High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, happens when the amount of sugar in your blood rises to 180 mg/dL or higher after meals. High blood sugar may affect people whether their diabetes is well controlled or not. In people whose diabetes is not well controlled, episodes of high blood sugar may happen because they are not treating their diabetes. Or they may not even know that they have diabetes. For people who use an insulin pump, blocked tubing could also lead to high blood sugar. If left untreated, high blood sugar can cause serious health problems.
How high is high? How to measure if your blood sugar is high
High blood sugar can happen if you:
It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar early, so something can be done before it gets worse.
You may have high blood sugar if you:
If you have signs or symptoms of high blood sugar (higher than 130 mg/dL before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after starting a meal), follow these steps:
If your blood sugar is higher than usual, you can help lower it if you:
Download Cornerstones4Care’s Checking Your Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, in people who have type 1 diabetes (it’s very rare for type 2). DKA happens when there is a buildup of ketonesKetonesOrganic compounds produced when the body breaks down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. This is most likely to occur when the body does not have enough sugar or carbohydrates or the body cannot use sugar effectively. Because high levels of ketones are dangerous, a urine test is one way to check the level of ketones in your body. in the blood. Ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy instead of sugar. This can happen when the cells don’t get the sugar they need to use for energy.
Symptoms of DKA that may require ketone testing include:
How to test for ketones
What level of ketones is considered dangerous?
Your diabetes care teamDiabetes care teamYour diabetes care team may include: a primary care doctor, a diabetes and hormone doctor (endocrinologist), a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, a dietician, a heart doctor (cardiologist), a foot doctor (podiatrist), an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist), a kidney doctor (nephrologist), a dentist, a pharmacist, and a mental health professional. will often tell you what level of ketones is dangerous. If they have not, call your doctor if a urine test shows moderate or large amounts of ketones.
What is the most important information I should know about ketones?
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome, or HHS, is a severe condition. It happens when high blood sugar levels cause an unusual increase in urination. This can lead to dehydration.
If your blood sugar levels are running high, but you don’t know why, you may need medical attention. Your doctor can tell you what blood sugar levels and symptoms are associated with HHS, and when you should call someone from your diabetes care team if you experience them.
What are common reasons you should call your doctor?
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