Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but healthy lifestyle habits, taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education, and keeping appointments with your health care team can greatly reduce its impact on your life. 30.3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese. Types of Diabetes There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need t Continue reading >>
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How Are Hyperglycemia And Diabetes Connected?
The term used to describe high blood glucose or blood sugar is hyperglycemia. When we eat food, the carbohydrate in food breaks down into sugar and goes into the bloodstream. The pancreas releases insulin when this happens. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that "unlocks" the body's cells, allowing the sugar go from the blood and into the cells. The cells in the body use this sugar for energy. When the body does not make any or enough insulin, or when the cells are unable to use the insulin correctly, blood sugar levels go up. Contents of this article: Hyperglycemia and diabetes Hyperglycemia is common in people with diabetes. People with prediabetes are also at an increased risk. Prediabetes refers to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but are not as high as they are for diabetes. Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels two main ways. Either there is a lack of insulin, as is the case with type 1 diabetes, or the body doesn't respond properly to insulin. In prediabetes, it is usually due to the cells not responding correctly. In type 2 diabetes, it is usually a combination. Causes of hyperglycemia There are several causes of hyperglycemia that are related to diabetes: Though many causes are related to diabetes, there are additional factors that can contribute to hyperglycemia: Certain medications such as steroids Other pancreatic diseases Illness and stress can trigger hyperglycemia because the hormones that are produced to combat illness or stress can also cause blood sugar to rise. People do not have to have full-blown diabetes to develop hyperglycemia due to a severe illness. People with diabetes may need to take extra diabetes medication to keep their blood sugar levels stable during illness or stress. Symptoms of hyperglycemia Hyperglycemia Continue reading >>
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 Is Prediabetes? Prediabetes is a “pre-diagnosis” of diabetes—you can think of it as a warning sign. It’s when your blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough to be considered diabetes. Prediabetes is an indication that you could develop type 2 diabetes if you don’t make some lifestyle changes. But here's the good news: . Eating healthy food, losing weight and staying at a healthy weight, and being physically active can help you bring your blood glucose level back into the normal range. Diabetes develops very gradually, so when you’re in the prediabetes stage—when your blood glucose level is higher than it should be—you may not have any symptoms at all. You may, however, notice that: you’re hungrier than normal you’re losing weight, despite eating more you’re thirstier than normal you have to go to the bathroom more frequently you’re more tired than usual All of those are typical symptoms associated with diabetes, so if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you may notice them. Prediabetes develops when your body begins to have trouble using the hormone insulin. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose—what your body uses for energy—into the cells via the bloodstream. In pre-diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it doesn’t use it well (that’s called insulin resistance). If you don’t have enough insulin or if you’re insulin resistant, you can build up too much glucose in your blood, leading to a higher-than-normal blood glucose level and perhaps prediabetes. Researchers aren’t sure what exactly causes the insulin process to go awry in some people. There are several risk factors, though, that make it more likely that you’ll develop pre-diabetes. These are Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with the opposite disorder, hypoglycemia. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar (also spelled hyperglycaemia or hyperglycæmia) is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a blood sugar level higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15–20 mmol/l (~250–300 mg/dl). A subject with a consistent range between ~5.6 and ~7 mmol/l (100–126 mg/dl) (American Diabetes Association guidelines) is considered slightly hyperglycemic, while above 7 mmol/l (126 mg/dl) is generally held to have diabetes. For diabetics, glucose levels that are considered to be too hyperglycemic can vary from person to person, mainly due to the person's renal threshold of glucose and overall glucose tolerance. On average however, chronic levels above 10–12 mmol/L (180–216 mg/dL) can produce noticeable organ damage over time. Signs and symptoms The degree of hyperglycemia can change over time depending on the metabolic cause, for example, impaired glucose tolerance or fasting glucose, and it can depend on treatment. Temporary hyperglycemia is often benign and asymptomatic. Blood glucose levels can rise well above normal and cause pathological and functional changes for significant periods without producing any permanent effects or symptoms.  During this asymptomatic period, an abnormality in carbohydrate metabolism can occur which can be tested by measuring plasma glucose.  However, chronic hyperglycemia at above normal levels can produce a very wide variety of serious complications over a period of years, including kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, damage to the retina or damage to feet and legs. Diabetic n Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar And Diabetes
