Non-diabetic Hyperglycemia - What you need to know

When your blood glucose (sugar) level becomes high even when you do not have diabetes, it is called Non-diabetic hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia may occur unexpectedly while in a major illness or injury. It can usually be treated by a general physician.

Dr. Mukesh Mahajan Created on 28th Dec, 20

When your blood glucose (sugar) level becomes high even when you do not have diabetes, it is called Non-diabetic hyperglycemia. 

Hyperglycemia may occur unexpectedly while in a major illness or injury. It can usually be treated by a general physician.

There are two types of non-diabetic hyperglycemia:

  • Reactive hyperglycemia, which usually occurs within a few hours of eating a meal
  • Fasting hyperglycemia, which is related to a more serious condition


What causes non-diabetic hypoglycemia?

The two types of non-diabetic hyperglycemia have various causes. Researchers are still learning about the causes of reactive hyperglycemia. 


However, they know that it originates from having too much insulin in the blood at the wrong time, causing low blood glucose levels. Causes of the two types of non-diabetic hyperglycemia include:


Reactive hyperglycemia

  • Having pre-diabetes or being at risk for diabetes. It leads to trouble in producing the right amount of insulin in the body
  • Stomach surgery, which makes the food pass quickly into your small intestine
  • Rare enzyme deficiencies that can make it difficult for your body to segment food


Fasting hyperglycemia

  • Medicines, like salicylates (such as aspirin), pentamidine (to treat a severe kind of pneumonia), sulfa drugs (an antibiotic), quinine (to treat malaria)
  • Alcohol, particularly with binge drinking
  • Serious illnesses involving those affecting the heart, liver, or kidneys
  • Low levels of specific hormones, like cortisol, glucagon, growth hormone, or epinephrine
  • Tumours, including a tumour in the pancreas that produces insulin or a tumour that has a similar hormone known as IGF-II.


Why is it required to control hyperglycemia?

control hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia can raise your infection risks, prevent healing. This makes it difficult to control your condition. So, it is significant that you treat hyperglycemia and avoid such issues.


Hyperglycemia that is left untreated can damage your nerves, tissues, blood vessels, and organs. Damaged arteries may amplify your risk for a heart attack and stroke. Damage to your nerve may also cause other heart, stomach, and nerve issues.


What increases my risk for non-diabetic hyperglycemia?

  • Medical conditions like Cushing syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Surgery or trauma, including an injury or burn
  • Infections involving a urinary tract infection or pneumonia
  • Specific medicines, such as diuretics or steroids
  • Nutrition provided with the help of a feeding tube or IV
  • Family background of diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Obesity or less physical activity


What are the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia?

You may not get any signs or symptoms, or you may get any of the below-mentioned things:

  • More thirst than normal
  • Frequently urinating
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain


How is non-diabetic hyperglycemia diagnosed and treated?

Your general physician will perform a blood test to measure your blood sugar level. They will provide you with insulin or other medicines to lower your blood sugar level.


How to prevent hyperglycemia?



It can help decrease your blood sugar when it goes high. It can keep your blood sugar levels normal exercise for a minimum of thirty minutes, five days a week. Consult your healthcare provider to make an exercise plan. Children should have a minimum of sixty minutes of physical activity every day.


Maintain a healthy weight

A healthy weight helps you decrease your blood sugar levels. Ask your healthcare provider to help you make a weight loss plan if you are overweight. Together you can make controllable weight loss goals.


Follow your meal plan


A dietitian will support you to make a meal plan to reduce your blood sugar level. You can reduce your intake of carbohydrates.


Do not smoke


Nicotine and other chemicals in cigars and can cigarettes cause lung damage. They can make your blood sugar levels difficult to manage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you smoke and need to quit it.


Smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes still have nicotine. Speak with your healthcare provider before you take such products.


Limit or do not drink alcohol


Alcohol raises your blood sugar level. Ask your healthcare provider whether alcohol is safe for you to drink and how much it is safe to drink alcohol every day.

Do I need to check my blood sugar level?

blood sugar level

Your healthcare provider will let you know if you require checking your blood sugar level. They will also tell you how frequently to check it. Ask your healthcare provider the level at which your blood sugar should be.

Write your results down, and show it to your healthcare provider. Your doctor may use the results to change your medicine, food, and exercise plan.


When to seek immediate care?

  • Your blood sugar level is more or less than what your healthcare provider said it should be
  • Your breath has a fruity smell
  • You get nausea and vomiting
  • You get dehydration symptoms, like dry mouth and lips, dark yellow urine, and dry skin


Learn about your condition and how it can be treated. Discuss treatment options with your specialist to decide what care you want to receive.