Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose) and Diabetes

Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose) and Diabetes 2018-01-11T22:09:42+00:00


This condition is an abnormally high level of blood glucose (also called blood sugar) in the body. Hyperglycemia is a serious condition for people who have diabetes. Severe hyperglycemia is an emergency that can be life-threatening.

What is Blood Glucose?

Blood glucose is produced during digestion when the body breaks down carbohydrates. It is carried through the bloodstream to the body’s cells. The hormone insulin unlocks the cells and allows the glucose to enter, where it can be used for energy. But in people who have diabetes, this process does not work properly. Their bodies may not have enough insulin, or their bodies may be resistant to insulin. Glucose can build to dangerous levels in the bloodstream.


In people who have diabetes, hyperglycemia can be caused by not eating properly. It can be caused by problems with medications, especially insulin. Not injecting enough insulin, injecting it improperly or using expired insulin can trigger the condition. It can also result from inactivity, stress, injury or illness.

Early Stage

Early symptoms of hyperglycemia include frequent urination, increased thirst and blurred vision. Fatigue and headache may develop. Hyperglycemia can be controlled without medicine in its early stages. The person may need to get more exercise, drink water or adjust the next meal. But a person with hyperglycemia may also need to inject insulin.

Severe Hyperglycemia

If the condition is not treated properly, it can become more severe. Other symptoms may develop. These include dry mouth, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The person may have shortness of breath, and the breath may smell fruity. The person may feel weak and confused. Severe hyperglycemia requires emergency medical care. Fluids and insulin therapy are needed to lower the blood glucose level.



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