What Are The Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
The signs and symptoms include the following:
- High blood sugar
- High levels of sugar in the;urine
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
Part of managing your diabetes is;checking your blood sugar;often. Ask your doctor how often you should check and what your blood sugar levels should be. Checking your blood and then treating high blood sugar early will help you avoid problems associated with hyperglycemia.
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High Blood Sugar Over Time Leads To:
- Kidney damage and kidney failure
- Blood vessel damage that can cause heart attacks and strokes
- Eye disease that can cause poor vision or blindness
- Nerve damage that can cause pain like pins and needles in the feet
- Sores on the feet or legs that do not heal and could lead to removal of a toe, foot, or leg
- Sexual problems, such as not being able to get an erection
Taking care of your diabetes and keeping most of your blood sugars near the normal range throughout your life lowers your chance for these long-term problems.
Your Collar’s Too Tight
Carotid sinus syncope, or “tight-collar syndrome,” happens when something pushes on nerves at a wide part of your carotid artery in your neck. This interferes with blood flow to the brain and makes you faint. It happens quickly and without other symptoms like nausea, paleness, and sweating. In some cases, if it hasn’t happened before, it may be a sign of narrowed arteries that need treatment.
Fainting: What Makes You Faint?
- American Diabetes Association: “Hypoglycemia .”
- American Heart Association: “Syncope .”
- AsthmaSymptoms.org: “Fainting — A Serious Symptom of Asthma.”
- Boston College Alcohol and Drug Education Program: “Blacking Out Vs. Passing Out.”
- Child Neurology Foundation: “Breath-Holding Spells.”
- Emergency Medicine Journal: “Syncope And Breath Holding.”
- Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Syncope.”
- Mayo Clinic: “Vasovagal syncope,” “Dehydration.”
- Medscape: “Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity.”
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Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:
- Taking too much insulin.
- Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
- Timing of when you take your insulin.
- The amount and timing of physical activity.
- Drinking alcohol.
- How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
- Hot and humid weather.
- Unexpected changes in your schedule.
- Spending time at a high altitude.
- Going through puberty.
A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving
You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.
You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of;severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful;what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating;sugary foods;or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your;treatment plan remember to take your insulin;or other;diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible ;getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
- Take extra care when you’re ill;;your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that;outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to;stop it.
Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021
Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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How Long Will The Effects Last
The effects of low blood sugar will continue and may even get worse until treatment brings your blood sugar level back to normal. It may take several minutes for the symptoms to go away after you start treatment. This may be a temporary problem while you and your healthcare provider are adjusting your medicine. If you are always prone to having low blood sugar, you may need to take special care for the rest of your life to keep your blood sugar at the proper level.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if it’s intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes there’s no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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How To Treat Low Blood Sugar
If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.
Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.
Managing Your Diabetes Devices
If you are using an insulin pump, talk to your diabetes team about how to best manage hyperglycemia. In general, be sure to check your pump first. Make sure all parts are connected and working correctly. Check your bolus history and temporary basal rate. Also check your insulin to make sure it has not expired or gotten too warm.
If you use a CGM, try not to react to it too often. You might be tempted to give another dose of insulin too soon, before the first one finishes working, which is known as stacking insulin; this can cause low blood sugar .
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How Does A Person Faint
The brain depends on oxygen transported in the blood to work appropriately. Blacking out can happen when the flow of blood to the brain is diminished.
Your body typically redresses lessened blood flow to the brain rapidly, however, it can influence you to feel sweaty, odd, and dizzy. In case that it lasts for a longer time period, you may pass out.
A lessened flow of blood to the brain is frequently caused by a temporary issue with the part of your brain that directs the bodys automated capabilities, including blood pressure and heartbeat.
The fainting or passing out can be initiated by:
- Emotional stress
- Standing for the longer time
- Physical procedures.
Can You Die Suddenly From Diabetes
There is considerable evidence implicating hypoglycemia as a cause of sudden death in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Hypoglycemia has been recognized as a potential cause of death, particularly due to cerebral damage, ever since the introduction of insulin therapy.
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When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
What Are The Causes Of Diabetic Coma
Diabetic coma is mainly caused by an extremely high or low blood sugar level. One of these conditions is diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. It happens in people with Type 2 diabetes. If you develop this condition:
- Your blood sugar could be as high as 600 mg/dL.
- Your urine wont contain ketones usually.
- Your blood will be much thicker than normal.
