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HomeExclusiveHow To Tell If You Have High Blood Sugar

How To Tell If You Have High Blood Sugar


How Is Dka Treated

Diabetes Tips : How to Prevent High Blood Sugar

DKA is very serious, but it can be treated if you go to the doctor or hospital right away. To feel better, a person with DKA needs to get insulin and fluids through a tube that goes into a vein in the body .

Let your parents or someone on your diabetes health care team know if you have any of these symptoms or are sick and don’t know what to do to take care of your diabetes.

Always wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace that says you have diabetes. Then, if you are not feeling well, whoever’s helping you will know to call for medical help. Medical identification can also include your doctor’s phone number or a parent’s phone number.

How Does High Blood Sugar Affect The Body

High sugar in the blood can lead to a number of other symptoms and complications. Here are just a few.


Urination and thirst: High blood sugar goes into the kidneys and urine. This attracts more water, causing frequent urination. This can also lead to increased thirst, despite drinking enough liquids.

Weight loss: High blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss. This occurs because the bodys cells are not getting the glucose they need, so the body burns muscle and fat for energy instead.

Numbness and tingling: High blood sugar can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet. This is due to diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes that often occurs after many years of high blood sugar levels.

What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.

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One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.

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  • Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals

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How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated

Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:

Reason for High Blood Sugar LevelWhat to Do
Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine
  • Make sure that you take the proper type of insulin and the correct dose at the right time.
  • Check that insulin is not expired.
  • Make sure that all equipment is working properly.
  • Diabetes medicines may need to be changed or adjusted check with your diabetes health care team.
Not following the meal plan
  • Work with a registered dietitian to make adjustments to your meal plan as needed.
  • Adjust insulin/pills when you eat more or less than recommended on your meal plan .
Not getting enough exercise
  • Figure out a plan to make time for exercise.
  • Adjust your medicines based on the diabetes health care team’s instructions.
Illness or stress
  • Contact your diabetes health care team.
  • Continue to take insulin .
  • Check your blood sugar levels frequently.
Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar
  • Contact your diabetes health care team if you start taking any other medicine.
  • Your insulin or pills may need to be adjusted while you take the medicine that’s causing high blood sugar levels.
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What Causes High Blood Sugar

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A variety of things can trigger an increase in blood sugar level in people with diabetes, including:

  • stress
  • missing a dose of your diabetes medicine or taking an incorrect dose
  • overtreating an episode of low blood sugar
  • taking certain medicines, such as steroids

Occasional episodes of hyperglycaemia can also occur in children and young adults during growth spurts.

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Talk To Your Doctor Or Nurse

If you use insulin and your blood sugar is frequently or consistently low, ask your doctor or nurse if you:

  • Are injecting your insulin the right way
  • Need a different type of needle
  • Should change how much insulin you take
  • Should change the kind of insulin you take

DO NOT make any changes without talking to your doctor or nurse first.

Sometimes hypoglycemia can be due to taking the wrong medicines. Check your medicines with your pharmacist.

The Causes Of High Blood Sugar

In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:

  • not taking your diabetes medicine when youre supposed to or not taking the right amounts
  • eating more food than your meal plan allows
  • not getting enough exercise
  • having an illness, like the flu
  • taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work

Keeping blood sugar levels close to normal can be hard sometimes, and nobodys perfect. Grown-ups can help you stay in balance if you have diabetes. Sometimes blood sugar levels can be high because youre growing and your doctor needs to make some changes in your diabetes treatment plan.


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Maintain An Active Lifestyle

Take breaks during a sedentary workday, add a walk around the block to your morning routine, or try a new form of exercise. These activities bring great benefit in both the short and long term while helping reduce your overall stress. Including regular strength training and aerobic exercise will help to lower glucose values, as well.

How To Stay In Target

HOW DO YOU FEEL IF YOUR BLOOD SUGAR IS HIGH OR LOW?

Eating healthy, exercising and taking medication, if necessary, will help you keep your blood sugar levels within their target range. Target ranges for blood sugar can vary depending on your age, medical condition and other risk factors.

