Causes

Glucose in urine may arise due to the below listed common causes:

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  • Diabetes: It is regarded as the most common cause of glucose in urine. The bodies of people with diabetes suffer from reduced levels of insulin production, or may not respond adequately to the effects of insulin. This affects the process of breakdown of blood sugar to produce energy, thereby resulting in significant increases in the levels of blood sugar and subsequent cases of glucose in urine.
  • Hyperglycemia: This condition is characterized by very high levels of blood sugar. It usually occurs as a complication of diabetes, especially if diabetes is mismanaged or left untreated.
  • Prediabetes: People with prediabetes also exhibit high levels of blood sugar in the body, which then gets released as glucose in urine. But in prediabetes, the blood sugar levels are not sufficiently high enough to be categorized or diagnosed as a case of diabetes.
  • Kidney problems:Glucose in urine can also occur due to kidney dysfunction or varied related conditions like Wilson’s disease, Fanconi syndrome, heavy metal poisoning, cystinosis, nephritic syndrome, Lowe’s syndrome, and hereditary tyrosinemia, as well as medical procedures like a kidney transplant. It may be noted that malfunctioning kidneys cannot filter sugar efficiently, even if the blood sugar levels are normal. Hence, even minor amounts of sugar get eliminated via urine causing glucose in urine.
    • Pregnancy: Expectant women may suffer from weakening of the kidneys, which in turn affects the organs’ ability to filter sugar, thereby causing glucose in urine. Regular instances of glucose in urine during pregnancy need to be checked by a doctor.
    • Benign glycosuria: It is an inherited disorder characterized by reduced ability of the kidneys to process sugar, thereby causing glucose in urine. Glucose in urine is the only symptom experienced by patients.
    • The Diet: Intake of a large, heavy meal; consuming large amounts of sugary foods; and other such dietary features can also increase the levels of sugar in the body, thereby causing a temporary case of glucose in urine.
    • Other causative disorders: Glucose in urine may also occur due to the underlying presence of other illnesses like Cushing’s syndrome, thyrotoxicosis, elevated stress, and acromegaly.

Treatment 

  • Glucose in urine is primarily caused by high blood sugar levels. Hence, treatment is aimed at diagnosing the underlying cause, managing the associated symptoms, and taking steps to normalize the levels of blood sugar.
  • Diabetes treatment include medications, insulin injections, and lifestyle changes.
  • Kidney problems are treated as per standard therapeutic procedures for the underlying causative diseases.
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