Blood sugar control is at the center of any diabetes treatment plan. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is a major concern, and can affect people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes . There are two main kinds: Fasting hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that's higher than 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after not eating or drinking for at least 8 hours. Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that's higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you eat. People without diabetes rarely have blood sugar levels over 140 mg/dL after a meal, unless it’s really large. Frequent or ongoing high blood sugar can cause damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs. It can also lead to other serious conditions. People with type 1 diabetes are prone to a build-up of acids in the blood called ketoacidosis. If you have type 2 diabetes or if you’re at risk for it, extremely high blood sugar can lead to a potentially deadly condition in which your body can’t process sugar. It's called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). You’ll pee more often at first, and then less often later on, but your urine may become dark and you could get severely dehydrated. It's important to treat symptoms of high blood sugar right away to help prevent complications. Your blood sugar may rise if you: Eat too many grams of carbohydrates for the amount of insulin you took, or eat too many carbs in general Have an infection Are ill Are under stress Become inactive or exercise less than usual Take part in strenuous physical activity, especially when your blood sugar levels are high and insulin levels are low Early signs include: Increased thirst Trouble concentrating Frequent peeing Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) Blood sugar more than 180 mg/dL Ongoing high blood sugar Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
Hyperglycemia can occur when blood sugar levels are too high. People develop hyperglycemia if their diabetes is not treated properly. Hypoglycemia sets in when blood sugar levels are too low. It is usually a side effect of treatment with blood-sugar-lowering medication. Diabetes is a metabolic disease with far-reaching health consequences. In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is released into the bloodstream, or the insulin cannot be used properly. In type 1 diabetes, the body only produces very little insulin, or none at all. We need insulin to live. Without it, sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood because it cannot be taken out and used by the body. Very high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, leads to a number of symptoms. If blood sugar levels are too low, it is called hypoglycemia. When is blood sugar considered to be too high or too low? Slight fluctuations in blood sugar levels are completely normal and also happen on a daily basis in people who do not have diabetes. Between around 60 and 140 milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) is considered to be healthy. This is equivalent to between 3.3 and 7.8 mmol/L. “Millimole per liter” (mmol/L) is the international unit for measuring blood sugar. It indicates the concentration of a certain substance per liter. If type 1 diabetes is left untreated, people’s blood sugar levels can get very high, even exceeding 27.8 mmol/L (500 mg/dL). Such high levels are rather uncommon for type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar concentrations below 3.3 mmol/L (60 mg/dL) are considered to be too low. As you can see in the illustration below, there are no clear-cut borders between the normal range of blood sugar and high and low blood sugar. Signs of hyperglycemia People with type 2 diabetes do not always realize that their Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia And Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) are too high, it's called hyperglycemia. Glucose is a sugar that comes from foods, and is formed and stored inside the body. It's the main source of energy for the body's cells and is carried to each through the bloodstream. But even though we need glucose for energy, too much glucose in the blood can be unhealthy. Hyperglycemia is the hallmark of diabetes — it happens 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 to be used for energy. In people who have developed diabetes, glucose builds up in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia. If it's not treated, hyperglycemia can cause serious health problems. Too much sugar in the bloodstream for long periods of time can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. And, too much sugar in the bloodstream can cause other types of damage to body tissues, 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, they can happen in adulthood in some people, particularly if they haven't managed or controlled their diabetes properly. Blood sugar levels are considered high when they're above someone's target range. The diabetes health care team will let you know what your child's target blood sugar levels are, which will vary based on factors like your child's age. A major goal in controlling diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels as close to the desired range as possible. It's a three-way balancing act of: All of these need to be b Continue reading >>
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 >>
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. A person with pre-diabetes is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes . However, by making some lifestyle changes, a person with pre-diabetes can reduce his or her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Most people with pre-diabetes have no symptoms. Because of this, many doctors recommend that overweight people age 45 or older be tested for pre-diabetes. People under age 45 who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more, as well as some risk factors for pre-diabetes, should also be tested. In addition to the danger of developing diabetes, people with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. Insulin is a protein hormone that regulates the body's blood sugar levels. In pre-diabetes as in type 2 diabetes a person's body can't use insulin effectively. This means that glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood instead of being used by the body as fuel. Risk factors that increase a person's chances of developing pre-diabetes include: Having a history of gestational diabetes , or giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds Having low levels of "good" (HDL) blood cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels Ethnic background. People of certain races are more likely to get pre-diabetes, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders. How does my doctor tell if I have pre-diabetes? Tests that check the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood can help your doctor diagnose pre-diabetes. Two common tests include a fasting plasma glucose test and an oral glucose tolerance test. In the fasting plasma glucose test, the patient eats or drinks Continue reading >>
Can You Have Hypoglycemia Without Having Diabetes?
