A Few Final Notes On Keeping Blood Sugar Stable
Taking an active, intentional approach to your blood sugar levels is crucial to your quality of life and overall health, ONeill says. Avoiding too-high or too-low blood sugar levels will help you avoid adverse symptoms and health complications, and staying within your target range can enable you to feel your best and do whatever you want to do in life, she says.
Test your blood sugar regularly, listen to your body, and dont ever hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Additional reporting by Karen Appold.
Slow Healing Of Cuts And Wounds
High blood sugar greatly slows the healing of skin and soft-tissue infections because neutrophils, the most common type of leukocyte in the immune systems arsenal, are particularly vulnerable to high levels of glucose. High blood sugar keeps the neutrophils from sticking to the endothelium, the inner lining of the blood vessels disrupts chemotaxis, the bodys chemical signaling control system that directs neutrophils to the site of injuries or infections and, as noted above, makes phagocytosis sluggish.
Another critical element of wound healing is a sufficient supply of oxygen, and the delivery of oxygen can be reduced by either peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease both common conditions caused by or made worse by high blood glucose.
The slow healing of wounds sets the stage for some of the grimmest diabetes complications. Minor wounds can advance to cellulitis, which is a serious infection. Cellulitis can advance to tissue necrosis, or tissue death. Tissue necrosis can then extend from the soft tissue into the bone, which is what often leads to amputation: Roughly 73,000 amputations are performed on people with diabetes in the United States each year.
The Classic Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Are Polyuria Polydipsia And Polyphagia
In plain English, that means excessive urination, excessive thirst, and excessive hunger. Any doctor who hears this trio of complaints will reach for a blood glucose meter. But often, the person experiencing these symptoms doesnt notice them right away. This is partly because they often creep up on a person in a gradual fashion, and partly because the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose arent well known among people who dont have diabetes or dont know they have diabetes.
Recommended Reading: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar
Headaches And Difficulty Concentrating
Acute hyperglycemia can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating in a fashion similar to polyphagia in which starving cells send out hunger signals because they cant access the glucose circulating in the blood.
Your brain is the biggest glucose hog around. If you dont believe it, consider that while the brain represents about 2 percent of your body weight, it devours fully 25 percent of the glucose you consume. And when brain cells have difficulty getting the fuel they need, they function poorly. This can cause problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering, difficulty staying focused on tasks, and headaches.
Chronic high blood glucose can also lead to headaches, but by a different route. These headaches are often related to various types of nerve damage. Examples include occipital neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve from elevated glucose levels, and a variety of diabetic mononeuropathies, which can affect specific cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, or nerve roots all of which can lead to headaches of varying intensities.
Correcting High Blood Sugar Levels With Insulin
If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin.
However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet to be absorbed by the blood. Insulin that is yet to be absorbed by the blood is called active insulin.
If you decide to correct with insulin, watch you dont over correct as this can lead to hypoglycemia and can be dangerous, particularly so before bed.
How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
To treat high blood sugar, it helps to know what is causing it. You might need to take more insulin or diabetes pills because youre growing and eating more food, or you might need to get more exercise each day.
Having high blood sugar levels every once in a while isnt a big deal. It happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if your blood sugar levels are high a lot, your diabetes health care team will have to help you figure out how to get them back to a healthy level.
Signs And Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar To Be Aware Of
Blood sugar is our source of energy, and we need it to function, but in some people, it can reach excessive levels.
High blood sugar is a major problem. It could increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage. Hyperglycemia increases glycation. This leads to the production of harmful particles. These particles impair the functions of glycated substances.
A chain of reactions takes place. It leads to problems with blood flow, inflammation, slow wound healing. Keeping blood sugar levels in check is vital for good health and diabetes prevention.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
According to the American Diabetes Association, maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of developing high blood glucose and diabetes. If youâre working toward a healthy weight, the ADA recommends creating a sustainable routine you can stick with and focusing your efforts toward realistic goals.
How High Is Too High For A Blood Sugar Reading And What Are The Dangers
A high blood sugar level is defined as a reading of greater than 130 mg/dL after 8 hours of fasting or a reading of greater than 180 mg/dLafter eating a meal, according to WebMD. Frequent high blood sugar can cause damage to the nerves, blood vessels and other organs.
Although diabetes is the most common reason for high blood sugar, there are many other causes, such as infection, injury or even just eating more sugar than normal, notes MedicineNet. When symptoms such as increased thirst, increased urination and weight loss accompany high blood sugar, diabetes is diagnosed, states WebMD.
High blood sugar coats blood cells, which in turn causes the cells to hinder circulation, explains the Mayo Clinic. The small blood vessels are particularly susceptible to these problems, so damage to the eyes, kidneys and feet are common in those with chronically high blood sugar. Controlling high blood sugar can prevent or lessen complications such as heart attack, stroke, eye damage that can lead to blindness, nerve damage in the hands and feet, kidney damage, gum disease and tooth loss. Damage can begin when blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Increasing physical activity and losing weight can help decrease blood sugar in people who are at risk for developing diabetes.
Read Also: What Is A Normal A1c For A Non Diabetic
If You Regularly Have High Blood Sugar Levels
Having high blood sugar levels regularly is not something you should live with. This is because in the long-term it can increase your risk of developing diabetes complications, such as neuropathy and retinopathy.
If you notice that your blood sugar levels are often high, you should contact your diabetes healthcare team. They will review your treatment and provide you with advice on how to get your blood sugar levels back within your target range. This advice may include increasing your medication.
In the video below, Lynsey talks to Khalida about feeling anxious after getting a high blood sugar level reading. If youre finding it hard to deal with similar feelings, weve got information on emotional health that you may find helpful.
