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How High Can Blood Sugar Go Before It Is Dangerous

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycemia is a hallmark sign of diabetes (both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes) and prediabetes. Other conditions that can cause hyperglycemia are pancreatitis, Cushing's syndrome, unusual hormone-secreting tumors, pancreatic cancer, certain medications, and severe illnesses. The main symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Severely elevated glucose levels can result in a medical emergency like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS, also referred to as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state). Insulin is the treatment of choice for people with type 1 diabetes and for life-threatening increases in glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes may be managed with a combination of different oral and injectable medications. Hyperglycemia due to medical conditions other than diabetes is generally treated by treating the underlying condition responsible for the elevated glucose. Blood Sugar Swings: Tips for Managing Diabetes & Glucose Levels A number of medical conditions can cause hyperglycemia, but the most common by far is diabetes mellitus. Diabetes affects over 8% of the total U.S. population. In diabetes, blood glucose levels rise either because there is an insufficient amount of insulin in the body or the body cannot use insulin well. Normally, the pancreas releases insulin after a meal so that the cells of the body can utilize glucose for fuel. This keeps blood glucose levels in the normal range. Type 1 diabetes is responsible for about 5% of all cases of diabetes and results from damage to the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes is far more common and is related to the body's inability to effectively use insulin. In addition to type 1 and type 2, gestational diabe Continue reading >>

What Are The Dangers Of A Sugar Count Over 500?

What Are The Dangers Of A Sugar Count Over 500?

Blood sugar control is a critical aspect of diabetes management. People without diabetes typically have fasting blood sugar readings below 100 milligrams per deciliter. If you are diabetic, your doctor sets an individualized blood sugar goal that you aim for with the help of an individualized treatment regimen. A reading higher than your target indicates your blood sugar is not under control, and having a reading over 500 is a medical emergency. Your body needs glucose to function properly, but it's unhealthy for high levels to circulate in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin regulates blood sugar by allowing glucose to get into your cells. Typically, blood sugar is considered high when it's 160 milligrams per deciliter or above your glucose target, notes the Joslin Diabetes Center. Your doctor may need to adjust your treatment plan if your glucose remains above 180 milligrams per deciliter for three consecutive days. If glucose stays elevated for a long time, it can affect your eyes, kidneys and heart. Ketoacidosis A dangerously high blood sugar level increases your risk for diabetes-related ketoacidosis. When glucose circulates in your bloodstream and can't get into your cells, your cells don't get the energy they need. To compensate, your body begins to burn fat for fuel, producing acids called ketones. These acids build up in your bloodstream and can poison your body when levels get too high. This happens when your body doesn't have enough insulin and is more common with Type 1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends checking your urine for ketones when your glucose is higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter. Hyperosmolar Syndrome Your kidneys typically excrete extra glucose to help compensate for high blood sugar levels, but when glucose is extrem Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

How Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems. How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health. They're less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they're less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating. During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90. What's a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people's glucose won't ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people's levels may fall somewhat lower. Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes: Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL. Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200. Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. He’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis. Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes Continue reading >>

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

What Type 2s Can Do When Blood Sugar Soars

The emergency condition most type 2s dread is hypoglycemia, where plummeting blood sugar levels can bring on a dangerous semi-conscious state, and even coma or death. However, hyperglycemia, high-blood sugar levels consistently above 240 mg/dL, can be just as dangerous. Left untreated, at its most extreme high-blood sugar, can induce ketoacidosis, the build-up of toxic-acid ketones in the blood and urine. It can also bring on nausea, weakness, fruity-smelling breath, shortness of breath, and, as with hypoglycemia, coma. However, once they’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, most type 2s have taken steps to prevent or lessen the most dangerous effects of high-blood sugar levels. Their concern shifts to dealing with unexpected, sometimes alarming spikes in blood sugar levels. The symptoms of those spikes are the classic ones we associate with the onset of diabetes—unquenchable thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, weight loss, and headaches. When you do spike, what can you do right away to bring blood sugar levels down? Immediate Steps You Can Take: 1. Insulin—If you are on an insulin regimen; a bolus injection should drive numbers down fairly rapidly. 2. If you are not on insulin or don’t use fast-acting insulin, taking a brisk walk or bike ride works for most people to start bringing their numbers down. 3. Stay hydrated. Hyperglycemic bodies want to shed excess sugar, leading to frequent urination and dehydration. You need to drink water steadily until your numbers drop. 4. Curb your carb intake. It does not matter how complex the carbs in your diet are, your body still converts them to glucose at some point. Slacking off on carb consumption is a trackable maneuver that lets you better understand how to control your numbers. Preventative Steps: These are extensions Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Symptoms And Information