Another condition is diabetic ketoacidosis, which is more common in people with Type 1 diabetes. Things to know about this condition include:
- It could happen with a blood sugar as low as 250 mg/dL or even lower in some cases.
- Your body uses fatty acids instead of glucose for fuel.
- Ketones develop in your urine and bloodstream.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
- abdominal pain
How Does Hyperglycemia Happen
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the sugar in your blood, which comes primarily from carbohydrates in the food that you eat. Hyperglycemia happens when your body has too little insulin to use the sugar in your blood.
People with type 1 diabetes can have episodes of hyperglycemia every day. Although this can be frustrating, it rarely creates a medical emergency. Not taking enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia .
Other things that can cause hyperglycemia include:
- Having trouble seeing or concentrating
- Experiencing stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Having sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Cuts or sores that do not heal, infections, and unexplained weight loss may also be signs of long-term hyperglycemia.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is very high, you should also test for ketones in either your blood or urine.
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How To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
As Dr. Emanuele says, glucose monitoring can be an important tool to help you get your blood sugar under control. Typically, you would do it yourself using a glucose meter or glucometer, which analyzes a drop of blood that you draw by sticking your finger with a lancet and placing the blood on a disposable test strip that you insert into the meter. Your blood sugar goals are set by you and your doctor, but blood glucose for an adult without diabetes is below 100 mg/dl before meals and at fasting; and less than 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal, notes the;ADA.
Some people will check their blood sugar daily or multiple times a day, sometimes using a continuous monitor that is worn on the body particularly those who have;type 1 diabetes;or who have type 2 but take insulin. Yet how frequently a person should monitor their blood sugar is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to whether theyre on insulin, whether they’re taking;oral medication, and how well their blood sugar is controlled and how old they are.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for these nine key warning signs and symptoms that blood sugar is too high and talk to your doctor about whether you need to adjust your management plan.
Can A Diabetic Coma Be Prevented
You can help yourself prevent a diabetic coma by taking steps to keep your blood sugar in the target ranges. Meeting with a Certified Diabetes Educator is an important part of understanding how to care for your diabetes. The CDE will help you be aware of symptoms for high and low blood sugar levels and how best to manage your condition.
It’s also important for your family, friends and coworkers to understand how to help you if you need help. Let them know about the symptoms of high and low blood sugar.
In terms of food and drink, here are some tips for preventing diabetic coma:
- Learn about foods that affect your blood sugar and the best meal plan for you.
- Dont skip meals.
- Keep treatment for a low blood sugar with you at all times .
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Ask your healthcare provider to prescribe a glucagon kit and teach a support person how to use it in case you ever have severe low blood sugar.
These are other recommendations to help you manage your blood glucose levels:
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/02/2020.
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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
What Happens If Blood Sugar Gets Too Low While Sleeping
You may also feel signs of stress, such as nervousness, anxiety, and irritability. When blood sugar levels drop during the night, you may have nightmares, cry out during sleep, or other sleep disturbances. Lack of coordination, chills, clammy skin, and sweating can happen with low blood sugar.
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What Causes Low Blood Glucose In People With Diabetes
Low blood glucose levels can be a side effect of insulin or some other medicines that help your pancreas release insulin into your blood. Taking these can lower your blood glucose level.
Two types of diabetes pills can cause low blood glucose
- sulfonylureas, usually taken once or twice per day, which increase insulin over several hours
- meglitinides, taken before meals to promote a short-term increase in insulin
The following may also lower your blood glucose level
How Is It Treated
If you often have symptoms of hypoglycemia, you should see your healthcare provider. Your provider can help you determine the cause. Your provider will also give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar when you are having symptoms.
When you see your provider, be sure to take your notebook or glucose meter with all of the results of your recent blood sugar checks. This helps your provider know whether you are on the right medicines and are taking the right dose at the right time of day. Without this record, it is harder for your provider to help you figure out the cause of your symptoms.
Here are some examples of guidelines your provider may give you:
- If you have diabetes and you think your blood sugar may be too low, check it with your home meter before treatment, if possible.
- Always carry some form of sugar you can eat as soon as you have any symptoms of hypoglycemia. The following amounts and types of foods will bring your blood sugar level up:
- 2 to 5 glucose tablets
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
- 1/2 cup regular soda
- 6 to 8 ounces of skim milk
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup of raisins
- 5 to 7 pieces of hard candy like Lifesavers
- a tube of glucose in gel form
- 1 tablespoon of molasses, corn syrup, or honey
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