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When Is Blood Sugar Levels Dangerous

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High Blood Sugar Emergencies

Blood sugar levels that are too high (hyperglycemia) can quickly turn into a diabetic emergency without quick and appropriate treatment. The best way to avoid dangerously high blood sugar levels is to self-test to stay in tune with your body, and to stay attuned to the symptoms and risk factors for hyperglycemia. Extremely high blood sugar levels can lead to one of two conditions—diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS; also called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic coma). Although both syndromes can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, DKA is more common in type 1, and HHNS is more common in type 2. Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) Ketoacidosis (or DKA) occurs when blood sugars become elevated (over 249 mg/dl, or 13.9 mmol/l) over a period of time and the body begins to burn fat for energy, resulting in ketone bodies in the blood or urine (a phenomenon called ketosis). A variety of factors can cause hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), including failure to take medication or insulin, stress, dietary changes without medication adjustments, eating disorders, and illness or injury. This last cause is important, because if illness brin Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Northern-Mike

    Hi,
    Its been a little while since I last posted here. I am having an ongoing debate, is having blood sugars in the 400's dangerous? While I know that it is not good to have them that high, I am yet to be convinced that numbers in the those levels can kill you.
    What I do know is that this past week my blood sugars did go over 400 and I went to the ER. They kept me overnight trying to get my blood sugar down. But I was in a waiting area for a couple of hours before even being treated and my numbers naturally went down. Then they put me in a room and gave me an IV, etc.
    Another time while being on this forums chat room, I had elevated blood sugars in the high 300's. At the advice of fellow chatters, I called my diabetes Dr. who told me to take extra Glyburide instead.
    So, I am confused, is it really dangerous to be that high or is it in the eye of the beholder instead.
    Thank you for your replies!
    Mike

  2. xMenace

    It is dangerous, but not likely acutely dangerous.
    It is possible for it to become accutely dangerous. More than a day in a row can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous and possibly deadly condition. We're talking usually days, but it can happen fast in some.
    The biggest danger is complications, the longer term effects. There is no doubt that continued 400's will result in likely multiple of retinopathy , infection, amputation, nephropathy, heart disease, neuropathy, and possibly more. It is not medium term sustainable.

  3. Caravaggio

    For some people, when their blood sugar number is extremely high, they get blurred vision, become extremely dizzy, exhibit drunkenness, faint or show other physical/physiological symptoms that may cause them to be an immediate danger to themselves or others.

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