Targets are different for pregnant women, older adults and children 12 years of age and under.

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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes

1. Frequent urination

When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. One of the early warning signs of diabetes is frequent urination that is urgent enough to wake you up to go to the bathroom during sleep.

2. Increased thirst

While your kidneys are working overtime and youre urinating more frequently, valuable fluids will be pulled from your tissues. Frequent urination will make you feel constantly thirsty.

3. Fatigue

When your blood sugar is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. Not only does this process take a toll on your body, but it also alters the way that your body uses glucose for energy. Excessively high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has fatiguing effects among other symptoms. Additionally, the dehydration that accompanies more frequent urination is a common cause of fatigue in diabetics.

4. Blurred vision

High blood sugar can cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eye, resulting in a swollen lens that can cause blurred vision. As blood sugar levels rise and lower, your vision may return to normal or worsen, respectively.

5. Increased hunger

When you have high blood sugar, your body is actively looking to get rid of it. Because your body expels so much of the glucose youre getting from your food, you may have increased feelings of hunger.


6. Unexplained weight loss

7. Slow healing cuts and wounds

8. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

9. Skin discoloration

A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving

You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or youâre at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but youâll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while youâre driving.

You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.

For more information, see:

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How Do I Treat Hyperglycemia

You can often lower your blood sugar level by exercising. However, if your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, do not exercise.

Exercising when ketones are present may make your blood sugar level go even higher. You’ll need to work with your doctor to find the safest way for you to lower your blood sugar level.

Cutting down on the amount of food you eat might also help. Work with your dietitian to make changes in your meal plan. If exercise and changes in your diet don’t work, your doctor may change the amount of your medication or insulin or possibly the timing of when you take it.

Managing Blood Sugar When Youre Ill

How to tell if you have hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar ...

When you get sick, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate and become unpredictable.

If you’re sick, it’s very important that you:


  • drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids
  • check your blood sugar levels more often than usual
  • take 15 grams of carbohydrate every hour if you are not able to follow your usual meal plan
  • replace food with fluids that contain sugar if you can’t eat solid food
  • continue to take your insulin or other diabetes medication

If you have a cold or flu and want to use a cold remedy or cough syrup, ask your pharmacist to help you make a good choice. Many cold remedies and cough syrups contain sugar, so try to pick sugar-free products.

As an extra precaution, you should always check with your health-care team about guidelines for insulin adjustment or medication changes during an illness.

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How Is Hyperglycemia Diagnosed

If you have diabetes and notice a sudden change in your blood sugar levels during your home monitoring, you should alert your doctor of your symptoms. The increase in blood sugar may affect your treatment plan.

Regardless of whether you have diabetes, if you begin experiencing any symptoms of hyperglycemia, you should speak to your doctor. Before going to your appointment, you should note what symptoms youre experiencing. You should also consider these questions:


  • Has your diet changed?
  • Have you had enough water to drink?
  • Are you under a lot of stress?
  • Were you just in the hospital for surgery?
  • Were you involved in an accident?

Once at your doctors appointment, your doctor will discuss all of your concerns. Theyll perform a brief physical exam and discuss your family history. Your doctor will also discuss your target blood sugar level.

If youre age 59 or younger, a safe blood sugar range is generally between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter . This is also the projected range for people who dont have any underlying medical conditions.

People who are age 60 or older and those who have other medical conditions or concerns may have levels between 100 and 140 mg/dL.

Your doctor may conduct an A1C test to determine what your average blood sugar level has been in recent months. This is done by measuring the amount of blood sugar attached to the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin in your red blood cells.

Control Your Blood Sugar To Help Avoid Diabetic Neuropathy

Theres a direct relationship between blood sugar level and damage to the nerve cells, says Tillett. Out-of-control blood sugar leads to neuropathy, and the better you are at controlling your blood sugar, the healthier your feet will be over the long term. Remember, if you already have an infection, high blood sugar levels can make it hard for your body to fight it.


