Common Causes of High Blood Glucose Levels in Non-Diabetics

Common Causes of High Blood Glucose Levels in Non-Diabetics

High blood glucose levels are typically associated with diabetes, but did you know that non-diabetics can also experience spikes in their blood sugar levels? While it may not be as common or severe as in diabetic individuals, understanding the reasons behind elevated blood glucose in non-diabetics is crucial for maintaining overall health. In this blog, we'll explore some common causes of high blood glucose levels in non-diabetic individuals.



Everyone's blood glucose will rise after a big meal due to the body digesting and utilizing carbohydrates for energy. For those without insulin resistance, levels return to normal within a couple hours. However, eating large portions or frequent, sugary snacks overwhelms the system, potentially causing high levels to linger.


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When our body feels threatene by emotional or physical stress, stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine are released to help us cope. This "fight or flight" response promotes glucose release from the liver for quick energy. In some cases, temporary spikes occur in non-diabetics due to major life events or illnesses.


Lack of Physical Activity

Regular physical activity plays a vital role in regulating blood glucose levels. Inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult for cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, blood sugar levels may remain elevated over time. Engaging in regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and better control blood glucose levels in non-diabetics.


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Certain medications like steroids, diuretics and antidepressants can raise blood sugar by impacting insulin secretion or cells' response to insulin. Other culprits include oral contraceptives, beta blockers and atypical antipsychotics. Work with your doctor to explore alternatives if possible for condition management.


Lack of Sleep

Not getting adequate, quality slumber raises cortisol levels and impairs insulin response the next day. One study found just one night of partial sleep deprivation increased post-meal blood sugar levels up to 16% in non-diabetic adults. Maintaining a consistent seven to nine hours per night is ideal.



When blood sugar control starts deteriorating, individuals may have "prediabetes" - higher than normal levels that don't fully meet the diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle changes are key at this stage to possibly reverse course via moderate weight loss or increased physical activity, lowering progression risk.


In addition to understanding the common causes, the SIBIONICS GS1 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System can also provide helpful insights. The small, waterproof sensor transmits real-time glucose readings every 5 minutes for up to 14 days continuously without the need for scanning or finger-pricking blood samples. This provides a convenient way to regularly and consistently monitor their glucose levels.



By collecting detailed monitoring data over time, users may discover if certain everyday activities like insufficient sleep, intense exercise, or hormones impact glucose levels temporarily. If minor variations are identified to potentially correlate with specific triggers, the empirical information from SIBIONICS GS1 can help facilitate further personalized discussion with a doctor about minor lifestyle adjustments as needed.


In summary, recognizing common high blood glucose causes while utilizing a continuous glucose monitor like the SIBIONICS CGM empowers non-diabetics to comprehensively track their glucose and identify any abnormalities early. This allows for appropriate self-care measures to be taken to maintain an optimal glucose range and potentially lower the long-term risk of developing diabetes.



Q: What are considered high blood glucose levels in non-diabetics?

A: A fasting blood glucose level over 100 mg/dL or a 2-hour post-meal level over 140 mg/dL is considered high. Consistently elevated levels could signify prediabetes or the need for further investigation.

Q: How long do post-meal spikes in blood glucose last?

A: Post-meal spikes in blood glucose usually peak around 1-2 hours after eating and return to baseline within 3-4 hours in healthy individuals. However, this timing can vary based on factors such as the composition of the meal and individual metabolism.

Q: Does coffee affect blood sugar?

A: Black coffee alone does not significantly affect blood sugar levels. However, coffee with sugar and creamers can spike levels due to the added carbohydrates and calories. For best control, it's recommended to drink coffee black or with a splash of milk.

Q: Does fasting increase blood sugar?

A: Short-term fasting for 8-16 hours does not cause hyperglycemia for most healthy individuals. But very low-calorie diets or prolonged fasting over 24 hours without electrolyte/nutrient support can elevate levels due to stress-related hormone changes and gluconeogenesis in the liver. It's important to monitor blood sugar levels closely during fasting periods, especially for those with pre-existing conditions.

Q: What is a 180 mg/dL blood glucose level conversion?

A: A blood sugar level of 180 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) is approximately equivalent to 10 mmol/L (millimoles per liter).

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