High Blood Sugar Symptoms And Information

What is high blood sugar? High blood sugar means that the level of sugar in your blood is higher than normal. It is the main problem caused by diabetes. The medical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. Blood sugar is also called glucose. How does it occur? Blood sugar that stays high is the main problem of diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, high blood sugar happens because your body is not making insulin. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells. It is normally made by the pancreas. If you have type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar usually happens because the cells have become unable to use the insulin your body is making. In both cases high levels of sugar build up in the blood. Sometimes people with diabetes can have high blood sugar even if they are taking diabetes medicine. This can happen for many reasons but it always means that your diabetes is not in good control. Some reasons why your sugar might go too high are: skipping your diabetes medicine or not taking the right amount of medicine if you are using insulin: a problem with your insulin (for example, the wrong type or damage to the insulin because it has not been stored properly) if you are using an insulin pump: a problem with the pump (for example, the pump is turned off or the catheter has come out) taking medicines that make your blood sugar medicines work less well (steroids, hormones or water pills) eating or drinking too much (that is, taking in too many calories) not getting enough physical activity emotional or physical stress illness, including colds and flu, especially if there is fever infections, such as an abscessed tooth or urinary tract infection Even if you don’t have diabetes, you may have high blood sugar for a brief time after you eat a food very high in sugar. For exam Continue reading >>

What Is The Highest Blood Sugar Above Which It Is Dangerous?

What Is The Highest Blood Sugar Above Which It Is Dangerous?

There is no straight forward way to answer this question. If you are a type 1 diabetic, your blood sugar may sky rocket to 400 or 500 if you miss an insulin injection before eating, or if your insulin pump malfunctions, etc. If you realize it quickly and correct it with insulin, there is little to no problem. Blood sugars that are elevated for a prolonged period of time for a type 1 can lead to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis), which is life threatening and can certainly end in death if not treated. Prolonged elevated blood sugars can lead to dehydration, acidosis and electrolyte shifting. There are dangers associated with fixing these blood sugars too rapidly, and it’s best to go to a hospital where trained medical staff can monitor you. I have seen people come in to this hospital with DKA with glucose levels in the 300–700s. Blood sugars that are moderately elevated (150–250) won’t lead to immediate death and danger, but can cause long term damage of nerves and organs (kidneys, eyes, etc). Elevated blood sugars in an individual without diabetes is a different situation. If you are not diabetic and eat a ton of sugar, your blood glucose might be in the 200s immediately after eating, but your body will correct this and you will be FINE. *Also of note, if you have gestational diabetes, elevated sugars can cause issues with fetal development, so while it’s not too dangerous for the mother per se, it can have poor outcomes for the baby. Continue reading >>

How To Lower Your Blood Sugar When It's Really High

How To Lower Your Blood Sugar When It's Really High

​This article is written for type 2 diabetics who need help coming down from a very high blood sugar during a single, isolated high blood sugar event. If you want to try an stabilize your baseline, consider signing up for my Baseline Blood Sugar Challenge course. ​THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL MEDICAL ADVICE. If you're a type 2 diabetic and your blood sugar is high right now (greater than 300mg/dL for at least 6 hours), the first thing you should do is call your doctor. So, if you haven't called anyone for help yet, please stop reading this article and call your doctor. If your doctor is able to help, then you need not read on. Also, if you are having symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, stop reading this article and go to the hospital immediately. Diabetic Ketoacidosis can kill you if left untreated. But. If you're in a situation where your blood sugar has been high for an extended period of time, you could perhaps consider taking the following steps to solve your blood sugar problem. Disclaimer: This is friendly, non-medical advice from a random diabetic person you don't even know, which is a very (very) poor substitute for real, actual medical advice. Use at your own risk. First, you should try and lower your blood sugar without injectable insulin by completing the following steps: 1. Check your blood sugar. Write down the time and your blood sugar level. 2. Drink water (this doesn't actually lower blood sugar, but it helps flush sugar and ketones from your body, if you have them). Continue drinking water, but please don't make yourself sick. 3. Move. As in, walk. Walk around the block or walk in place or haul your ass up and down the stairs for 30-60 minutes. Walking helps your cells become less insulin resistant, which is what you need right now. Do N Continue reading >>

What Can Happen To My Body If My Sugar Is Higher Than 600 For Many Hours?

What Can Happen To My Body If My Sugar Is Higher Than 600 For Many Hours?

Dangerously high blood sugar levels cause ketoacidosis. A blood sugar level over 600 for many hours is considered extremely dangerous and should be treated at a hospital. Hyperglycemia is the medical term for elevated blood sugar levels. According to the American Diabetes Association, blood sugars more than 240 can cause ketoacidosis – a condition where the body starts using fat for energy. Ketoacidosis can lead to coma and death. Video of the Day Ketones And High Blood Sugar When blood sugar levels are high for prolonged periods of time and the body starts using fat for energy, toxic ketones are produced. The presence of ketones can be measured in the urine. They are the acid byproduct of fat breakdown. Diabetes is the most common cause of high blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia can also be caused by acute pancreatitis. Early symptoms include frequent urination that leads to dehydration and excessive thirst. Blood sugar more than 600 for many hours could then lead to difficulty breathing, weakness, confusion and decreased level of consciousness. Blood sugar levels become dangerously high when the body does not have enough insulin, which is produced in the pancreas. When ketones develop in the body, the liver produces more glucose to correct the problem, but without insulin, blood sugar levels continue to rise. For patients diagnosed with diabetes, ketoacidosis can develop from missed insulin doses, not enough insulin, infection, trauma or other acute illness. Prolonged high blood sugar levels can cause swelling in the brain – cerebral edema. Children are more susceptible, but adult cases have been documented, according to Elliot J. Crane, MD, Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology, Stanford University Medical Center. Other complications include organ damage fr Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia: Treat It Early

Hyperglycemia: Treat It Early

Hyperglycemia is when your blood glucose level goes too high; it is high blood sugar. Part of managing diabetes (either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) on a daily basis is learning how to avoid hyperglycemia. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia early is helpful. If your blood sugar shoots up too high, it can be dangerous—and it can possibly land you in the hospital, especially if it leads to diabetic ketoacidosis. Also, if your blood sugar is continually in the high range, your likelihood of developing long-term diabetes complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease rises dramatically. So it is important to detect when your blood glucose reaches unacceptable levels. Early Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia The best defensive tactic for identifying elevated blood glucose is testing with a glucose meter. Your doctor will advise you how frequently you should test and what levels you should be aiming for. However, your body can also let you know when there is too much glucose circulating in your blood. It may prompt you with: thirst dry mouth blurry vision fatigue If you experience these symptoms, check your blood glucose right away. Hyperglycemia Treatments If your blood glucose is high (based on the target levels your doctor said you should be aiming for), it is time to act. Your physician and diabetes educator have likely taught you how to treat high blood glucose levels—how to bring them back to a target range. Some possible ideas for treating hyperglycemia: Exercise: Exercise can help your body use the extra glucose, whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. But please note, if your blood glucose level is above 250 mg/dL and you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to check for ketones before exerci Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugars (ketoacidosis)

High Blood Sugars (ketoacidosis)

Ketoacidosis And Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome Severe high blood sugars, ketosis (the presence of ketones prior to acidification of the blood), and ketoacidosis (DKA) are serious and potentially life-threatening medical problems which can occur in diabetes. High blood sugars become life-threatening in Type 1 or long-term Type 2 diabetes only when that person does not receive enough insulin from injections or an insulin pump. This can be caused by skipping insulin or not receiving enough insulin when large amounts are required due to an infection or other major stress. Ketoacidosis surprisingly occurs almost as often in Type 2 diabetes as it does in Type 1. However, people with Type 2 diabetes also encounter another dangerous condition called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, which is roughly translated as thick blood due to very high blood sugars. Here, coma and death can occur simply because the blood sugar is so high. The blood will have ketones at higher levels but does not become acidotic. HHS usually occurs with blood sugar readings above 700 mg/dl (40 mmol) as the brain and other functions begin to shut down. When insulin levels are low, the body cannot use glucose present at high levels in the blood. The body then starts burning excessive amounts of fat which causes the blood to become acidic as excess ketone byproducts are produced. Even though the blood pH which measures acidity only drops from its normal level of 7.4 down to 7.1 or 7.0, this small drop is enough to inactivate enzymes that depend on a precise acid-base balance to operate. High blood sugars and ketoacidosis can be triggered by: not taking insulin severe infection severe illness bad insulin In Type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis often occurs under the duress of an infection, and is also freque Continue reading >>

What Happens When Your Sugar Drops To A Dangerous Level In Your Body?

