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How High Can Blood Sugar Go Before It Is Dangerous

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Proven Tips & Strategies To Bring High Blood Sugar Down (quickly)

Untreated, high blood sugar can cause many problems and future complications. Recognizing signs of high blood sugar levels and knowing how to lower them can help you prevent these complications and increase the quality and length of your life. Topics covered (click to jump to specific section) High blood sugar level symptoms and signs Symptoms of high blood sugar include: Increased thirst Tired all the time Irritability Increased hunger Urinating a lot Dry mouth Blurred vision Severe high blood sugar can lead to nausea and fruity smelling breath The signs and symptoms for high blood sugar are the same for both type 1 and type 2. Signs usually show up quicker in those who have type 1 because of the nature of their diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to stop making insulin altogether. Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors when the body eventually stops responding to insulin, which causes the sugar to increase slowly. People with type 2 can live longer without any symptoms creeping because their body is still making enough insulin to help control it a little bit. What causes the blood sugar levels go to high? Our bodies need sugar to make energy for the cells. Without it, we cannot do basic functions. When we eat foods with glucose, insulin pairs with it to allow it to enter into the cell wall. If the insulin is not there, then the glucose molecule can’t get through the wall and cannot be used. The extra glucose hangs out in the bloodstream which is literally high blood sugar. The lack of insulin can be caused by two different things. First, you can have decreased insulin resistance which means that your insulin doesn’t react the way that it is supposed to. It doesn’t partner with glucose to be used as fuel. Secondly, you can have no insuli Continue reading >>

High And Low Blood Sugar Levels & Symptoms

High And Low Blood Sugar Levels & Symptoms

It is important for people with diabetes to know the symptoms of high and low sugar levels so appropriate action can be taken to prevent health problems occurring in either the short or long term. In the case of low blood glucose levels, it is generally only people on certain medications such as insulin and tablets which directly stimulate insulin production that need to be actively aware of low blood sugar symptoms. Symptoms of high sugar levels (hyperglycemia) One or more of the following symptoms are common when blood glucose levels are too high: Increased urination Increased thirst Increased hunger Fatigue Dry mouth Dry eyes Blurred vision If sugar levels are regularly too high for a number of days or weeks, the following symptoms may also be recognised: Loss of weight, particularly muscle mass Regular urinary tract infections (UTIs) Regular episodes of thrush (yeast infections) Note that in people that are overweight, loss of weight may sometimes be more recognisable as a loss of muscle mass. High blood sugar can be uncomfortable and can increase the risk of developing long term complications if extended periods of hyperglycemia become a regular occurrence. Read more about hyperglycemia. Symptoms of low sugar levels (hypoglycemia) One or more of the following symptoms may be recognised if blood glucose levels become too low: Increased hunger Pale appearance Feeling weak Lethargy Faster heart rate Sweating Blurred vision Dizzy spells Reduced co-ordination Impaired ability to make decisions Hypoglycemia, or hypos for short, can be dangerous for people on the following anti-diabetic medications: Insulin Sulphonylureas Prandial glucose regulators (glinides) People with diabetes on these medications need to be able to spot the signs of low blood sugar levels quickly and 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 >>

What Is High Blood Sugar?

What Is High Blood Sugar?

Have you ever tried to fly a remote control airplane or helicopter? If you steer too sharply one way, your plane will crash into the ground. And if you go too far in the opposite direction, the plane will nose directly upward, making it difficult to control. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels (or blood glucose levels) is kind of like piloting that plane. To stay in the air and have the most fun, you have to keep blood sugar levels steady. Having a blood sugar level that's too high can make you feel lousy, and having it often can be unhealthy. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it's also formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (pronounced: hi-per-gly-SEE-me-uh) is the medical word for high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels happen when the body either can't make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can't respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). The body needs insulin so glucose in the blood can enter the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. Having too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can cause serious health problems if it's not treated. Hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes. These problems don't usually show up in kids or teens with diabetes who have had the disease for only a few years. However, these health problems can occur in adulthood in some Continue reading >>

Know The Symptoms Of A Diabetes Emergency

Know The Symptoms Of A Diabetes Emergency

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, there's a lot to learn. In addition to the day-to-day basics of diabetes management and treatment, there's learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of two potential diabetes-related conditions: hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These can occur at any time and need to be treated immediately to avoid a medical emergency. Causes of Hyperglycemia Your blood sugars can rise to dangerous levels when you haven't taken enough insulin (if you are type 1) or when your insulin receptors are not working as they should (with type 2). Perhaps you miscalculated the number of carbohydrates you ate at a meal, or you were under stress or had an illness. Each of these situations can lead to hyperglycemia. Symptoms That Need Attention If you have these symptoms please call your health care professional and/or go to the emergency room: Increased thirst increased urination Nausea/vomiting Deep and/or rapid breathing Abdominal pain Fruity smelling breath Loss of consciousness Another type of dangerous situation is called Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). This is defined as a dangerously high blood sugar that is >600 mg/dL. It is typically brought on either by an infection, such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection, or poor management of your blood sugar. If left untreated, it can result in coma and even death. Signs and symptoms include: extreme thirst confusion fever (usually over 101 degrees Fahrenheit) weakness or paralysis on one side of the body The best way to prevent HHNS is to take your medications as directed and to keep in contact with your healthcare team when your blood sugar is consistently >300 mg/dL. When to See a Doctor if your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl. Hyperglycemia can Continue reading >>

What Is Hyperglycemia?

