Is Having High Blood Glucose Dangerous
In short, it can be. Zanini says that untreated high blood glucose can lead to a wide range of health issuesâsome of the most common being chronic inflammation, heart disease, vision impairment, kidney disease, nerve damage, tooth decay, damaged blood vessels, and periodontal disease.
Having high blood glucose also puts us at risk of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. The former is a condition in which mitochondria fail to produce energy for cells. The latter occurs when free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body and increase the risk of disease and other damage.
Phipps notes to avoid these risks, catching high blood glucose early on, then taking action to treat it is extremely important.
You Dont Need To Cut Out Sugar From Your Diet If You Have Diabetes And While We Dont Know Exactly What Causes Type 1 Diabetes But It Isnt Linked To Lifestyle And So Sugar Doesnt Directly Cause The Condition
The question of whether sugar directly causes type 2 diabetes is a bit complicated.
Because diabetes is a condition where blood sugar levels are too high, its all too easy to think eating too much sugar is the cause. But whats the truth about sugar and how does it affect diabetes?
In this article well explain whether sugar causes diabetes, how to cut down on sugar and how to read food labels to make informed decisions about your diet.
Has Been Linked To Acne
A diet high in refined carbs, including sugary foods and drinks, has been associated with a higher risk of developing acne.
Foods with a high glycemic index, such as processed sweets, raise your blood sugar more rapidly than foods with a lower glycemic index.
Sugary foods quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, causing increased androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which play a role in acne development .
Studies have shown that low-glycemic diets are associated with a reduced acne risk, while high-glycemic diets are linked to a greater risk .
For example, a study in 2,300 teens demonstrated that those who frequently consumed added sugar had a 30% greater risk of developing acne .
Also, many population studies have shown that rural communities that consume traditional, non-processed foods have almost non-existent rates of acne, compared to more urban, high-income areas .
These findings coincide with the theory that diets high in processed, sugar-laden foods contribute to the development of acne.
High-sugar diets can increase androgen secretion, oil production and inflammation, all of which can raise your risk of developing acne.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels Vs Hyperglycemia
If youve been diagnosed with diabetes, your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, or other factors. You will be given two target levels, or ranges, one applying to when you haven’t eaten for a number of hours and one for after meals .
Reducing Foods That Contain Added Sugar
Some food products contain large amounts of added sugars. Reducing or removing these foods is an efficient way to reduce the amount of sugar a person eats.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20102015 state that soda and other soft drinks account for around half a persons added sugar intake in the U.S. The average can of soda or fruit punch provides 10 tsp of sugar.
Another common source of sugar is breakfast cereal. According to EWG, many popular cereals contain over 60% sugar by weight, with some store brands containing over 80% sugar. This is especially true of cereals marketed towards children.
Swapping these foods for unsweetened alternatives will help a person lower their sugar intake, for example:
- swapping soda for water, milk, or herbal teas
- swapping sugary cereals for low sugar cereal, oatmeal, or eggs
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Where Is Sugar Hiding In Your Everyday Foods
We arent here to make you feel guilty for eating too much sugar every once in a while, nor are we here to make you feel guilty if you regularly eat too much sugar.
What we are here to do is to provide you with the tools you need to avoid the consumption of too much sugar, if that is your goal. The best ways to do that is to cut down on added sugars, and the best way to do that is to familiarize yourself with the many types of sugar and familiarize yourself with common foods that are high in added sugar.
Swollen Or Bleeding Gums Which Increase Your Infection Risk
Gum disease is a complication of diabetes, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. It can also make diabetes harder to control, because the bodys response to infection is to release more glucose into the bloodstream, according to the ADA.
Your saliva contains glucose and the more it contains, the more there is to feed the bacteria that combine with food in your mouth to form plaque and cause gum disease. Symptoms can include red or inflamed gums at first. If they are unaddressed, they can progress to periodontitis, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, the appearance of pus or ulcers, or even tooth loss, notes the Mayo Clinic. Get your blood sugar under control and see a dental professional to prevent damage to your gums and teeth.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
- abdominal pain
Can Diabetic Ketoacidosis Be Prevented Or Avoided
If you have diabetes, there are some things you can do to watch for diabetic ketoacidosis. When youre sick, watch your blood sugar level very closely so it doesnt get too high or too low. Ask your doctor what your critical blood sugar level is. Most patients should watch their glucose levels closely when they are more than 250 mg per dL.
When youre sick or stressed, you should check your blood sugar level more often than normal . If your blood sugar reaches a critical level, check it every 1 to 2 hours. Ask your doctor if you should test your blood sugar level during the night.
You should also test your urine for ketones every few hours if youre sick, stressed, or if your blood sugar level is more than 250 mg per dL.
You should talk to your doctor to develop a plan if your blood sugar level gets too high. Make sure that you know how to reach your doctor in an emergency.
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Can Too Much Sugar Cause Bv
Researchers have evaluated that high intake of carbs, sugar and fats are associated with an increased risk of BV.
