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What Happens When Your Blood Sugar Rises

High Blood Sugar Symptoms

High Blood Sugar Symptoms

If you’ve had diabetes for any length of time at all, you’ve probably seen lists of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose dozens of times. Doctors and diabetes educators hand them out. Hundreds of websites reprint them. Most diabetes books list them. You likely know some of the items on the list by heart: thirst, frequent urination, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts, and more. But have you ever stopped to wonder why these symptoms occur? How does high blood glucose cause frequent urination, make your vision go blurry, or cause all of those other things to happen? Here are some answers to explain what’s going on in your body when you have high blood glucose. Setting the stage for high blood glucose High blood glucose (called hyperglycemia by medical professionals) is the defining characteristic of all types of diabetes. It happens when the body can no longer maintain a normal blood glucose level, either because the pancreas is no longer making enough insulin, or because the body’s cells have become so resistant to insulin that the pancreas cannot keep up, and glucose is accumulating in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells. What is high blood sugar? Blood glucose is commonly considered too high if it is higher than 130 mg/dl before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dl two hours after the first bite of a meal. However, most of the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose don’t appear until the blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl. Some of the symptoms have a rapid onset, while others require a long period of high blood glucose to set in. It’s important to note that individuals differ in their sensitivity to the effects of high blood glucose: Some people feel symptoms more quickly or more strongly than others. But each sign or sympt 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 >>

6 Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

6 Things To Do If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

Grapefruit also has a low glycemic index (GI), around 25, which means it doesn't raise blood sugar as quickly or as much as high-GI foods like white bagel (72) or even a banana (48) or watermelon (72). (The highest GI score is 100.) A 2006 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found that people who ate grapefruit (juice or half a fruit) before a meal had a lower spike in insulin two hours later than those taking a placebo, and fresh grapefruit was associated with less insulin resistance. All 91 patients in the 12-week study were obese, but they did not necessarily have type 2 diabetes. While the results are promising in those without diabetes, blood-sugar reactions to food can vary widely, so if you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, test your blood sugar after eating grapefruit to make sure it can be part of your healthy eating plan. Getty Images 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-bla Continue reading >>

Diabetic Coma

Diabetic Coma

Print Overview A diabetic coma is a life-threatening diabetes complication that causes unconsciousness. If you have diabetes, dangerously high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can lead to a diabetic coma. If you lapse into a diabetic coma, you're alive — but you can't awaken or respond purposefully to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. Left untreated, a diabetic coma can be fatal. The prospect of a diabetic coma is scary, but fortunately you can take steps to help prevent it. Start by following your diabetes treatment plan. Symptoms Before developing a diabetic coma, you'll usually experience signs and symptoms of high blood sugar or low blood sugar. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) If your blood sugar level is too high, you may experience: Increased thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Stomach pain Fruity breath odor A very dry mouth A rapid heartbeat Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) Signs and symptoms of a low blood sugar level may include: Shakiness or nervousness Anxiety Fatigue Weakness Sweating Hunger Nausea Dizziness or light-headedness Difficulty speaking Confusion Some people, especially those who've had diabetes for a long time, develop a condition known as hypoglycemia unawareness and won't have the warning signs that signal a drop in blood sugar. If you experience any symptoms of high or low blood sugar, test your blood sugar and follow your diabetes treatment plan based on the test results. If you don't start to feel better quickly, or you start to feel worse, call for emergency help. When to see a doctor A diabetic coma is a medical emergency. If you feel extreme high or low blood sugar signs or symptoms and think you might pass out, call 911 or your local emergency nu Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes High Blood Sugar Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes High Blood Sugar Symptoms

Wondering about the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia—or high blood sugar? High blood sugar occurs in type 1 diabetes when the body has too much glucose/food or not enough insulin. Having hyperglycemia symptoms doesn’t immediately put you in danger but regular high blood-sugar levels over time does. That’s because they can lead to complications including blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation. What are the symptoms of high blood sugar? – Thirst – Frequent urination – Stomach pain – Blurry vision – Increased Hunger Other signs of hyperglycemia With high blood sugar, you may also experience drowsiness, exhaustion, nausea or vomiting, confusion, fruity or sweet-smelling breath, impaired concentration and sweating. And, having very high blood-glucose levels for an extended period can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA happens when the body starts to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This releases toxic acids called ketones that build up in the blood and urine—and can lead to a diabetic coma. So if you’re experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, it’s important to get checked out by your doctor. The earlier high blood-sugar issues are treated, the better. Your support is more critical than ever Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar Basics

