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What Does It Mean When Your Glucose Level Is High

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Diabetes Medication That Can Help You Control Your Blood Sugar

Why is my sugar high in the morning?

If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor will likely discuss medication options to help bring your blood sugar down. If you have prediabetes, on the other hand, youll probably rely on diet and lifestyle changes to help stabilize your numbers, though in some cases, you may need medication, Dodell says.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is treated with emergency insulin and fluids administered intravenously. But the goal with blood sugar control is to prevent this type of medical emergency from happening in the first place. If your blood glucose readings are consistently higher than usual, you may not be getting enough insulin. Talk to your doctor about adjusting your dosage. You should also tell them about any other prescription or over-the-counter medication you take, as these could affect your blood sugar, too. Corticosteroids for inflammation are just one example.

What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Physicians focus so much ondisease that we sometimes lose sight of whats healthy and normal. For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines tight control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl when measured two hours after a meal. In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl . What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels? The following numbers refer to average blood sugar levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab. Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood. Many, but not all, meters in 2010 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels. Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl Ranges of blood sugar for healthy non-diabetic adults: Fasting blood sugar: 7090 mg/dl One hour after a typical meal: 90125 mg/dl Two hours after a typical meal: 90110 mg/dl Five hours after a typical meal: 7090 mg/dl * Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women. What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes? According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists: Pre-diabetes: : fasting blood sugar 100125 mg/dl Pre-diabetes: : blood sugar 140199 mg/dl two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucoseContinue reading > >

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : When Hyperglycemia Becomes Severe For People With Type 2 Diabetes

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome is very rare, but you should be aware of it and know how to handle it if it occurs.

HHNS is when your blood glucose level goes way too highyou become extremely hyperglycemic. HHNS affects people with type 2 diabetes.

HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick, and elderly people are most likely to develop it.

It starts when your blood glucose level starts to climb: when that happens, your body will try to get rid of all the excess glucose through frequent urination. That dehydrates your body, and you’ll become very thirsty.

Unfortunately, when you’re sick, it’s sometimes more difficult to rehydrate your body. For example, it might be difficult to keep fluids down.

When you don’t rehydrate your body, the blood glucose level continues to climb, and it can eventually go so high that it could send you into a coma.

To avoid hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, you should keep close watch on your blood glucose level when you’re sick .

Talk to your health care professional about having a sick-day plan to follow that will help you avoid HHNS.

You should also be able to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of HHNS, which include:

  • Extremely high blood glucose level

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Urgent Advice: Call Your Care Team Immediately Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:

You think you have high blood sugar and:

  • you’re feeling sick, being sick or have stomach pain
  • you’re breathing more quickly than usual or your heart is beating faster than usual
  • you feel drowsy or are struggling to stay awake
  • your breath has a fruity smell
  • you feel confused or have difficulty concentrating
  • you have a high level of ketones in your blood or pee

These could be signs you’re becoming seriously unwell.

You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.

Page last reviewed: 26 May 2022 Next review due: 26 May 2025

A Few Final Notes On Keeping Blood Sugar Stable

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Taking an active, intentional approach to your blood sugar levels is crucial to your quality of life and overall health, ONeill says. Avoiding too-high or too-low blood sugar levels will help you avoid adverse symptoms and health complications, and staying within your target range can enable you to feel your best and do whatever you want to do in life, she says.

Test your blood sugar regularly, listen to your body, and dont ever hesitate to reach out to your doctor.

Additional reporting by Karen Appold.

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Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .

Engage With Your Blood Glucose Levels With Nutrisense

Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. Thatâs why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.

With Nutrisense, youâll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.

When you join the program, our team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists are available for additional support and guidance to help you reach your goals.

Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.

Find the right Nutrisense program to help you discover and reach your health potential.

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Causes Of High Blood Sugar

The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:

Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.

Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.

Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.

Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.

What Are The Signs Of High And Low Blood Sugar

Type 2 Diabetes: How can high glucose levels harm your body?

The symptoms vary depending on whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Find out how to spot the warning signs and stabilize your glucose.

One of the challenges of managing diabetes is maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. Even with diligence, some situations can cause high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, while others can bring on low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

After all, its not just carbohydrate intake that influences the amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream when you have type 2 diabetes. Emotional stress and certain medications can increase your blood sugar levels, and a boost in activity can cause it to drop, says Megan ONeill, CDCES, a medical science liaison for diabetes care at Abbott healthcare company in Monterey, California. Sometimes people experience a spike in their blood sugar early in the morning due to the dawn effect, a temporary surge of hormones that occurs as the body prepares to wake, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

For people with diabetes, managing blood glucose levels is especially important, ONeill says. Levels that are too low or high can result in complications that affect your kidneys, heart, and vision, reduce your quality of life, require expensive interventions, or even be fatal.

  • Between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals

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High Blood Sugar Levels

If you have diabetes, you can find out if your blood sugar level is high by having a blood sugar test.

You may have regular tests by your care team or GP surgery, or you may have tests you can do at home.

Types of diabetes test and high blood sugar levels.

