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What Do You Do If Your Blood Sugar Is High

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How to bring down high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)

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When To Go To The Er

High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.

This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.

DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.

Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:

  • ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
  • stomach pain

High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.

Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.

Summary

High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.

Low Blood Glucose: Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia can occur when blood glucose drops below normal levels or drops too quickly. Your blood glucose level is too low if it is under 70 mg/dL.

Hypoglycemia can be caused by:

  • A combination of these factors
  • Being more active than usual
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating at the wrong time for the medications you take
  • Skipping or not finishing meals or snacks
  • Taking too much diabetes medication

You can have hypoglycemia without any symptoms. That makes it important to check your blood glucose levels regularly. When hypoglycemia does cause symptoms, they can include:

  • Being sweaty

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Causes Related To Lifestyle

How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose (Lower High Blood Sugar ...

Physical inactivity

Exercising prompts your body to burn more energy than usual, and, as a result, consume more glucose. Maintaining a low level of physical activity, on the other hand, means more glucose will remain in the bloodstream. This raises your overall blood glucose values in the process.

Exercise also makes our body more insulin sensitive, which means we will require less insulin for the rest of the day to control glucose levels.

Stress

Part of the bodyâs fight-or-flight response to stress is to produce additional glucose. Another facet of that response is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can reduce the bodyâs sensitivity to insulin. As a result, blood glucose levels may also increase.

Poor sleep

A lack of quality sleep can inhibit how much insulin your body can release. It can also cause the production of cortisol, which makes it harder for insulin to work. When your bodyâs insulin cannot properly metabolize the glucose in your blood, the glucose remains there and your glucose levels rise.

Get better insight into your glucose levels

Want to gain a better understanding of how your body responds to glucose? Try monitoring your glucose levels in real time with the Nutrisense Continuous Glucose Health Program.

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Choose Low Glycemic Index Foods

The glycemic index measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise. Research shows that following a low glycemic index diet decreases fasting blood sugar levels.

Low glycemic index foods are those that score below 55 on the glycemic index. Examples of low glycemic foods include:

  • sweet potatoes

Problems Caused By High Blood Sugar

It’s not usually a serious problem if your blood sugar is sometimes slightly high for a short time.

But high blood sugar can cause serious problems if it stays high for a long time or gets to a very high level.

It can lead to:

If you have high blood sugar, your doctor or care team may ask you to test your blood or pee to check for ketones. A high level of ketones is a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.

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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar

Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.

What To Do When Blood Sugar Is High

7 Alarming Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Too High

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 34.2 million Americans, or 10.5 percent of the population has diabetes of that number, 26.8 million are diagnosed and 7.3 million are undiagnosed.

For these individuals, hyperglycemia is a major concern that must be carefully monitored and avoided.

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a term that describes a condition in which the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream gets too high.

When people have high blood sugar levels regularly, the condition can cause damage to the organs, blood vessels, and nerves, as well as other health effects.

If youre wondering what to do when blood sugar is high, there are several strategies that can help bring your blood sugar down quickly in an emergency and prevent spikes in blood sugar over time.

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Treating Low Blood Sugar

You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:

  • Skip or delay a meal or snack
  • Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
  • Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates

Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Weakness and/or fatigue

If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :

  • Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
  • Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
  • If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.

How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia

  • Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
  • Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dont smoke.
  • Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2020.

References

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What If It Goes Untreated

Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.

When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath

Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.

Follow Your Diabetes Meal Plan

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Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team. Following a meal plan will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Choose fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, lean meats, and nonfat or low-fat milk and cheese. Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Learn more about eating, diet, and nutrition with diabetes.

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You Notice Tingling And Numbness In Your Hands Or Feet

As mentioned, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause nerve damage, also known as diabetic neuropathy. What you may notice is a tingling sensation or even numbness in your hands and feet. Some people experience pain in their hands and feet as well. Though neuropathy is most common in people who have had diabetes for a long time, it can occur in anyone with poorly controlled diabetes.

Main Symptoms Of High Blood Glucose

While an individual can have no noticeable symptoms and still have high blood glucose, knowing what kinds of symptoms tend to accompany high blood glucose helps us take the right action before things get worse. If for no other reason, keeping these markers of high blood glucose in mind can help you identify it more quickly in yourself.

The most common symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Increased cravings for carbs and sweets
  • âHangerâ
  • Poor energy levels or midday crashes
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    How Does Blood Sugar Level Work

    With a lack of nutrients and food that contain glucose, the blood sugar level will begin to decline. This is known as hypoglycemia.

    After blood sugar becomes low, the pancreas releases a peptide hormone called glucagon. When this happens, the glucose that is stored in the body for energy is instructed to release due to the liver. This causes the glucose to turn into glycogen, known as the glycogenesis process. This is what can help a body to regain energy as the readily stored glycogen, in the liver and muscles, will release into the body.

    On the other hand, the blood sugar can also rise and become too high which is known as hyperglycemia.

    When the body does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, blood sugar levels begin to increase. This is because glucose relies on the insulin hormone to help it absorb into the bloodstream. Usually, this occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or does not respond to insulin correctly, known as type 2 diabetes.

    Eating too many processed foods can also cause your blood sugar level to rise. If there is not enough insulin present in the body, too much bad food can cause your blood sugar level to build up.

    For those with a normal blood sugar level, this will be due to eating the right foods and your body being able to produce and respond to insulin.

    You may be wondering what exactly causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, so here is a roundup:

    Maintain A Healthy Weight

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    Losing weight helps control blood sugar levels. Being overweight is linked to increased incidents of diabetes and greater occurrences of insulin resistance.

    Studies show that reducing weight by even only 7 percent can reduce the chances of developing diabetes by 58 percent.

    It is important to note that a person does not need to achieve ideal body weight to benefit from losing 1020 pounds and keeping it off. Doing so will also improve cholesterol, reduce the risk of complications, and improve a persons general sense of well-being.

    Eating a healthful diet full of fruits and vegetables and getting enough exercise can help a person lose weight or maintain their currently healthy weight.

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    Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

    When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.

    Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.

    If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:

    How Do I Treat Hyperglycemia

    You can often lower your blood glucose level by exercising. However, if your blood glucose is above 240 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, do not exercise.

    Exercising when ketones are present may make your blood glucose level go even higher. You’ll need to work with your doctor to find the safest way for you to lower your blood glucose level.

    Cutting down on the amount of food you eat might also help. Work with your dietitian to make changes in your meal plan. If exercise and changes in your diet don’t work, your doctor may change the amount of your medication or insulin or possibly the timing of when you take it.

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    Eat Foods With A Low To Medium Gi Score

    Look for foods with a low to medium glycemic index score. These are foods that your body absorbs slowly and decrease spikes in blood sugar. Some people pair low and high GI foods in order to balance their blood sugar. Another way to think about foods that lower blood glucose are ones that do not provide fast energy but give you more energy over a longer period of time. Foods with a low glycemic index have many health benefits besides their effects on blood sugar, so eating a diet high in protein, fatty acids, and fiber will benefit your whole family, not just those actively trying to achieve glycemic control.

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    What Does High Blood Sugar Feel Like?

    Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

    High blood sugar is common in people with diabetes. It occurs when there is too much glucose in your blood and not enough insulin in your body. The quickest way to lower high blood sugar is an insulin injection.

    For those who are not prescribed insulin, exercise is your best option for bringing blood sugar levels down. Taking missed medication, drinking lots of water, and using stress-management tools can also help to lower blood sugar quickly.

    This article discusses the four best ways to lower your blood sugar quickly. It also explains what causes high blood sugar and warning signs that your blood sugar is dangerouly high.

    Verywell / Theresa Chiechi

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    Eat The Right Carbohydrates

    The two main kinds of carbohydrates simple and complex affect blood sugar levels differently.

    Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods, such as white bread, pasta, and candy. The body breaks these carbohydrates down into sugar very quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.

    Complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars that are linked together. Because the chemical makeup of these kinds of carbohydrates is complicated, it takes the body longer to break them down.

    As a result, sugar is released into the body more gradually, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rapidly rise after eating them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain oats and sweet potatoes.

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