How Can I Treat And Manage Hyperglycemia
People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can manage hyperglycemia by eating healthy, being active, and managing stress. In addition, insulin is a critical part of managing hyperglycemia for people with type 1 diabetes, while people with type 2 diabetes may need oral medications and eventually insulin to help them manage hyperglycemia.
If you dont have diabetes and have any of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, call your healthcare provider. Together you can work to manage your hyperglycemia.
Take A Correction Dose
For those who take fast or rapid-acting insulin Novolog, Humalog, Apidra, Fiasp, Admelog, Afrezza you can take a correction dose to bring a high blood sugar down.
A correction factor is determined with support from your healthcare team. This number tells you how much 1 unit of fast or rapid-acting insulin will lower your blood sugar. For example, a correction factor of 1:50 means that 1 unit of insulin will lower your blood sugar by 50 points.
Its important to keep in mind how much insulin you may already have on board in your bloodstream before taking an additional dose of insulin.
Most fast and rapid-acting insulin stays in your system for approximately 3 to 4 hours, which means taking an additional dose of insulin to correct a high could lead to a severe low blood sugar if you already have a significant amount of insulin from your most recent dose still in your bloodstream.
Also, remember to give that correction dose of insulin at least two hours to make an impact on your blood sugar before getting frustrated and taking another injection. You wont see a significant improvement in your blood sugar until its been in your system for at least 2 to 3 hours .
What Is A Blood Sugar Spike
A blood sugar spike happens when glucose builds up in the bloodstream and your blood sugar levels increase. This may happen after eating.
Its important to know the early symptoms of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Early testing and treatment can help prevent more severe symptoms.
Early signs of high blood sugar can include:
- feeling thirsty
- having a very dry mouth
- urinating frequently
- having blurred vision
If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, you can perform a finger stick to check your level.
Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.
You can also use an insulin injection, but be careful to only use this method while closely following the recommendation of a doctor regarding your dose. If used improperly, insulin can cause hypoglycemia .
If your blood sugar stays elevated for too long, you may develop diabetic ketoacidosis.
If high blood sugar levels go untreated for too long, glucose will build up in your bloodstream and your cells will be starved for fuel. Your cells will use fat for fuel instead.
When your cells use fat instead of glucose, the process produces a byproduct called ketones:
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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:
- life-threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis
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.
What Causes Hyperglycemia In People With Diabetes
- The dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication that you are taking is not the most helpful dose for your needs.
- Your body isnt using your natural insulin effectively .
- The amount of carbohydrates you are eating or drinking is not balanced with the amount of insulin your body is able to make or the amount of insulin you inject.
- You are less active than usual.
- Physical stress is affecting you.
- Emotional stress is affecting you.
- You are taking steroids for another condition.
- The dawn phenomenon is affecting you.
Other possible causes
- Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and cystic fibrosis.
- Certain medications .
- Gestational diabetes, which happens in 4% of pregnancies, and is due to decreased insulin sensitivity.
- Surgery or trauma.
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Youre Developing Blisters Dryness Or Other Skin Changes
Small pieces of extra skin, called skin tags, may form in the creases of skin, especially if you have diabetes and youre trying to find ways to manage your weight, notes the ADA. Dark, thick areas of soft skin may form on the back of the neck or hands, armpits, face, or other areas. These can be a sign of insulin resistance, Zanini says. Blisters, infections, dryness, itchiness, discolorations, and abnormalities of the skin can all be warning signs of high blood sugar. Check with your doctor if these skin changes develop.
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 2 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.
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Hypoglycemia Tests And Diagnosis
To diagnose nondiabetic hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions about any medicines you take. Theyâll want to know all about your health and any history of diseases or stomach surgery.
Theyâll check your blood glucose level, especially when you are having symptoms. Theyâll also check to see if you feel better when your sugar goes back to a normal level.
If your doctor suspects hypoglycemia, you may have to fast until you start to have symptoms. Theyâll test your blood glucose level at different times throughout the fast.
To check for reactive hypoglycemia, you may have to take a test called a mixed-meal tolerance test . For this, you take a special drink that raises your blood glucose. The doctor will check your blood glucose levels over the next few hours.
Check Your Blood Sugar
If you take medication that may cause low blood sugar , its 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.
