What is Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Hyperglycemia is a medical condition which describes adversely high blood sugar, which is a major concern and can affect patients with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 Diabetes. There are two main types of hyperglycemia

  • Fasting hyperglycemia – This level of blood sugar exceeds 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) after skipping drinking or eating for up to 8 hours.
  • After-meal or postprandial hyperglycemia – This level of blood sugar exceeds 180 mg/dL after two hours of meals. Without diabetes, blood sugar rarely reaches 140 mg/dL after having meals.

Current or frequent high blood sugar may lead to damage to blood vessels, nerves, and organs. It can also cause various severe conditions. Patients with type 1 diabetes are vulnerable to build-up of acids ‘ketoacidosis’ in blood.

If you are vulnerable to type 2 diabetes or you have, your body will become unable to produce sugar, a deadly condition caused by very high blood sugar. It is known as HHNS or Hyperglycemic, Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome. In this condition, you will get nature’s call more often initially, and then less frequently later, but your urine may get dark and you could be severely dehydrated. To prevent complications, be sure to cure symptoms of high blood sugar quickly.

Table of Contents

What are the Causes of Hyperglycemia?

You may experience high blood sugar if you –

  • Forget or skip your oral glucose-controlling medicine or insulin
  • Have infection
  • Are ill
  • Eat too much carbohydrates to match the level of insulin you took or consume too much carbs generally
  • Are in stress
  • Exercise less or become inactive
  • Involve in stringent physical activity, when your insulin levels are low and blood sugar levels are high.

What are the Symptoms of Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia Symptoms

Here are some of the early signs of high blood sugar –

Here are some of the ongoing causes of high blood sugar –

What are the Diagnosis of Hyperglycemia?

In order to diagnose high blood sugar, different types of blood tests are conducted, such as –

  • Random blood glucose – It diagnoses the blood sugar level at any random time. Normal blood sugar range should be from 70 to 125 mg/dL.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance – In this type of test, blood glucose levels are measured at specific time after consuming a dose of sugar. It is usually used in gestational diabetes.
  • Fasting blood glucose – It is another test of blood sugar level which is taken in early morning before drinking or eating anything since the night. Usually, fasting blood glucose levels are below 100 mg/dL. Prediabetes are suggested for levels above 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL, when diabetes are measured in levels above 126 mg/dL.
  • Glycohemoglobin A1c – In this unit, glucose level is measured which is bound to RBCs. It indicates the blood sugar levels for the past few months.

What are the Treatment of Hyperglycemia?

If you are suffering diabetes and experience any early symptom of high blood sugar, it’s time to test your blood sugar levels and get in touch with the doctor. Your doctor may ask for the test results of varied readings. Here are the following changes he may recommend –

Drink Plenty of WaterWater plays a very vital role in flushing of excess sugar from the blood vessels with urine and it is helpful to avoid dehydration.

Exercise – Exercise your body to help control your blood sugar. But it may raise blood sugar levels in certain conditions. Be sure to contact the doctor and ask about the right type of exercise.

Diet – You may want to contact your dietitian to tweak the amount of food and type of food you consume.

Caution – In case of high blood sugar levels and if you have type 1 diabetes, you may want to get urine checkup for ketones. Don’t exercise if you have ketones. If you have high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, you should ensure that you don’t have ketones in your urine and you are hydrated properly. Ask your doctor if you can exercise with caution.

Medications – Your doctor may need to change the timing, amount, or type of medications you are taking. So, be sure to talk to the doctor before making changes to medicines. If your blood sugar is above 250mg/dL and you have type 1 Diabetes, you may want to get your urine tested or blood to find out if you have ketones. If your blood sugar is extremely high as compared to your goals, ask your doctor.

What are the Complications of Hyperglycemia?

Prolonged hyperglycemia may lead to long-term complications which may be severe. These are common in people with diabetes and they are worse when condition is not controlled properly. In diabetes, some of the prolonged complications may develop eventually with time. In adversely-controlled diabetes, here are some of the complications of hyperglycemia –

  • Blood vessel and heart disease which may cause hike in the risk of stroke, heart attack and peripheral artery disease
  • Nerve damage which may cause tingling, burning, pain, and changes in sensation
  • Poor kidney function which causes kidney failure
  • Gum disease
  • Eye disease, such as damage to glaucoma, retina, and cataracts

What are the Preventions of Hyperglycemia?

If you follow your diet plan, medicine schedule, and exercise routine properly to control your blood sugar levels always, there is nothing to worry about high blood sugar. You can also –

  • Get your blood sugar tested every time
  • Know your diet – count the total carbs in each snack and meal
  • Ask your doctor if you have abnormal or repeated blood sugar readings
  • Always wear medical identification so the people around you may be informed that you have diabetes if any emergency occurs

A diabetes treatment plan always includes blood sugar control as its primary goal.

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