Signs That Blood Sugar Levels Are High
People with high blood sugar may:
- pee a lot. When blood sugar levels get too high, the kidneys flush out the extra glucose into your urine , which is why people who have high blood sugar levels need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- drink a lot. Because youre losing so much fluid from peeing so much, you can get very thirsty.
- lose weight. If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body starts to break down your muscle and fat for energy and you lose weight.
- feel tired. Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, you may feel really tired.
High blood sugar levels dont always cause these symptoms. Sometimes you can have high blood sugar levels without even knowing it. But if left untreated, they can cause serious health problems. Thats why its important to work with your parents and diabetes team to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. This can mean checking your blood sugar levels a few times a day, even when you feel fine.
What Is Neuropathy And What Causes It When You Have Diabetes
First, know that neuropathy is nerve damage to cells that can occur anywhere in the body, though the condition often exhibits in feet and hands. In people with diabetes, high blood sugar levels, or persistent hyperglycemia, can cause neuropathy, not to mention a slew of other potential diabetes complications. Meanwhile, in those people with poor circulation a common side effect of diabetes a lack of blood flow and oxygen to hard-to-reach nerves can cause further damage and cell death.
What You Can Do Now
Your doctor will provide you with clear steps to follow aimed at lowering your blood sugar levels. Its important that you take their recommendations to heart and make any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your health. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications.
Your doctor may recommend that you buy a blood glucose meter to use at home. This is a simple and effective way to monitor your blood sugar and act quickly if your levels have spiked to an unsafe level. Being aware of your levels can empower you to take charge of your condition and live a healthy lifestyle.
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The Causes Of High Blood Sugar
In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:
- not taking your diabetes medicine when you’re supposed to or not taking the right amounts
- eating more food than your meal plan allows
- not getting enough exercise
- having an illness, like the flu
- taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work
Keeping blood sugar levels close to normal can be hard sometimes, and nobody’s perfect. Grown-ups can help you stay in balance if you have diabetes. Sometimes blood sugar levels can be high because you’re growing and your doctor needs to make some changes in your diabetes treatment plan.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels Vs Hyperglycemia
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, or other factors. You will be given two target levels, or ranges, one applying to when you haven’t eaten for a number of hours and one for after meals .
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How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar levels happen when theres too little glucose left in the bloodstream to continue supplying fuel to your organs, muscles, and tissues. It most often occurs when you dont eat enough food, especially carb-containing foods, given your blood-sugar-lowering medications and physical activity levels, ONeill says. Levels can decrease gradually or suddenly.
When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream drops to too-low levels, the body reacts by releasing epinephrine, also called adrenaline or the fight or flight hormone. Epinephrine revs your heart rate and can cause sweating, shaking, anxiety, and irritability. If not enough glucose is able to reach the brain, the result may be difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, and slurred speech. In extreme cases, a lack of glucose within the brain can lead to seizures, coma, and even death, she says.
People with low glucose levels can use the ADAs 15-15 Rule, which advises people consume 15 g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check their levels again. If the number is still low, repeat until reaching at least 70 mg/dL.
You can find 15 g of carbs in:
- 1 slice of bread
- Three to four hard candies
- Glucose tablets as indicated on the label
- Glucose gel as indicated on the label
Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, which will help prevent levels from dropping again.
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
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Check Your Blood Sugar
If you take medication that may cause low blood sugar , its highly advisable to check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring your sugar levels down.
This is just in case your blood sugar is normal or low, which can be the case in some situations.
Testing of blood sugar before bringing your levels down is particularly important if you take insulin.
Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
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Warning Signs That Your Blood Sugar Is High:
How would you know if your blood sugar has shot through the roof? You can spot the warning signs of high blood sugar even before you see the doctor. If you notice any of them, arrange for an appointment at once!
Your skin will feel dry and scaly if your blood sugar levels are on the high end. You may have problems urinating as well. Dehydration can cause diabetic ketoacidosis or too many acids building up in the body. It can lead to organ failure or death.
2. Feeling Parched
Are you always reaching for water, even if the weather is not too hot? Constant thirst indicates dehydration. It shows you that you have to work at making your blood sugar levels drop.
Having constant diarrhea is a warning symptom of Hyperglycemia. Seek a doctors help if your stools are runny. There may be an overgrowth of bacteria in your intestines. Also, it may be difficult for them to break down sugar.
4. Loss of Appetite
Hyperglycemia can create a condition known as Gastroparesis when food moves slowly through the digestive tract. Food cannot move out of the stomach and into the small intestine. A person with Hyperglycemia will lose his appetite because he has a clogged stomach.
5. Excessive Hunger Pangs
Sex may not bring you the same satisfaction it used to. High blood sugar has links with Erectile Dysfunction or ED. Men with diabetes may develop ED because the blood vessels and nerves that prompt erections are weak.
7. Open Cuts
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
Depending on the cause of your high blood sugars, the symptoms could develop quickly or gradually.
People with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes will develop nearly all of the symptoms of high blood sugar very quickly, over the course of a few weeks, because their blood sugar levels are rising rapidly while insulin production is declining rapidly.
People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may not notice these symptoms for months or years because gradually increasing insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction can take a long time to become severe enough to produce noticeable symptoms.
