Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

What Is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia is also known as high blood glucose and happens when the blood contains too much sugar. This condition is a sign of diabetes. The reason for having too much blood sugar is that the body does not have enough insulin or is unable to process the insulin properly. If this condition of having high blood sugar continues for a long time then it can lead to damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and organs. Hence it is important to get proper treatment when you see symptoms of high blood sugar to prevent the effects of hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia Symptoms

Hyperglycemia symptoms do not appear until the glucose levels get too elevated. The signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia occur when the glucose levels are above 180 to 200 mg/DL. The symptoms last as long as the sugar levels remain high and the condition worsens.

Early symptoms are:

  • Feeling thirsty despite drinking enough water
  • Frequent urination
  • Headache and fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Wounds that do not heal

If the blood sugar levels are not controlled it can lead to a buildup of ketones in urine and blood. These ketones are toxic acids and are called ketoacidosis. It includes:

  • Breath smells fruity
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

If you have the above symptoms then it is best to get tested for diabetes. People who have diabetes should often monitor the glucose levels so that there are no side effects of hyperglycemia.

Who is at Risk?

The risk of developing hyperglycemia is high in:

  • People having a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • People having high cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Overweight and obese people
  • Women with a family history of gestational diabetes
  • Women who had gestational diabetes
  • Women suffering from the polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS
  • African Americans Hispanic, Asian Americans, and Native Americans are more at risk of high blood sugar than other groups of people.
  • People who do not follow a healthy diet
  • People who consume fried, processed, and sugary food

Hyperglycemia Causes

The blood sugar levels can rise if the insulin is not produced properly or is not enough. The other causes of hyperglycemia are:

  • The amount of carbohydrates in the food is more compared to the insulin produced in the body.
  • Physical stress or stress due to cold, flu, or other infections can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Emotional stress due to work or family issues
  • Hormonal issues can also result in hyperglycemia
  • Conditions like Cushing Syndrome can lead to insulin resistance
  • Cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis can cause an imbalance in sugar levels
  • Medications like diuretics and steroids can lead to hyperglycemia.
  • Pregnancy can lead to reduced insulin sensitivity.
  • If the insulin dose that you are taking is not enough for our body.

How is Hyperglycemia Diagnosed?

If you have even subtle signs of hyperglycemia it is best to get a hyperglycemia diagnosis done by getting the blood sugar levels checked.

  • A haemoglobin A1C test is a common hyperglycemia test that is recommended by a doctor if there are signs of it. This test gives a 3-month average of the blood sugar level. It checks the percentage of blood sugar in RBC to the haemoglobin. If it is high then a treatment plan will be worked out by the doctor. This percentage is different based on age and certain other conditions like pregnancy. Older adults will have a higher range than others.
  • Fasting blood sugar test is done by taking a blood sample after not eating or drinking anything for a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Postprandial or after meal hyperglycemia test is done to check levels after a meal.
  • Urine test is done to check the presence of ketones and also glucose in the urine.

How is Hyperglycemia Treated?

Hyperglycemia treatment is a lifelong process and a person having it should take steps to ensure that there are no spikes in blood glucose levels. The treatment plan will include:

  • Hyperglycemia medicine to bring blood sugar levels to normal. Insulin injections may be recommended depending on the cause, age and severity. Altering of the medications may be done depending on the response to the medication and the side effects.
  • The doctor will also recommend physical activity to reduce excess glucose in the blood. But if they find ketones in the blood, they should avoid exercise.
  • A diet plan will be introduced where the diet will be moderated and low sugar foods will be included.

Hyperglycemia care includes many things like medication, diet and exercise. The treatment should also be holistic along with regular monitoring. Contact our team at Cure.fit to get the right treatment plan.

How can Hyperglycemia be Prevented?

Hyperglycemia prevention tips are:

  • Maintaining a physically active lifestyle which includes exercise to keep the blood sugar levels low.
  • Follow a regular meal routine including a healthy hyperglycemia diet which is rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid sugary, fried and fast food
  • Avoid smoking
  • Get regular health checks
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