Sometimes, sugar can find its way in the urine of people who don’t have diabetes.

This can make them wonder if diabetes awaits them around the corner.

What Sugar in the Urine of Someone Without Diabetes Might Mean

“Most likely it means nothing, but it could mean a problem in kidney function such that the kidney is unable to properly reabsorb glucose (in certain chronic kidney disease or a relatively rare genetic defect),” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Glucosuria is the general name for sugar (glucose) in the urine in people who do not have diabetes.

In someone with healthy kidneys, glucose ends up in the urine when blood sugar gets abnormally elevated.

A rare condition called renal glycosuria results from an impairment of renal (kidney) function. If you’re non-diabetic but have excess sugar in your urine, you could have renal glycosuria.

Likely you’ll have no symptoms or ill effects. This is a benign condition in most cases. In other cases there may be excessive urination and thirst.

The condition is inherited (genetic) and is not caused by lifestyle habits.

Dr. Besser also says, “Lastly, some medications may cause glucose to be spilled in the urine (although these medications are usually used to treat diabetes).”

Signs of Diabetes

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained hunger
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Problems with vision

About 90 percent of diabetics have the type 2 version, and though obesity is a risk factor, thin people can get type 2.

If your urinalysis shows that you have excess sugar in your urine, and you do not have diabetes, then ask your doctor what this may mean for your particular situation and medical history, and if any additional testing is called for.

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.