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Long Term Symptoms Are Complications
If you start having circulatory problems anywhere in your body, its likely due to chronic syrupy blood from high blood sugars. The loss of feeling from neuropathy may give you pain, and you may end up on medication such as Lyrica or gabapentin. Kidney symptoms can slowly turn into a need for dialysis, and loss of circulation to eyes can lead to blindness over time. Syrupy blood leads to sores that wont heal, and eventually amputation of limps. So get control now, before your short term symptoms from high blood sugar turn into long term complications. Youll be glad that you took the time to live healthy with diabetes, and have a good quality of life.
Hope you have a good day and learned something about high blood sugar.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on June 05, 2020/em>
What Are The Risks Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can be a sign that your body isnt getting enough insulin. It is normal for patients with T1D to get hyperglycemia, and most of the time this is simply treated with insulin. If the body does not have insulin for approximately 8 hours, you could develop a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
In DKA, your body breaks down fat for energy because it doesnt have enough insulin to use the sugar in your blood. This produces chemicals called ketones, which make your blood more acidic.
DKA is dangerous. Too much acid in your blood can make you pass out or even cause death.
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Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : A Complication Of Severe Hyperglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
In people with type 2 diabetes, extreme hyperglycemia can lead to a very rare but serious condition called hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, or HHNS). HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick particularly if you aren’t able to drink enough fluids or keep fluids down. It happens most often in elderly people and, like ketoacidosis, can result in a coma.
Think About What’s Going On
Irene Dunbar, 73, of Durham, N.C., woke up one morning recently to discover her blood sugar was at 119, which is high for her. “I had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday and I normally do not drink orange juice and I thought, ‘I better not do that,'” she said. When she gets a high blood sugar reading, she tries to remember if she had anything recentlylike breadthat she knows are triggers, and avoids them next time.
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Quit Smoking To Improve Circulation In Your Feet
The dangers of smoking run from your head to your feet. The chemicals in cigarette smoke damage and constrict your blood vessels, which means that if you smoke, you’re depriving your feet of the nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood that fights infection and keeps them healthy. Diabetic patients already have risk factors that compromise their blood vessels. Its never too late to stop smoking, says Tillett.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isnât enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body canât use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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Control Your Blood Sugar To Help Avoid Diabetic Neuropathy
Theres a direct relationship between blood sugar level and damage to the nerve cells, says Tillett. Out-of-control blood sugar leads to neuropathy, and the better you are at controlling your blood sugar, the healthier your feet will be over the long term. Remember, if you already have an infection, high blood sugar levels can make it hard for your body to fight it.
Signs Of High Blood Sugar
Someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes will be familiar with how it feels to have hyperglycemia. But for the millions of people who have diabetes or prediabetes and are unaware of it, knowing the signs of high blood sugar could prompt them to seek care and get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
While type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on suddenly and severely, its important to note that type 2 diabetes symptoms can creep up gradually and be so mild that theyre not noticeable, the NIDDK explains. And most people with prediabetes actually have no symptoms, per the NIDDK. So its extremely important to get screened if you have risk factors, like having a family history, being overweight, or being over age 45, the NIDDK says.
Still, there are many potential signs of high blood sugar in the short and long term that it doesnt hurt to be conscious of, especially if you are at elevated risk.
Early on, hyperglycemia can make you feel off in a variety of ways:
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Make Some Small Changes
You might try to get more exercise, or limit carbs at your next meal, but don’t go crazy. “One blood sugar that’s high doesn’t indicate a need for major changesthat should only be done on a pattern,” says Rice, such as “continuing highs despite following a doctor’s instructions.” If a pattern continues for two to three days or more, then you might want to let your health-care provider know.
What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.
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You Feel Tiredness And Fatigue Constantly
Fatigue and extreme tiredness are symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar, the ADA says. Simply put, when your body is not processing insulin properly or it doesnt have sufficient amounts of insulin, the sugar is staying in our blood rather than getting into our cells to be used for energy, Zanini says. Also, frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which Bandukwala identifies as another contributing factor to fatigue.
Can Hyperglycemia Be Treated
Your doctor may recommend a low-impact exercise program as your first line of defense. If youre already following a fitness plan, they may recommend that you increase your overall level of activity.
Your doctor may also suggest that you eliminate glucose-rich foods from your diet. Its important to maintain a balanced diet and stick to healthy food portions. If you arent sure where to begin, your doctor can refer you to a dietician or nutritionist who can help you establish a diet plan.
If these changes dont help lower your high blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe medication. If you have diabetes, your doctor may prescribe oral medications or change the amount or type of insulin youve already been prescribed.
Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Want to know how to lower blood sugar? Here are six things to do to combat with high blood pressure.
Blood sugar is a tricky little beast. Yes, you can get a high reading if you throw caution to the wind and eat several slices of cake at a wedding.
The problem is that you can also have a high blood sugar reading if you follow every rule in the type 2 diabetes handbook. That’s because it’s not just food that affects blood sugar. You could have a cold coming on, or stress may have temporarily boosted your blood sugar. The reading could be wrong, and you need to repeat it. Or it could mean that your medicine is no longer working, and it’s time to try a new one.
The point is, it’s the pattern that matters, not a single reading.
Whatever you do, don’t feel bad or guilty if you have a high blood sugar reading. A 2004 study found that blood sugar monitoring often amplifies feelings of being a “success” or “failure” at diabetes, and when readings are consistently high, it can trigger feelings of anxiety or self-blame.
This can cause some people to give up on testing completely. Try not to think of blood sugar monitoring as a “test” administered by a sour-faced teacher lurking in your distant past. Blood sugar monitoring is simply a tool that you can use to fight the disease. Here, six things you should know about how to lower your blood sugar when it’s way too high.