If you have type 2 diabetes you could be at risk of hyperglycemia, or high levels of glucose in the blood, a serious condition for diabetics. Your doctor will set a target range for your blood sugar levels; should your blood sugar persistently rise above these target levels, you can be at increased risk for other health complications. Here's what you can do to manage hyperglycemia.
Signs will vary from person to person but can include:
Diabetics may develop high blood glucose due to many causes. These include skipping or forgetting to take your insulin or your medication; overeating; eating a meal with too many carbohydrates; a decrease in exercise or overly-strenuous physical exercise; illness or stress; or infections.
Fasting hyperglycemia is the amount of glucose in the blood after fasting for 8 hours. Target blood sugar levels for diabetics are typically between 72-126 mg/dL (4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L). If you consistently test higher than this, you may need to make changes to your eating habits, exercise routine, or medication.
Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L). If you consistently have these types of blood sugar levels and have not yet been diagnosed as diabetic, be aware that you may be at high risk for developing the disease.
Acute hyperglycemia can be a medical emergency. The body attempts to get rid of excess blood sugar through increased urination - leading to dehydration and may even lead to a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Untreated, it can result in death. Symptoms include excessive thirst and frequent urination, weakness, excess fatigue, mental confusion, shortness of breath, nausea and inability to hold down food or drink, vomiting, stomach pain, and "fruity"-smelling breath. A urine test, which you can do at home, can check for the presence of ketones. If you have ketones in your urine and/or you show multiple symptoms of acute hyperglycemia, or if your blood sugar levels exceed 300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L), get emergency medical care.
High blood sugar can lead to many additional health complications. Diabetics can manage their blood sugar levels with these tips: