Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Hyperglycemia - Control & Treatment in Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes you could be at risk of , 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 . Here's what you can do to manage hyperglycemia.

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Signs will vary from person to person but can include:

  • Increased thirst (which can result in more frequent urination);
  • Increased hunger (even if you just ate) - diabetics are unable to properly absorb the glucose in the blood;
  • Headaches;
  • Weight loss;
  • Fatigue or lack of energy;
  • Problems concentrating;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Wounds that heal slowly;
  • Dry mouth;
  • ;
  • and .


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.

Blood Glucose Levels

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 .

Acute Hyperglycemia

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.

Treatment, Prevention, and Control

High blood sugar can lead to many additional health complications. Diabetics can manage their blood sugar levels with these tips:

  • . This will alert you to high (or low) blood sugar levels. Keep track of your readings in a log book. Make notes next to any abnormal readings, noting any changes to meals, exercise, or other routines. Keeping a log book is a useful tool to show to your doctor or diabetes educator.
  • Drink lots of water so that you stay hydrated. Try to avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine.
  • Take medications as prescribed, when prescribed.
  • Regular exercise helps to control blood glucose levels.
  • . Not sure what you need? Ask your doctor or get a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist. Some diabetics use the to help them plan the foods to include in their meals.
  • Visit your doctor regularly and bring up any new concerns. Make sure to mention if you have been repeatedly experiencing symptoms of hyperglycemia.


Additional Reading:


The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.