An important part of managing diabetes is recognising when your blood glucose (sugar) becomes too high and knowing what to do about it. In this article we will talk about what is too high a blood glucose level, how this can happen, help you recognise the key symptoms of high blood glucose and give some advice on what action you can take if it happens.
So What Is Too High A Blood Glucose?
When blood glucose is higher then 180 mg/dl (in US units) or 10mmol/L (in UK units) measured two hours after food, then the blood glucose is too high. The technical term for this is hyperglycemia.
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How Is Hyperglycemia Caused?
Hyperglycemia is often a result of when food, activity and medications are not balanced. Some of the common reasons why this balance can be altered are:
· Too much food or the wrong type food
· Not enough medication
· Not enough insulin
· Poor injection technique
· Overuse of injection sites
· Infections or illness
· Increase in weight
A common cause of hyperglycemia in diabetics is missing a dose of insulin or not taking enough or missing diabetic oral medication. Eating too much, can also cause a rise in blood sugar levels
Signs And Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia
In the early stages, there are likely to be no symptoms at all and even when symptoms do arise they may come on so slowly that they are not noticed.
You may get some of following symptoms:
· More hunger or thirst then usual
· Excessive urination
· Tiredness and lethargy
· Frequent infections
· Blurred vision
If untreated, high blood glucose may result in diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious condition due to a lack of insulin. This causes the body to try to find energy from other sources as it cannot use the glucose in the blood. Ketones and acid form as a result.
The condition is characterised by vomiting, drowsiness, smell of acetone (like pear drops) on the breath and can result in coma.
Monitoring your blood glucose regularly may help you identify when your blood glucose has become too high and recognising the warning signs will help highlight to you that action needs to be taken.
Handy Tip: If you have a glucose meter which can be connected to a PC then you can visually track your blood glucose results by drawing graphs. This can be a great way to see the trend of your results without being bogged down in numbers. Most meters do have cables which can be attached to the meter to allow it to be connected. For One touch Ultra Meters there is the One Touch Ultra Cable and for Accu-chek Meters there is the Accu-chek Smart Pix. Click on the link in the resources section to learn more about how the cable works.
This article has focused on the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar. To learn about what to do if you do experience hyperglycemia read the full version of the article by clicking on hyperglycemia symptoms.
As with many things in life, prevention is better then cure. Be aware of the causes of hyperglycemia and do what you can to prevent them.
In the article we talked about the one touch ultra cable and the accu-chek smart pix cable for accu-chek meters. To learn more about the Accu-chek Smart Pix click on the link.
This article was brought to you by John Ngijseh a part of the Glucosemeters4u.com team
Glucosemeters4u.com has been set up to be a valuable source of information for all diabetics and their carers. A large section of the site is dedicated to teaching about diabetes. The site was also designed to bring expertise to diabetic products.
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