Secondly, eating too much sugar suppresses your immune system. Bad bacteria find it as an opportunity and feed on sugars to outnumber good ones. Therefore, we can conclude that eating too much sugar puts your natural defense down. Once your defense goes down, your risk of getting BV increases significantly.
Heres what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about BV It is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age . BV or Bacterial Vaginosis is an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria.
Normally your vagina is home to Lactobacilli species. These species are responsible for the production of lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The vaginal pH of less than 4.5 is maintained by these good bacteria.
Women with BV have increased vaginal pH meaning above 4.5 on a pH scale, along with other symptoms such as:
- Thin discharge
Eating More Plants Can Help
Choosing foods that help control blood sugar and prevent type 2 diabetes doesnt have to be confusing. Simply ask yourself this question when choosing ingredients: Did it grow in the ground or on a tree, vine, or bush? If the answer is yes, youre on the right track.
A 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who followed a predominantly plant-based diet with a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and those that eliminated less healthy foods such as white flour and sugar saw the greatest benefit. Hunnes says that, for some people, moving to a primarily whole-foods, plant-based diet might be as helpful as drugs in reducing the risk of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
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How Does Hyperglycemia Happen
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the sugar in your blood, which comes primarily from carbohydrates in the food that you eat. Hyperglycemia happens when your body has too little insulin to use the sugar in your blood.
People with type 1 diabetes can have episodes of hyperglycemia every day. Although this can be frustrating, it rarely creates a medical emergency. Not taking enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia .
Other things that can cause hyperglycemia include:
- Having trouble seeing or concentrating
- Experiencing stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Having sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Cuts or sores that do not heal, infections, and unexplained weight loss may also be signs of long-term hyperglycemia.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is very high, you should also test for ketones in either your blood or urine.
May Increase Your Risk Of Cancer
Eating excessive amounts of sugar may increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
First, a diet rich in sugary foods and beverages can lead to obesity, which significantly raises your risk of cancer .
Furthermore, diets high in sugar increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, both of which increase cancer risk .
A study in over 430,000 people found that added sugar consumption was positively associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, pleural cancer and cancer of the small intestine .
Another study showed that women who consumed sweet buns and cookies more than three times per week were 1.42 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who consumed these foods less than 0.5 times per week .
Research on the link between added sugar intake and cancer is ongoing, and more studies are needed to fully understand this complex relationship.
Too much sugar can lead to obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for cancer.
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Can High Blood Sugar Cause Delusions
Hyperglycemia and Psychosis While elevated blood sugar does cause problems, including cognitive functioning, poor judgment, difficulty making decisions, and information processing, psychotic symptoms are rare. Delusional thinking and visual hallucinations are much more common with low blood sugar than with high.
How Is Diabetes During Pregnancy Managed
Special testing and monitoring of the baby may be needed for pregnant diabetics, especially those who are taking insulin. This is because of the increased risk for stillbirth. These tests may include:
Fetal movement counting. This means counting the number of movements or kicks in a certain period of time, and watching for a change in activity.
Ultrasound. This is an imaging test that uses sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function, and to look at blood flow through blood vessels.
Nonstress testing. This is a test that measured the babys heart rate in response to movements.
Biophysical profile. This is a measure that combines tests such as the nonstress test and ultrasound to check the baby’s movements, heart rate, and amniotic fluid.
Doppler flow studies. This is a type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure blood flow.
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Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
Increases Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years .
Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes .
Whats more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day .
Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes .
A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
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How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
- Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.
Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021
What Causes Hyperglycemia
A number of things can cause hyperglycemia:
- If you have type 1, you may not have given yourself enough insulin.
- If you have type 2, your body may have enough insulin, but it is not as effective as it should be.
- You ate more than planned or exercised less than planned.
- You have stress from an illness, such as a cold or flu.
- You have other stress, such as family conflicts or school or dating problems.
- You may have experienced the dawn phenomenon .
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When To See A Doctor
If youre experiencing one or many of these symptoms enough for it to raise a mental red flag or affect your life , thats a sign that you should talk to a doctor about your concerns. An expert like a primary care provider can help determine if high blood sugar due to diabetes or prediabetes is the cause of your symptoms. Even if youre not sure thats exactly whats going on, its still worth having a conversation with your doctor about hyperglycemia and other possible causes behind your symptoms.
What Is High Blood Sugar
Elevated blood sugar levels are known as hyperglycemia. Blood sugar levels are measured using a small sample of blood that is tested in a lab. Blood sugar can also be tested using at home devices such as a handheld glucometer. Levels that indicate hyperglycemia are indicative of prediabetes and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Normal ranges of blood sugar will vary depending on the test being done. In general, a normal fasting glucose level will be between 70-100 mg/dL. After a meal, these levels are expected to rise slightly around 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal, but should be less than 180 ml/dL.
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is important not only for metabolic health, but heart health too. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease:
- High blood pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease.
- Too much LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream can form plaque on damaged artery walls.
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How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.