Hyperglycemia Is High Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia, which is high blood sugar, happens when the blood glucose rises above 180mg/dl.


Causes of Hyperglycemia

This usually results when:

  • There is no insulin in the body, which happens in type 1 diabetes
  • The available insulin is not enough to move the glucose into the tissues, which happens in type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood sugar can result when there is insulin resistance and the available insulin is not being properly used in the body. This can happen in type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

High blood glucose can also result when:

  • Someone misses taking diabetes medication, including insulin.
  • When a diabetic person eats too much carbohydrate food.
  • The diabetic person takes medications that cause blood sugar to rise; medications like prednisone cause increase in blood glucose.
  • The diabetic person does not exercise.
  • The diabetic person has infections, stress or other diseases.

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

High blood sugar symptoms are those symptoms that the person with the high blood glucose experiences. High blood sugar symptoms include:

  • Blood glucose levels of 180mg/dl or higher.
  • Sugar in urine- this happens because the blood tries to remove excess glucose from the body.
  • Frequent urination – The kidney uses the urine to remove excess glucose from the blood.
  • Increase in appetite- The body can no longer sense the sugar in the blood because it is too high and the body feels that there is no food, so it triggers hunger for the person to eat more.
  • Excessive thirst- Too much sugar in the blood makes it too concentrated, so it needs water to dilute it. The body then sends message to the thirst center and thirst is increased. The fluid the person drinks is used to remove excess sugar in urine.
  • Dry skin – The body prevents water loss from the skin because it needs the water to go through the kidney to remove excess blood glucose.
  • Fruity breath-this happens when ketone is present in the blood
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Ketone in urine- in type 1 diabetes
  • Unexplained weight loss - when the high blood sugar is prolonged. This happens because the body does not sense sugar when it is too high, so it breaks down fat and muscle to yield more sugar.
  • Fatigue- because the body is not using the blood sugar for energy.
  • Drowsiness
  • Slow healing wounds- The high blood sugar provide sugar for bacteria and make it difficult for wounds to heal.
  • Yeast infections and other infections.
  • Tingling or loss of feeling in the fingers and toes

Blood Sugar control


It is important to keep adequate sugar control. You should not wait for high blood sugar symptoms to appear before you try to stop it. Maintain control and prevent high blood glucose by:

Monitoring your finger stick blood sugar closely by doing the following:

  • Stick to diabetic diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Take your prescribed medication.
  • Follow-up with your healthcare provider.

How to Treat Hyperglycemia


The best treatment for high blood sugar is prevention of high blood sugar. Blood glucose over 200mg/dl should be reported to the physician and treated. Sometimes, the physician has a treatment plan for high blood glucose in place. Hyperglycemia treatment plan can be in form of sliding scale insulin or oral medication that release insulin, like sulfonylurea medication. These oral diabetic medicines that cause insulin release can only be used in type 2 diabetes.

If your doctor ordered sliding scale insulin, take the number of units that corresponds to the blood glucose. If your doctor ordered oral diabetic medication, you should take it any time the blood glucose reaches the limit that is set by your physician

If your blood glucose is 240mg/dl or higher, you may need to check for ketones, especially if the diabetes is type 1 diabetes. It is important to avoid eating carbohydrate food until your blood sugar is back in control. It is also not advisable to exercise when the blood sugar is high because exercise can raise ketone levels and contribute to ketoacidosis.

If high Hyperglycemia is not adequately treated, it could progress to diabetic ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetes or diabetic non-ketotic coma in type 2 diabetes.


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