High Blood Sugar Basics

High blood sugar, called hyperglycemia, is one of the defining characteristics of diabetes. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, it means their blood sugar has been high, usually for a long period of time. There are two ways high blood sugar can be monitored: Self-tests using a glucose meter that measures your blood sugar at a specific moment The A1C test performed by your doctor, which shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months Over time, high blood sugar can lead to serious long-term health problems. The good news is that scientific studies have proven that control of blood sugar may help delay or even prevent diabetes complications – get started by learning more about the signs and causes of high blood sugar and tips to help prevent its development. Click here to test your knowledge about blood sugar. What happens when you have high blood sugar? Insulin is a hormone needed for proper control of blood sugar. Specifically, insulin helps move sugar from your blood into most of your body’s cells, where sugar is used for energy. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, and/or the insulin that the pancreas makes does not work the way that it should. As a result, sugar in the blood cannot enter most cells and the cells are unable to use this sugar for energy, while the liver makes too much sugar. This in turn, causes blood sugar levels to get too high, which can cause serious long-term health problems. High blood sugar symptoms When sugar levels become high, you may experience: Dry mouth, unusual thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Blurred vision Headaches Unintentional weight loss However, some patients with type 2 diabetes may have no symptoms. What should I do if I have symptoms? If you haven’t al Continue reading >>

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

When you have diabetes it is important to understand what might make your blood glucose level rise or fall so that you can take steps to stay on target. ••••• When you eat any type of carbohydrate (starches, fruits, milk, sugars etc.), your body breaks it down into simple sugars. These get absorbed into the blood stream and insulin helps remove them from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Without diabetes, our body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food eaten, when diabetes is present, tablets or insulin injections are required to help this process. Things that can make your blood glucose rise A meal or snack with a bigger portion of carbohydrates than usual Less activity than usual Side effects of some medications Infection, surgery or other illness Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods, or adolescence Stress Things that can make your blood glucose fall A meal or snack with a smaller portion of carbohydrates than usual Taking too much insulin or a dose increase of your diabetes tablets Extra physical activity Side effects of some medications Missing a meal or a snack Drinking alcohol 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 >>

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 >>

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

What Happens When Blood Sugar Drops?

Glucose regulation in the body is complex with contributions from many different systems. These multiple controls are designed to keep a steady supply of glucose to the brain. Brain metabolism depends primarily on glucose for fuel. If the amount of glucose supplied by the blood falls, the brain is one of the first organs affected. There are a number of mechanisms that tightly regulate (outside of a disease state) the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood stream. When there is a plentiful supply of glucose (such as after a carbohydrate-containing meal), glucose is absorbed from the intestine, and the level of blood glucose (sugar) rises. Glucose is removed from the blood stream by uptake into virtually all cell types, but most importantly into muscle and adipose (fat) tissue. This removal requires insulin. Insulin, which is released from the pancreas, acts to decrease the level of glucose in the blood by signalling these cells to pick up and store glucose. Insulin also inhibits breakdown of glycogen (glycogenolysis) and formation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (gluconeogenesis). The central nervous system can also sense glucose levels and act to affect the blood sugar levels, at least in part by regulating gluconeogenesis. The importance of an adequate supply of glucose to the brain is apparent from the number of nervous, hormonal and metabolic responses to a falling glucose level (1). Most of these are defensive or adaptive, tending to raise the blood sugar via Glycogenolysis - breaking down of glycogen, a polymer of glucose molecules, stored in the liver and muscle. If the blood sugar level falls too low the liver converts a storage of glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream, to prevent the person going into a diabetic coma, for a short per 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 >>

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

I get my first cup of coffee and sit on the sun deck with the birds singing. I feel as if I have not slept a wink, and my head aches. I could go back to bed and sleep all day, but work awaits. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but my body feels heavy, and stuck to the chair. It hurts to lift my arms. My blood sugar was 381 this morning. Again. I think about having to face the day at the office. Driving down the interstate, the lines are blurry. I know that if the DMV got wind of it, I might not be driving as high as my A1C had been. When I get to the office, I walk in with a dark fog feeling surrounding me, and take some deep breaths at my desk. As I begin to review the end of the month reports, the numbers get fuzzy, and I can’t concentrate on them. My 36 ounce water bottle with only a few sips left beads sweat on the desk, and it’s across the building to get to the bathroom. Sometimes it’s a race to get there in time. My body is taught and swollen, like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My blood sugar is a blue river of sticky blueberry filling as I roll down the hall toward the bathroom. I feel that if I had a needle, I could pop myself. That would surely be a mess. My skin is so dry and flaky that no amount of lotion will hydrate it. No amount of water can quench my thirst, and my mouth feels like the Sahara Desert. With one hand on the water cooler, and the other hand on the bathroom door, I guzzled down what I could until the feeling hit that I wasn’t going to be able to wait any longer. I was out of regular insulin, and I had taken my long acting insulin. I was not so patiently waiting for it to kick in. This morning was not starting out so well. I’d have to tackle the reports in my current brain fog. I did have a doctor’s appoin Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar

Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar

Topic Overview High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is most often seen in people who have diabetes that isn't well controlled. The symptoms of high blood sugar can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild high blood sugar If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than your target range (usually 11 mmol/L to 20 mmol/L, and 11 mmol/L to 14 mmol/L in children), you may have mild symptoms of high blood sugar. You may urinate more than usual if you are drinking plenty of liquids. Some people who have diabetes may not notice any symptoms when their blood sugar level is in this range. The main symptoms of high blood sugar are: Increased thirst. Increased urination. Weight loss. Fatigue. Increased appetite. Young children are unable to recognize symptoms of high blood sugar. Parents need to do a home blood sugar test on their child whenever they suspect high blood sugar. If you don't drink enough liquids to replace the fluids lost from high blood sugar levels, you can become dehydrated. Young children can become dehydrated very quickly. Symptoms of dehydration include: A dry mouth and increased thirst. Warm, dry skin. Moderate to severe high blood sugar If your blood sugar levels are consistently high (usually above 20 mmol/L in adults and above 14 mmol/L in children), you may have moderate to severe symptoms of high blood sugar. These symptoms include: Blurred vision. Extreme thirst. Light-headedness. Flushed, hot, dry skin. Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up. If your body produces little or no insulin (people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes), you also may have: Rapid, deep breathing. A fast heart rate and a weak pulse. A strong, fruity breath odour. Loss of appetite, belly pain, and/or vomiting. If your blood sugar levels continue to ri Continue reading >>

What Does It Mean To Have High Blood Sugar?

What Does It Mean To Have High Blood Sugar?

What is hyperglycemia? Have you ever felt like no matter how much water or juice you drink, it just isn’t enough? Does it seem like you spend more time running to the restroom than not? Are you frequently tired? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have high blood sugar. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, primarily affects people who have diabetes. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. It can also happen when your body is unable to absorb insulin properly or develops a resistance to insulin entirely. Hyperglycemia can also affect people who don’t have diabetes. Your blood sugar levels can spike when you’re ill or under stress. This occurs when the hormones that your body produces to fight off illness raise your blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels are consistently high and left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. These complications can involve problems with your vision, nerves, and cardiovascular system. You generally won’t experience any symptoms until your blood sugar levels are significantly elevated. These symptoms can develop over time, so you may not realize that something is wrong at first. Early symptoms can include: increased urinary frequency increased thirst blurred vision headaches fatigue The longer the condition remains untreated, the more serious symptoms can become. If left untreated, toxic acids can build up in your blood or urine. More serious signs and symptoms include: vomiting nausea dry mouth shortness of breath abdominal pain Your diet may cause you to have high blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes. Carbohydrate-heavy foods such as breads, rice, and pasta can raise your blood sugar. Your body breaks these foods down into sugar molecules during digestion. One of these Continue reading >>

How To Bring Down High Blood Sugar Levels

How To Bring Down High Blood Sugar Levels

Tweet Having high blood sugar levels can be discomforting and many people wish to know what they can do to help to bring down high blood glucose levels. We look at some of the options for lowering blood glucose in the short term. High blood sugar is commonly known as hyperglycemia. What are the signs of high blood sugar? The classic symptoms of high blood glucose levels are: Feeling very thirsty Needing to go the toilet often Having a dry mouth Feeling tired/lethargic Feeling uncomfortable and irritable Check your blood sugar If you have take medication that may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), it’s highly advisable to check your blood sugar levels before you try to bring your sugar levels down. This is just in case your blood sugar is normal or low, which can be the case in some situations. Testing of blood sugar before bringing your levels down is particularly important if you take insulin. When to call for medical advice It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions: Diabetic ketoacidosis - a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State - a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course. Correcting high blood sugar levels with insulin If you take insulin, one way to reduce blood sugar is to inject insulin. However, be careful as insulin can take 4 hours or longer to be fully absorbed, so you need to make sure you take into account how much insulin you may already have in your body that is yet t Continue reading >>

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