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when the sugar levels in your blood are too low. Many people think of hypoglycemia as something that only occurs in people with diabetes. However, it can also occur in people who don’t have diabetes. Hypoglycemia is different from hyperglycemia, which occurs when you have too much sugar in your bloodstream. Hypoglycemia can happen in people with diabetes if the body produces too much insulin. Insulin is a hormone that breaks down sugar so that you can use it for energy. You can also get hypoglycemia if you have diabetes and you take too much insulin. If you don’t have diabetes, hypoglycemia can happen if your body can’t stabilize your blood sugar levels. It can also happen after meals if your body produces too much insulin. Hypoglycemia in people who don’t have diabetes is less common than hypoglycemia that occurs in people who have diabetes or related conditions. Here's what you need to know about hypoglycemia that occurs without diabetes. Everyone reacts differently to fluctuations in their blood glucose levels. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia may include: You may have hypoglycemia without having any symptoms. This is known as hypoglycemia unawareness. Hypoglycemia is either reactive or non-reactive. Each type has different causes: Reactive hypoglycemia Reactive hypoglycemia occurs within a few hours after a meal. An overproduction of insulin causes reactive hypoglycemia. Having reactive hypoglycemia may mean that you’re at risk for developing diabetes. Non-reactive hypoglycemia Non-reactive hypoglycemia isn't necessarily related to meals and may be due to an underlying disease. Causes of non-reactive, or fasting, hypoglycemia can include: some medications, like those used in adults and children with kidney failure any d Continue reading >>
Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)
A A A High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) Whenever the glucose (sugar) level in one's blood rises high temporarily, this condition is known as hyperglycemia. The opposite condition, low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia. Glucose comes from most foods, and the body uses other chemicals to create glucose in the liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose (blood sugar) to all the cells in the body. To carry glucose into the cells as an energy supply, cells need help from insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, an organ near the stomach. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood, based upon the blood sugar level. Insulin helps move glucose from digested food into cells. Sometimes, the body stops making insulin (as in type 1 diabetes), or the insulin does not work properly (as in type 2 diabetes). In diabetic patients, glucose does not enter the cells sufficiently, thus staying in the blood and creating high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can be measured in seconds by using a blood glucose meter, also known as a glucometer. A tiny drop of blood from the finger or forearm is placed on a test strip and inserted into the glucometer. The blood sugar (or glucose) level is displayed digitally within seconds. Blood glucose levels vary widely throughout the day and night in people with diabetes. Ideally, blood glucose levels range from 90 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and below 180 mg/dL within 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Adolescents and adults with diabetes strive to keep their blood sugar levels within a controlled range, usually 80-150 mg/dL before meals. Doctors and diabetes health educators guide each patient to determine their optimal range of blood glucose control. When blood sugar levels remain high for several hours, dehydration and more serious complicat Continue reading >>
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 conditionsdiabetic 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. 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 brings on DKA, it may slip by unnoticed, since its symptoms can mimic the flu (aches, vomiting, etc.). In fact, people with type 1 diabetes are often seeking help for the flu-like symptoms of DKA when they first receive their diagnosis. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include: DKA is a medical emergency, and requires prompt and immediate treatment. A simple over-the-counter urine dipstick test (e.g., Ketostix) can check for ketones; anyone who has blood glucose levels above 240 mg/dl (13.3 mmol/l) should test their urine for ketones. There is also at least one glucose meter on the market that tests blood ketone levels. Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia In Diabetes
Print Overview High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) affects people who have diabetes. Several factors can contribute to hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, including food and physical activity choices, illness, nondiabetes medications, or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. It's important to treat hyperglycemia, because if left untreated, hyperglycemia can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as a diabetic coma. In the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. Symptoms Hyperglycemia doesn't cause symptoms until glucose values are significantly elevated — above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 11 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Symptoms of hyperglycemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. However, some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugars. Early signs and symptoms Recognizing early symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you treat the condition promptly. Watch for: Frequent urination Increased thirst Blurred vision Fatigue Headache Later signs and symptoms If hyperglycemia goes untreated, it can cause toxic acids (ketones) to build up in your blood and urine (ketoacidosis). Signs and symptoms include: Fruity-smelling breath Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Dry mouth Weakness Confusion Coma Abdominal pain When to see a doctor Call 911 or emergency medical assistance if: You're sick and can't keep any food or fluids down, and Your blood glucose levels are persistently above 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) and you have ketones in your urine Make an appointment with your Continue reading >>
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 >>
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