The Causes Of High Blood Sugar
In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:
- not taking your diabetes medicine when youre 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 nobodys perfect. Grown-ups can help you stay in balance if you have diabetes. Sometimes blood sugar levels can be high because youre growing and your doctor needs to make some changes in your diabetes treatment plan.
Also Check: Glipizide Vs Metformin
High Blood Glucose: Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If your insulin level is too low, your blood glucose could become so high that it is unsafe. You might develop a serious problem called diabetic ketoacidosis . This usually happens in people with Type 1 diabetes and those with glucose levels over 500.
If you have DKA, chemicals called ketones start to make a lot of acid in your body. The acid and high blood glucose can make you very sick. You might also become dehydrated . You can prevent DKA by carefully giving yourself the correct insulin dose every day.
If you have any of the following symptoms of DKA, get to your local emergency department right away. You need to be treated with insulin and fluids that are given to you through an IV :
- Blurry vision
- Dry mouth, eyes or skin
- Fast breathing
- Feeling very weak or tired
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Stomach pain, nausea or vomiting
What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar
The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.
One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.
- Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals
Read Also: How Long Do Type 1 Diabetics Live
What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome
This mostly affects elderly people. As glucose builds up in your blood, your body tries to get rid of it through your urine.
At first, you pee a lot. Over time, you pee less, but when you do, itâs very dark. This condition can lead to dehydration, coma, and death.
Get medical help right away if you have any of these warning signs:
- Blood sugar level over 600 mg/dL
- Extreme thirst that may later go away
- Warm, dry skin that doesnât sweat
- Fever over 101 F
Read Also: Hormone Sensitive Lipase Insulin
Can Drinking A Lot Of Water Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Although feeling very thirsty is a symptom of a hyper, drinking a lot of water will not bring your blood sugar levels down. It will only help to reduce your risk of dehydration.
Its important that you take your diabetes medication to bring your blood sugar levels down. If you have consistently high blood sugar levels, you will need to follow the advice below and speak to your diabetes healthcare team.
What To Do When Blood Sugar Is High
There are several signs of high blood sugar or a blood sugar spike, including:
- Increased thirst and dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
If you start to notice any of these symptoms of high blood sugar or notice that your levels are too high through a blood sugar reading, there are several things that you can do to help bring down your blood sugar quickly.
Don’t miss out on savings!
Get the best ways to save on your prescriptions delivered to your inbox.
Also Check: How To Keep Blood Sugar From Dropping
What Are Target Blood Sugar Levels For People With Diabetes
A target is something that you aim for or try to reach. Your health care team may also use the term goal. People with diabetes have blood sugar targets that they try to reach at different times of the day. These targets are:
- Right before your meal: 80 to 130
- Two hours after the start of the meal: Below 180
Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
How High Can Blood Sugar Go Before Death You Need To Know This
High Blood Sugar or Hyperglycemia is a disease that is the cause of most deaths worldwide. Yet, mostly ignored. We used to take diabetes casually. But should we? The answer is NO. High blood sugar is a fatal disease. We must be attentive to how high can blood sugar go before death? What happens to your body when your sugar level inclines? What are the risks associated and ways to prevent them? Read this article to increase your awareness.
Hyperglycemia is the condition when the body has insufficient insulin or when the body cannot utilize insulin appropriately.
Blood glucose is said to be excessively high when it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the primary nibble of a dinner. We have to take note that majority of the symptoms of high blood glucose will only show up if your blood sugar is more than 250mg/dl. But thats not always the case.
Also Check: Glucagon Secretion
Low Blood Sugar Chart And Action Plan
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia. The numbers below represent values in the hypoglycemic range and require action to bring blood sugar levels up into a normal range.
|Alert Level and Treatment Plan|
|50 mg/dL or under||Red Flag: Blood sugar is critically low and requires immediate treatment.
If a person is unable to speak and/or is not alert, treat with glucagon via injection or nasal spray. Call emergency medical response if necessary. Do not place food or drink into the mouth.
If a person is alert and able to speak clearly, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate such as glucose gel, 4 oz regular soda, or fruit juice. Re-test blood sugar in 15 minutes and repeat as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|51-70 mg/dL||Red Flag: Blood sugar is below normal levels and requires immediate treatment.
Treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes. Repeat treatment as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|71-90 mg/dL||Yellow Flag: Blood sugar levels should be watched and treated as needed.
If youre having symptoms of low blood sugar, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes.
Repeat treatment or follow with a meal. If it is meal time, move forward with eating the meal. People often fall into this range when they are late for a meal or have been especially active.
How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
Also Check: How Many Points Does Metformin Lower Blood Sugar
Reflect On The Amount Of Sugar In Your Diet
Hyperglycemia occurs when there is too much glucose in the blood.
Therefore, one way of reducing your blood glucose levels is reflecting on where sugar may be consumed in the diet. Think about any refined and processed foods that may be in your diet as these are often high in sugar. This can be achieved through a low carbohydrate diet.
How Do You Feel When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Here are some of the complaints that you may feel when your blood sugar is too high,
- Headache and body aches
- Loss of consciousness, coma or a seizure
- Difficulty in concentration
These symptoms can go on for a while till some food containing sugar is given. If this continues for long without any intake of sugar or any carbs, the condition can worsen and the blood sugar levels may further drop down, leading to complications. Very low blood sugar level can be a medical emergency too, which is why it is very important to be aware of the symptoms coming up because without an immediate treatment the patient can faint, may experience a seizure, or can even go into a coma.
Both the high and the low blood sugar level can lead to an emergency, and therefore knowledge of how do you feel when your blood sugar is too high or low is very necessary. Early you come up with a solution faster the condition can be eased and the complication can be avoided.
Don’t Miss: Metformin Uses And Side Effects