Type of test High level
Test done by a health professional to check your blood sugar level over the last 2 or 3 months 48 mmol/mol or over
Test done by a health professional after not eating for a few hours Over 7 mmol/L
Home test done after waking up or before eating Over 7 mmol/L
Home test done at any other time Over 11 mmol/L

How Is High Blood Sugar Diagnosed

There are different kinds of blood tests that can diagnose hyperglycemia. These include:

  • Random blood glucose: this test reflects the blood sugar level at a given point in time. Normal values are generally between 70 and 125 mg/dL, as discussed earlier.
  • Fasting blood glucose: This is a measurement of blood sugar level taken in the early morning before eating or drinking anything since the night before. Normal fasting blood glucose levels are less than 100 mg/dL. Levels above 100 mg/dL up to 125 mg/dL suggest prediabetes, while levels of 126 mg/dL or above are diagnostic of diabetes.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test: this is a test that measures blood glucose levels at given time points after a dose of sugar is consumed. This test is most commonly used to diagnose gestational diabetes.
  • Glycohemoglobin A1c: is a measurement of glucose that is bound to red blood cells and provides an indication of blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

Read Also: What Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat

Tests For Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.

How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia

One Drop
  • 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.
  • 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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High Glucose: Understanding Physiology Levels Approaches To Measuring

High blood sugar means that your are on your way to diabetes or may already have it. However, the condition can be reversed. The earlier you take action the greater the chance to get back to healthy blood sugar levels.

Welcome to HighGlucose.org! On our website we address the issue of elevated blood glucose levels. Our purpose is to give you the understanding of sugar metabolism, measurement approaches and explain some physiological aspects. Understanding how things work in your body gives your a key to a better control of vital processes, improving your lifestyle and, possibly, putting your blood level within normal limits. Knowledge is your power and better management of your body processes, health and life in general.

About half of americans have either diabetes or elevated blood glucose at the moment. The numbers are even higher if we add those who have been diagnosed with high glucose levels in the body at least at some point in their life . These numbers also include people with pre-diabetes, a condition where diabetes has not yet manifested yet blood sugar is higher than average.

A few quick facts on the issue:

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What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia

Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:

  • You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
  • You are overweight.
  • You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
  • You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
  • You have a history of gestational diabetes.

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Think About What’s Going On

Irene Dunbar of Durham, NC, woke up one morning to discover that her blood sugar was at 119, which was high for her. “I had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday, and I normally do not drink orange juice,” Dunbar said, who also thought, “I better not do that.”

Sometimes, determining the cause of an elevated level may make you feel like a detective. But it’s important to ask yourself questions about potential causes, such as diet and exercise habits, changes in your treatment plan, or personal life adjustments. Determining the answers to these questions can help pinpoint what might be going wrong, according to MedlinePlus.

Planning For Sick Days

What does it mean to have high blood sugar

Your body releases stress hormones when you are sick, which can cause hyperglycemia. Keep taking your insulin and other diabetes medications, even if you are throwing up. If you have ketones and your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL, call your doctor. They might also want you to call if:

  • You have diarrhea that lasts more than 6 hours
  • You are throwing up
  • You have a high fever or trouble breathing
  • You feel very sleepy or confused

Continue checking your blood sugar levels and keep track of the results.

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How To Calculate Your Blood Sugar Level: The Complete Guide

To get an accurate reading of your blood sugar level, the best and most effective method is using a glucose meter. This will involve a small prick in your finger so receive a blood sample. The strip is then inserted into the meter and tested.

You may be wondering what your reading should be. There is no normal reading, an ideal reading differs from person to person. Everyone will get different readings at different times of the day. However, there is a rough range to determining a low, normal and high blood sugar level. Blood sugar level is read in mmol/L, which stands for millimoles per liter. Here is a guide as to what an ideal reading is for each diabetic type and non-diabetic patients:

Child
4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L 4 5.9 mmol/L< 7.8 mmol/L

It is advised to check it regularly if you are concerned, show regular symptoms or have diabetes. You should check before meals, exercise, before bedtime and after driving. Everyone is different so it is best to ask your doctor if you are unsure how many times and when you should check your blood sugar levels.

Research shows that over 50% who try to estimate their blood sugar level reading are incorrect. This may be due to over underlying medical conditions that did not know they had or poor lack of judgement. Therefore, this suggests it is very important to test at home to check in on your levels regularly to avoid any unnecessary future complications.

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What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels

Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:

  • the medicines you take (
  • the food that you eat
  • the amount of exercise you get
  • All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be too. In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:

    • not taking your diabetes medicine when youre supposed to or not taking the right amounts
    • having an illness, like the flu
    • taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work

    A single high blood sugar reading usually isnt cause for alarm it happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if you have high blood sugar levels a lot, let your parents and your diabetes health care team know. Insulin or meal plans may need adjusting, or you may have an equipment issue, like an insulin pump that isnt working right. Whatever the case, make sure you get help so you can get your blood sugar levels back under control.

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    Causes Related To Personal Health

    Insulin resistance

    This condition occurs when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver are unable to use the glucose in your bloodstream for energy. Your pancreas responds to this increase in glucose by producing more insulin to help your body process it. This excess amount of insulin in the bloodstream can eventually cause your body to lose insulin sensitivity or build resistance to it, leading to higher blood glucose levels.

    Bodyweight and body fat

    Research connects being overweight and having a higher body fat percentage with high blood glucose levels. In fact, a high body fat percentage might be a clearer indicator of high blood sugar and diabetes than weight or body mass index .

    Other health conditions

    Certain conditions could make you more likely to have high blood glucose. These include Cushingâs disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome , and gestational diabetes. Blood glucose may also rise as the result of common illnesses like a head cold or the flu.

    Hormonal changes

    It isnât just stress and sleep that can cause fluctuations in hormones. Illness, physical pain and trauma, menopause or menstruation can as well. In any of these instances, your blood glucose levels may rise due to the changes in your hormone levels.

    Medications

    Gut issues

    A growingbody of research links imbalances in the microbiota living in our guts to an inability to regulate glucose levels in the blood. This is sometimes due to antibiotic use or infection.

    Genetics

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