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High Blood Sugar And The Brain
People with high blood sugar can get confused, weak, and dizzyjust like people experiencing low blood sugarbut for a completely different reason. Its not the lack of fuel for the brain its the pollution that comes from burning fat. When the rest of the body is burning fat, byproducts known as ketones are released into the bloodstream. Ketones are very acidic and the brain is finicky it cant work in an environment with too much acid and begins to malfunction. Its a dangerous condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis .
Note that diabetic ketoacidosis differs from nutritional ketosis, which is the aim of the ketogenic or keto diet. In the keto diet, levels of ketones are much lower than in DKA.
It takes an excessive amount of ketones in the blood to affect the brain, so high blood sugar levels dont often affect the brain for dayssometimes weeks. In that time, the actual sugar levels can go up or down. Its the lack of insulin and the burning of fat rather than the presence of extra sugar that causes the problem.
So, giving sugar to people with high blood sugar isnt going to helpthey already have too much. But its not going to hurt, either.
What Makes Your Blood Sugar Go Down
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You Develop Sores That Tend To Heal More Slowly Than Usual
Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds heal more slowly in the presence of uncontrolled blood sugar, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes causes nerve damage and affects circulation, especially in the lower legs and feet, which can delay healing because there isnt enough blood flow to the area. Even minor wounds are more prone to infections, which can become very serious and even result in amputations of the foot. You may notice drainage seeping onto your socks or an unpleasant smell if you develop a foot ulcer, notes the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.
Youre Hungrier Than Usual But Losing Weight
Many people with uncontrolled high blood sugar find that theyre hungrier than usual, which signals a symptom called polyphagia, MedlinePlus notes. And although youre eating more, you may be losing weight for no apparent reason if your blood sugar levels are too high, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Since your body is not getting energy from the preferred source, glucose, it has to turn to muscle and fat, Zanini explains. When your body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy, you experience unintentional and unhealthy weight loss. In addition to these changes in weight and appetite, you may notice weakness in your muscles and experience more frequent falls, Emanuele adds.
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Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
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 to be absorbed by the blood. Insulin that is yet to be absorbed by the blood is called active insulin.
If you decide to correct with insulin, watch you dont over correct as this can lead to hypoglycemia and can be dangerous, particularly so before bed.
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Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
What Is Considered High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy
A blood sugar level of 190 milligrams per deciliter , or 10.6 millimoles per liter , indicates gestational diabetes. A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL is usually considered within the standard range on a glucose challenge test, although this may vary by clinic or lab.
How do I lower my glucose level while pregnant?
Sweets and desserts should be avoided as they may lead to high blood sugar levels.
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Diabetes Numbers Warnings And Precautions
If your blood sugar reading is over 400 mg/dL, there is a chance that you have a false reading â particularly if you arent experiencing any symptoms. For example, if there were food particles on your fingers or you used outdated or improperly stored test strips, you might have gotten an inaccurate reading.
If you re-test your levels and your blood sugar is indeed above 400 mg/dL, follow the advice your doctor has given you â whether that includes taking extra insulin or drinking more water â and contact him or her for further treatment advice.
Heres a chart to help you determine if your blood sugar levels are cause for concern:
What Your Blood Sugar Levels Mean
What Foods Can Assist Raise Blood Sugar Quickly
Because your blood sugar level comes from the foods and beverages you consume, one of the most convenient methods to raise your blood sugar quick is to grab a quick treat. The American Diabetes Association advises the 15-15 rule if your blood sugar level dips below 70 mg/dL: Eat at most limited 15 grams of carbs, then wait 15 minutes to recheck your blood glucose. If youre still listed below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and inspect your levels again.
Amongst the foods you can pursue a fast blood sugar boost are:. a piece of fruit, like a banana, apple, or orange. 2 tablespoons of raisins. 1/2 cup apple, orange, pineapple, or grapefruit juice. 1/2 cup regular soda . 1 cup fat-free milk. 1 tablespoon honey or jelly. 15 Skittles. 4 Starbursts. 1 tablespoon of sugar in water.
Foods that include protein or fat, such as peanut butterand ice cream, and chocolate, may be valuable if your blood sugar level has actually dropped but isnt listed below 70 mg/dL. These higher-fat foods, in addition to whole-grain bread and other high-fiber foods, take longer to take in into your bloodstream. Because of this, these foods will not raise your blood sugar as quickly as foods that have more basic carbohydrates.
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