Hyperglycemia or Increased Sugar

Hyperglycemia or Increased Sugar

Increased blood sugar, or blood sugar level, is called hyperglycemia. This is a known problem for diabetic patients. Hyperglycemia can occur in patients with any type of diabetes—type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

Although the words hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia look similar, they have opposite meanings. Hypoglycemia is the condition when the blood sugar level falls below the minimum normal level. On the other hand, an increase in blood sugar or sugar above the normal level is called hyperglycemia.

Sometimes hyperglycemia can occur even in someone without diabetes who has a history of certain illnesses. Some such illnesses are a brain stroke, a heart attack, or a serious infection.

This article discusses the effects and treatment of hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes.

Symptoms of high blood sugar:

Symptoms of hyperglycemia in diabetics usually develop slowly over days or weeks. Some people may have no symptoms before their blood sugar rises to very high levels.

Some of the symptoms of hyperglycemia are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Occasional dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight loss without effort
  • Repeated infections. For example, thrush, cystitis, or skin infection
    stomach ache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • The breath smells like sweet fruit.

Since the symptoms of hyperglycemia can indicate the presence of diabetes, even if you know that you do not have diabetes, if these symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor to be sure about this. If necessary, you can also take the test.

Causes blood sugar levels to rise:

Blood sugar levels can increase in diabetic patients due to various reasons. For example,

  • Stress
  • Any illness (e.g., a cold problem)
  • Eating extra meals (i.e., eating three meals plus a variety of snacks)
    not exercising
  • Missing a dose of diabetes medicine or taking the wrong dose of medicine
  • Taking certain medications (e.g., steroids)
  • If hypoglycemia occurs due to low blood sugar, continue additional treatment as needed

It should be noted that hyperglycemia can sometimes occur in growing children and adolescents.

Normal blood sugar levels:

After your first diabetes diagnosis, request the following two things from your doctor:

  • How are your blood sugar levels?
  • Sugar needs to be reduced to what level?

Regular diabetes tests at home with the help of a blood sugar measuring machine or glucometer can monitor blood sugar levels. Alternatively, individuals can visit the hospital every 2-3 months to undergo a diabetes test known as HbA1c. The HbA1c test provides an indication of the average blood sugar level and whether the sugar is being controlled. Generally, HbA1c values below 6.5% are good.

Not everyone has the same blood sugar target. However, the following targets are generally considered normal blood sugar levels:

  • Glucometer: 4 to 7 mmol/L on an empty stomach and 8.5 to 9 mmol/L 2 hours after eating
  • HbA1c test: 6.5 percent or below 48 mmol/mol

What happens when blood sugar rises?

The main goal of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. However, even after taking precautions, diabetic patients may experience hyperglycemia at some point.

Diagnosing and treating hyperglycemia is very important. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to a variety of serious health problems.

A diabetic patient’s sugar level may suddenly rise slightly. Mild hyperglycemia can typically be easily treated, so it is usually not a major concern. Sometimes even sugar falls to a normal level without special effort. However, if blood sugar levels rise too much or stay high for a long time, the consequences can be fatal.

Blood sugar levels that are too high can cause life-threatening complications. For example,

Diabetic ketoacidosis:

This condition occurs when the body needs to break down fat for energy. The breakdown of fat in the body produces chemicals known as ketone bodies. Accumulation of excess ketone bodies can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to diabetic coma. This problem usually occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state:

When blood sugar reaches too high a level, the body tries to get rid of this excess sugar. Severe dehydration occurs in this process. This condition usually occurs in patients with type 2 diabetes.
If blood sugar levels remain consistently high month after month, permanent damage can occur to various parts of the body. For example, eyes, nerves, kidneys, and blood vessels may be damaged for life.

So if you have regular hyperglycemia, seek immediate medical attention. Some medical and lifestyle changes may be necessary to keep blood sugar levels close to healthy levels.

What to do if blood sugar rises:

Diabetic patients should follow the doctor’s recommendations for blood sugar control if symptoms of hyperglycemia occur. If you are not clear about what to do, talk to your doctor about what to do.

Home remedies to reduce sugar:

1. Food changes: It may be advised to avoid foods that raise blood sugar. These foods include cakes, sweets, and various sugary drinks.

2. Drinking plenty of water and sugar-free drinks resolves dehydration caused by hyperglycemia.

3. Regular exercise: Even light exercise like regular walking can help control blood sugar. For overweight people, various exercise methods help them lose weight. Weight control reduces the risk of hyperglycemia.

4. Change in insulin dose: Insulin users may need to change their insulin dose to control blood sugar. Patients should seek specific advice from their doctor regarding changes in their insulin dose to control blood sugar.

5. Regular Observation: Diabetic patients should regularly measure their blood sugar. Furthermore, a blood or urine ketone test can diagnose diabetic ketoacidosis. You should also watch for new symptoms until your blood sugar is fully controlled. Such symptoms may indicate a serious problem.

When to seek emergency medical care

In addition to having a high blood sugar level, the following symptoms should be immediately reported to the doctor:

  • If nausea or vomiting occurs,
  • If you have stomach aches and diarrhea
  • When breathing becomes deep and rapid,
  • If you have had a fever for more than 24 hours (i.e., a temperature above 38°C or 100.4 °F),
  • If symptoms of dehydration occur (e.g., headache, dry skin, fast and weak heart rate),
  • Drowsiness or difficulty staying alert

These symptoms may be signs of serious complications caused by hyperglycemia (e.g., diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state). In all these cases, it is necessary to go to the emergency hospital for treatment.

Ways to prevent high blood sugar

 Taking some simple steps can reduce the risk of severe or long-term hyperglycemia.  For example,

  • Be careful with food and drink. Be especially aware of how sugary or sweet foods can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Follow the treatment regimen properly. Take medication regularly and continue taking insulin as advised by your doctor.
  • Try to be as active as possible rather than being sedentary. Regular exercise helps control blood sugar levels. However, those taking diabetes medication should consult a doctor before starting exercise. Heavy exercise or heavy physical activity while taking some medicines can cause hypoglycemia due to the effect of the medicine on the amount of sugar.
  • Take extra care when sick. The doctor may advise you to follow some special tips to control blood sugar when you are sick.

Measure your blood sugar regularly. Measure blood sugar regularly with a glucometer at home. So that any change is detected quickly and necessary measures can be taken.


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