What Happens When Your Sugar Drops To A Dangerous Level In Your Body?

Effects of Severe Hypoglycemia Without emergency treatment, prolonged severe hypoglycemia results in permanent brain damage and irreversible cardiac problems, especially if you already have heart disease. Hypoglycemia causes weakness, tremors, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. Serious injuries can result from loss of consciousness while driving or falling down stairs, according to Joslin Diabetes Center. Drug-induced hypoglycemia is often responsible for falls that cause serious injuries in the elderly who take diabetes medications, such as chlorpropamide, reports the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. Because many health conditions have similar symptoms, do not ignore recurring symptoms of hypoglycemia, whether mild or severe, as they can be a sign of a serious, undiagnosed medical condition. Food, Exercise and Medications Affect Blood-Sugar Levels Too little food, strenuous exercise that burns large amounts of sugar, caffeine or excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia. Medications prescribed to treat heart problems or high blood pressure, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme agents, also called ACE inhibitors, may mask symptoms of low blood sugar, reports the University of Michigan Health System. Medications, such as quinolones, antibiotics prescribed to treat urinary tract infections, can cause hypoglycemia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Diseases That Cause Hypoglycemia Diseases that cause your pancreas, liver, kidneys or other organs to malfunction, or glandular problems, such as underactive thyroid, may also cause a drop in blood-sugar levels. Other causes of hypoglycemia include inherited metabolic abnormalities and autoimmune disorders. Normal Blood Sugar Levels The Joslin Diabetes Center provides th Continue reading >>

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency?

What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar Levels, And What Blood Sugar Level Constitutes A True Emergency?

Question:What is the normal range for blood sugar levels, and what blood sugar level constitutes a true emergency? Answer:Now, in a normal individual we measure blood sugar under different circumstances. What we call fasting blood sugar or blood glucose levels is usually done six to eight hours after the last meal. So it's most commonly done before breakfast in the morning; and the normal range there is 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter. Now when you eat a meal, blood sugar generally rises and in a normal individual it usually does not get above a 135 to 140 milligrams per deciliter. So there is a fairly narrow range of blood sugar throughout the entire day. Now in our diabetic patients we see both low blood sugar levels that we call hypoglycemia, or elevated blood sugars, hyperglycemia. Now, if the blood sugar drops below about 60 or 65 milligrams per deciliter, people will generally get symptoms, which are some shakiness, feeling of hunger, maybe a little racing of the heart and they will usually be trenchant or if they eat something, it goes away right away. But if blood sugar drops below 50 and can get down as low as 40 or 30 or even 20, then there is a progressive loss of mental function and eventually unconsciousness and seizures. And of course that is very dangerous and a medical emergency. On the other side, if blood sugar gets up above 180 to 200, then it exceeds the capacity of the kidneys to reabsorb the glucose and we begin to spill glucose into the urine. And if it gets way up high, up in the 400s or even 500s, it can be associated with some alteration in mental function. And in this situation, if it persists for a long time, we can actually see mental changes as well. So either too low or very exceedingly high can cause changes in mental function. Next: W Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) In Diabetes

High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) In Diabetes

What is high blood sugar? High blood sugar means that the level of sugar in your blood is higher than recommended for you. If you don’t keep your blood sugar at a normal, healthy level most of the time, you will increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney problems, and loss of vision. The medical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. Blood sugar is also called blood glucose. What is the cause? Blood sugar that stays high is the main problem of diabetes. Your body breaks down some of the foods you eat into sugar. Normally the hormone insulin moves this sugar into your cells, where your body uses it for energy. In diabetes the insulin is not moving the sugar into the cells, so it builds up in the bloodstream and starts to cause problems. Sometimes you may have high blood sugar even though you are taking diabetes medicine. This can happen for many reasons but it always means that your diabetes is not in good control. Some reasons why your sugar might go too high are: Skipping your diabetes medicine Not taking the right amount of diabetes medicine Taking certain medicines that increase your blood sugar or make your blood sugar medicines work less well Taking in too many calories by eating large portions of food, choosing too many high-calorie foods, or drinking too many high-sugar beverages Eating too many carbohydrates, such as foods made mainly with sugar, white flour (in bread, biscuits, pancakes, for example), white potatoes, or white rice Not getting enough physical activity (exercise lowers your blood sugar) Having increased emotional or physical stress Being sick, including colds, flu, an infected tooth, or a urinary tract infection, especially if you have a fever If you are using insulin, having a problem with your insulin (for examp Continue reading >>

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