What Is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia, a high level of sugar in the blood, is a hallmark of diabetes. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate over the course of a day: Levels are higher right after meals, as carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar), and lower after exercise, when glucose has been burned to fuel the activity. In someone who doesn't have diabetes, blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range. Between meals, the concentration of sugar in the blood ranges from about 60 to 100 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter). After meals it may reach 120 to 130 mg/dl, but rarely goes higher than 140 mg/dl. But if you have type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels can go much higher — to 200, 300, or even 400 mg/dl and beyond — and will go much higher unless you take the necessary steps to bring them down. Hyperglycemia Symptoms High blood sugar doesn't always produce symptoms, so it's important to check your blood sugar regularly, as indicated by your doctor. Hyperglycemia symptoms include: Frequent urination Extreme thirst Feeling tired and weak Blurry vision Feeling hungry, even after eating Causes of Hyperglycemia If you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a treatment plan is put in place to lower blood sugar and keep it as close to the normal range as possible. But even after you start treatment, you may still develop hyperglycemia at times. When you have diabetes, it's almost impossible not to have hyperglycemia — and high blood sugar can happen for no identifiable reason. Some of the reasons blood sugar may go too high include: Missing prescribed medicines or taking medication at the wrong times or in the wrong amounts High food intake or larger consumptions of carbohydrate than expected or intended Lack of sleep Emotional stress Intense exercise Illness is another important — and Continue reading >>

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>

When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low

When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High Or Too Low

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar in the range your doctor has advised, it can be too high or too low. Blood sugar that is too high or too low can make you very sick. Here's how to handle these emergencies. What You Need to Know about High Blood Sugar If your blood sugar stays over 240, it is too high. High blood sugar usually comes on slowly. It happens when you don't have enough insulin in your body. High blood sugar can happen if you miss taking your diabetes medicine, eat too much, or don't get enough exercise. Sometimes, medicines you take for other problems may cause high blood sugar. Be sure to tell your doctor about other medicines you take. This chart shows the ranges of blood sugar. Having an infection or being sick or under stress can also make your blood sugar too high. That is why it is very important to test your blood and keep taking your medicine (insulin or diabetes pills) when you have an infection or are sick. Your blood sugar may be too high if you are very thirsty and tired, have blurry vision, are losing weight fast, and have to go to the bathroom often. Very high blood sugar may make you feel sick to your stomach, faint, or throw up. It can cause you to lose too much fluid from your body. Testing your blood sugar often, especially when you are sick, will warn you that your blood sugar may be rising too high. If your blood sugar stays over 300 when you check it two times in a row, call your doctor. You may need a change in your insulin shots or diabetes pills, or a change in your meal plan. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and sa 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 >>

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 >>

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

15 Ways High Blood Sugar Affects Your Body

High blood sugar symptoms Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrong—and cells aren't absorbing the glucose—the resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes. An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes don’t make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesn’t use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. That’s why it’s so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. “If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications,” says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Here’s a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. No symptoms at all Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That's why it’s a good idea to get your blood sugar test 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 >>

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 >>

When You Need To Go To The Emergency Room With High Blood Sugars

When You Need To Go To The Emergency Room With High Blood Sugars

My uncle, like all his family, was a bit of a cheapskate. He hated to spend money unless it was absolutely necessary. He was thin and active, having only recently given up a career as a singer and dancer performing weekly on a nationally televised variety show. So when he felt unwell one weekend night, he turned down his wife's suggestion that she drive him to the emergency room and told her he'd wait til Monday when he could see his family doctor. Why waste all that money on an ER visit that was probably unnecessary? As it turned out, he didn't need to see his doctor on Monday. He died that night. He was a few years younger than I am now and the fatal heart attack he experienced was the first symptom he had of our family's odd form of inherited diabetes. But this is why, even though I've inherited the family "cheap" gene, if there's any possibility something dangerous is going on, I head for the ER. Usually it is a waste of money. I was in a small car accident a few weeks ago that left me with nerve pain running up and down my arms and legs. I sat for four hours at our local ER, saw the doctor for five minutes, and was sent home. The diagnosis, whiplash. The treatment, wait and see if it gets worse. The bill? Over $900. I went to the ER because I'd called my family doctor's office and they told me to. Whiplash usually resolves on its own, but occasionally it can cause swelling in your neck that can kill you. I'm not equipped to judge what kind I had, and unlike my uncle, I wasn't about to gamble. So with this in mind, you can understand my reaction when a stranger contacted me recently, after reading my web page, and told me that his blood sugar, which had been normal until very recently, was testing in the 500s on his meter except when his meter wasn't able to give hi 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 >>

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