When To Get Urgent Medical Attention
Contact your diabetes care team immediately if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:
- feeling or being sick
- a fever for more than 24 hours
- signs of dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
- difficulty staying awake
These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels are the measurement of glucose in your blood. Sugar and carbohydrates are consumed in the form of food and drinks and get broken down into glucose before entering the blood stream through the intestinal wall. The glucose in our blood is then carried into our body’s cells for energy production.
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When blood sugar levels are tested, if they are showing as high , this may indicate insulin resistance or diabetes. If blood sugar levels are low, this is known as ‘hypoglycemia’ and can be caused by a number of things, including not eating regularly, not eating enough, an increase in physical activity without an increase in calories, and alcohol consumption.
Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart . Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
Make Some Small Changes
You might try to get more exercise, or limit carbs at your next meal, but don’t go crazy. “One blood sugar that’s high doesn’t indicate a need for major changesthat should only be done on a pattern,” says Rice, such as “continuing highs despite following a doctor’s instructions.” If a pattern continues for two to three days or more, then you might want to let your health-care provider know.
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What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
You can lower your risk of DKA with proper management of your diabetes:
- Take your medications as directed, even if youre feeling fine.
- Follow your meal plan.
- Test your blood sugar consistently, as recommended by your doctor. This will help you get in the habit of making sure your numbers are in range. If you notice a problem, you can talk with your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan.
- Talk with your doctor about adjusting your insulin dosage levels based on your activity level, illnesses, or other factors, such as what youre eating.
- If you have high blood sugar and your blood or urine test detects ketones, do not exercise. Exercising with high blood sugar can be dangerous when you have diabetes. Its best to talk with your doctor about how to manage this situation.
- Sometimes the cost of insulin can make it to follow a diabetes treatment plan. Read more about how to access insulin at a reduced cost.
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High Blood Sugar Levels When You Wake Up
If your fasting glucose before breakfast is 100125 mg/dL , its higher than doctors would expect to see in a person with healthy blood sugar control.
Fasting blood glucose in this range means you could have prediabetes a health condition that significantly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Diabetic Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome
Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome is a potentially life threatening condition involving extremely high blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar gets too high, the kidneys try to compensate by removing some of the excess glucose through urination.
If you dont drink enough fluids to replace the fluid youre losing, your blood sugar levels spike. Your blood also becomes more concentrated. This can also occur if you drink too many sugary beverages.
This condition is called hyperosmolarity. Blood thats too concentrated begins to draw water out of other organs, including the brain.
Failure to monitor and manage blood glucose levels can also lead to HHS.
Symptoms may develop slowly and increase over a period of days or weeks. Possible symptoms include:
- fluids given through your veins to prevent or reverse dehydration
- insulin to lower and stabilize your blood sugar levels
- potassium, phosphate, or sodium replacement if necessary to help return your cells to their normal function
Treatment will also address any complications from HHS, such as shock or coma.
Factors that can increase your risk of complications with HHS include:
- advanced age
- severity of dehydration when youre treated
- the presence of other illnesses when youre diagnosed
Take the following steps to help prevent HHS:
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What Should Your Blood Sugar Be When You Wake Up
Whenever possible, aim to keep your glucose levels in range between 70 and 130 mg/dL in the morning before you eat breakfast, and between 70 and 180 mg/dL at other times. For some people, including older adults or pregnant women, a slightly looser or tighter glucose range might be best, and you should discuss with your healthcare provider what your goals may be.
Managing your glucose levels is key to preventing short and long-term complications. Though the occasional high blood glucose wont put you in immediate danger consistently high glucose levels over a long period of time are associated with complications of diabetes such as heart disease and stroke, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage, eye disease and more.
Additionally, high glucose levels especially in people with type 1 diabetes can put you in immediate danger. These high levels, if combined with high blood ketone levels, can cause diabetic ketoacidosis , a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a person has high blood ketones and not enough insulin. Symptoms of DKA include shortness of breath, fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, confusion, or loss of consciousness.
Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Want to know how to lower blood sugar? Here are six things to do to combat with high blood pressure.
Blood sugar is a tricky little beast. Yes, you can get a high reading if you throw caution to the wind and eat several slices of cake at a wedding.
The problem is that you can also have a high blood sugar reading if you follow every rule in the type 2 diabetes handbook. That’s because it’s not just food that affects blood sugar. You could have a cold coming on, or stress may have temporarily boosted your blood sugar. The reading could be wrong, and you need to repeat it. Or it could mean that your medicine is no longer working, and it’s time to try a new one.
The point is, it’s the pattern that matters, not a single reading.
Whatever you do, don’t feel bad or guilty if you have a high blood sugar reading. A 2004 study found that blood sugar monitoring often amplifies feelings of being a “success” or “failure” at diabetes, and when readings are consistently high, it can trigger feelings of anxiety or self-blame.
This can cause some people to give up on testing completely. Try not to think of blood sugar monitoring as a “test” administered by a sour-faced teacher lurking in your distant past. Blood sugar monitoring is simply a tool that you can use to fight the disease. Here, six things you should know about how to lower your blood sugar when it’s way too high.
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How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
Expand The Important Safety Information
Important Facts About Mounjaro . It is also known as tirzepatide.
- Mounjaro is an injectable prescription medicine for adults with type 2 diabetes used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar .
- It is not known if Mounjaro can be used in people who have had inflammation of the pancreas . Mounjaro is not for use in people with type 1 diabetes. It is not known if Mounjaro is safe and effective for use in children under 18 years of age.
Mounjaro may cause tumors in the thyroid, including thyroid cancer. Watch for possible symptoms, such as a lump or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. If you have a symptom, tell your healthcare provider.
- Do not use Mounjaro if you or any of your family have ever had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma .
- Do not use Mounjaro if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 .
- Do not use Mounjaro if you are allergic to tirzepatide or any of the ingredients in Mounjaro.
Mounjaro may cause serious side effects, including:
Inflammation of the pancreas . Stop using Mounjaro and call your healthcare provider right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back.
Changes in vision. Tell your healthcare provider if you have changes in vision during treatment with Mounjaro.
Common side effects
Review these questions with your healthcare provider:
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How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
Trying to learn how to lower morning blood sugar? Heres why your glucose levels rise in the morning and a few things you can try to keep them in range.
Waking up with high glucose levels may feel like it doesn’t make sense. You spend several hours asleep, not consuming any carbs, and yet somehow your glucose levels are still high when you wake up in the morning.
Why does this happen? What can you do to make sure your glucose levels are safely in range in the morning? Learn more about some tips on avoiding high morning blood sugar levels so you can start your day off right.
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
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.
- 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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How Do I Check For Ketones
There are two ways to check for ketones:
- Step 7
Ketone strip storage
- Keep ketone strips at room temperature between 59° and 86° F. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
- Step 8 After opening the first time, write the date on the bottle.
- Always put the lid back on right away after opening.
- Do not keep them in the bathroom because the moisture could ruin the strips.
- Throw the ketone strips away 6 months after first opening if they are not gone.
- Do not use them after the expiration date. Call your pharmacy for a refill.
Steps to check for blood ketones:
If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good
An A1C result thatâs below 5.7% is normal âs standards, but having a result below that number isnât the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.
Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.
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What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.