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How Common Is Low Blood Glucose

Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2

Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3

Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes Tips : How to Reduce High Blood Sugar

Many people with diabetes must check their blood sugar levels daily with a glucose meter. This device takes a drop of blood, usually from a finger, and displays the sugar level within a few seconds.

People with type 1 diabetes will need to take insulin as their doctor recommends, usually several times a day.


Those with type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes may need to change their diet and exercise habits. They may also need to take oral medications or insulin.

A number of strategies can help prevent hyperglycemia.

People should:

  • check their blood sugar levels as their doctor advises and take the correct amount of insulin, if they have type 1 diabetes
  • speak to their healthcare provider or dietitian about which foods to eat or avoid, how much to eat, and how often
  • take precautions to avoid infections, for example, through regular hand washing, as illness, such as a cold, can trigger a rise in blood pressure
  • plan their food intake and exercise to balance blood sugar levels
  • minimize stress, as far as possible, for example, through exercise, getting enough sleep, and stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can happen when a person:

  • has certain medical conditions
  • does a lot of exercise
  • skips meals or eats too little

It can also be a side effect of diabetes medicines. Taking too much insulin can result in low blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of low blood sugar may include:

  • visit a doctor regularly

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Ask Your Doctor How Often You Should Be Checking Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar control is crucial when youre living with type 2 diabetes. Dips and spikes can not only make you feel cranky and sluggish, but they can also wreak havoc on your personal health.

The most serious effects of blood sugar swings are a higher risk for diabetes-related health complications such as stroke, heart disease, and nerve damage .

For the record, the American Diabetes Association notes that you have diabetes if one of the following applies to you:

  • Your blood glucose after fasting is 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
  • Your blood glucose two hours after eating a meal is 200 mg/dl or higher.
  • Your hemoglobin A1C is 6.5 or higher.

The tricky part is that with type 2 diabetes you may not feel it when blood sugar levels are too high, according to the ADA. It feels different for everyone. Not everyone will have the same symptoms, and some individuals will have no symptoms at all, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, a Los Angelesbased former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Because blood sugar management is so important to your overall health with type 2 diabetes, you need to take action if you think your levels may be out of control, even if youre feeling totally fine.

Check In With Your Care Team For More Help

Your doctor and your diabetes healthcare team are great sources of information if you need ideas and inspiration for taking care of your feet, quitting smoking, or staying on top of your numbers your weight, blood sugar, and other measures of health, such as blood pressure. Of course, if you notice any changes in your feet that concern you, its a good idea to see your doctor before your next regularly scheduled check-up.

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Support Your Feet With Diabetes

Shoe shopping for people with diabetes requires a little more attention to detail than you may be used to. Tillett advises looking for shoes with more depth in the toe box, good coverage of both top and bottom, and without seams inside the shoe that can rub on your foot. Likewise, seek socks without seams, preferably socks that are padded and made from cotton or another material that controls moisture.

Risk Factors For High Blood Sugar

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Doctors do not know exactly what causes diabetes. Some factors may increase the risk, however.

Type 1 diabetes

Researchers believe certain genetic or environmental factors may make people more likely to get type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases say certain genes play a role, and other factors such as viruses and infections may have an impact.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation say that there is nothing a person can do to prevent type 1 diabetes. Eating, exercise, or other lifestyle choices will not change the outcome.

Type 1 diabetes usually begins during childhood or early adulthood, but it can happen at any age.

Type 2 diabetes

The following risk factors may make developing type 2 diabetes more likely:

  • having certain genes

People who have high blood sugar should discuss their target levels with their doctor.

They may need regular testing to keep these within a healthy range. Each person is different and levels can vary between individuals.

To find out their blood sugar levels, the person may need to fast for 8 hours, 2 hours after a meal, or at both times.

Some people may also take a glucose tolerance test, in which they drink a sugary liquid and have a blood test after.

The American Diabetes Association recommend a pre-meal blood sugar level of 80130 milligrams per deciliter . Around 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal, blood sugar should be less than 180 ml/dL.

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