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Hyperglycemia: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Hyperglycemia?

When sugar levels are high in the blood, it’s known as hyperglycemia or excessively high blood glucose. This happens when your body doesn’t have enough insulin (the hormone that transports glucose into the blood) or cannot utilize insulin effectively. The condition is usually connected with diabetes.

Hyperglycemia is blood glucose levels greater than 125 mg/dL during fasting (not consuming for at least eight hours). 

  • A person has pre-diabetes if their fasting blood sugar exceeds 100 mg/dL but less than 125 mg/dL.
  • An individual has hyperglycemia if their blood glucose exceeds 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating.

If you have hyperglycemia for an extended time and don’t treat it, your nerves, blood vessels, tissues, and organs can be damaged. Vascular damage is associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, while nerve damage may cause eye problems, kidney issues, and non-healing wounds.

What are the Signs of Hyperglycemia?

The following are the most significant hyperglycemic risk factors:

  • You have a family history of diabetes, type 2.
  • You are Native American, African American, Asian American, or Hispanic (Minorities have a higher risk of suffering from diabetes-related complications).
  • You are overweight.
  • You have high cholesterol or blood pressure.
  • You have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
  • You have previously been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

What are the Causes of Hyperglycemia in People with Diabetes?

  • You are currently taking the wrong dose of insulin or oral diabetes medication for your situation.
  • Your body cannot use your natural insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes).
  • You aren’t eating or drinking enough carbohydrates, and your body isn’t creating enough insulin or injecting the amount of insulin it should.
  • You are under strain because of your physical condition (from illness, the flu, or an infection, for instance).
  • You are under emotional strain (from family difficulties, emotional issues, school or job pressures, and so on).
  • You’re using steroids for a different reason.
  • The dawn phenomenon (a surge of hormones that the body produces every morning around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.) affects you.

Other possible reasons include:

  • Cushing disease is a condition in which an outside agent damages the body’s natural insulin-producing cells.
  • Pancreatic diseases such as pancreatitis, cancer of the pancreas, and cystic fibrosis are examples.
  • Various medications (like diuretics and steroids).
  • Gestational diabetes, which affects about 4% of pregnancies and is caused by insulin resistance, is the most severe type.
  • Trauma or surgery.

What are Some of the Signs of High Blood Glucose?

If you have type 1 diabetes and are experiencing high blood sugar levels, it’s especially vital to understand the early symptoms. In individuals with type 1 diabetes, uncontrolled hyperglycemia can lead to ketoacidosis, in which ketones accumulate in the circulation. This severe medical emergency might result in coma or death if left untreated.

The following are some of the earliest indicators of hyperglycemia:

  • High blood sugar.
  • Excessive thirst and/or hunger.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Headache.

The following are some of the additional symptoms:

  • Fatigue (feel tired or weak.).
  • Weight loss.
  • Skin and vaginal infections.
  • Ulcers and wounds that don’t heal quickly.

Symptoms of ketoacidosis are:

  • Vomiting.
  • Dehydration.
  • The breath has an odd fruity flavor.
  • Hyperventilation or labored breathing.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Visual and physical disorientation.
  • Coma.

What Treatment Should I Use for Hyperglycemia?

Eating healthy, being active, and managing stress can help people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes control hyperglycemia. Insulin is also essential to controlling hyperglycemia in persons with type 1 diabetes. In contrast, those with type 2 diabetes may require oral medicines and insulin to manage their high blood sugar levels.

If you don’t have diabetes and are experiencing any of the criteria described above, contact your doctor. You can collaborate to manage your hyperglycemia.

How can I Avoid being Hyperglycemic?

  1. To lower blood sugar, exercise is useful. Make a daily activity plan with your doctor.
  2. If you have one, follow it. Understand how carbohydrates influence your blood sugar levels and work with your diabetes team to create the ideal meal plan for you.
  3. Keep your weight in check.
  4. Don’t smoke.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol might raise blood sugar levels but can also lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your doctor to figure out how much is safe to drink.

Hyperglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels are high. It often occurs in people with diabetes, but it can also occur in people who don’t have diabetes. There are several signs of hyperglycemia, and the treatment depends on what is causing the high blood sugar levels. There are steps that you can take to help avoid being hyperglycemic. Edward James Letko is a medical device entrepreneur spearheading the innovation behind new glucose monitoring technology with the potential to prevent many cases of hyperglycemia.

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