What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and can’t get into the body’s cells to be used for energy. This can happen, for example, when someone skips doses of insulin or when the need for insulin suddenly increases and the doses are not adjusted.
When the body can’t use glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released into the blood. Some of these ketones, like extra glucose, pass out of the body through the urine.
High levels of ketones in the blood can be a problem because they cause the blood to become acidic. Too much acid in the blood throws off the body’s chemical balance and causes the symptoms listed below. In people with diabetes, this problem is called diabetic , or DKA. DKA is a very serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it’s not treated. The good news, though, is that it’s preventable and can be treated.
DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
Can Lead To Fatty Liver
A high intake of fructose has been consistently linked to an increased risk of fatty liver.
Unlike glucose and other types of sugar, which are taken up by many cells throughout the body, fructose is almost exclusively broken down by the liver.
In the liver, fructose is converted into energy or stored as glycogen.
However, the liver can only store so much glycogen before excess amounts are turned into fat.
Large amounts of added sugar in the form of fructose overload your liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , a condition characterized by excessive fat buildup in the liver .
A study in over 5,900 adults showed that people who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily had a 56% higher risk of developing NAFLD, compared to people who did not .
Eating too much sugar may lead to NAFLD, a condition in which excessive fat builds up in the liver.
Type 1 Diabetes And Hyperglycemia: Handling High Blood Sugar
One of the hallmarks of type 1 diabetes is hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose . Theres a very good reason that glucose levels climb high in type 1 diabetes, and thats a lack of insulin. When the pancreas shuts down insulin production, blood glucose levels start to climb. If there is sufficient insulin in the bloodstream, say, from an insulin injection or insulin infusion from a pump, glucose levels return to a safe level. If there is little or no insulin available, the situation becomes serious, both in the short term and the long term.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Eating Too Much Sugar
So how do you know you’re eating too much sugar? What are the symptoms? Here are 16 signs you’re eating too much sugar and exactly what to do if you think you are overdosing on the sweet stuff. And if you’re looking to make more changes, be sure to check out these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
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Ask Your Doctor How Often You Should Be Checking Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar control is crucial when youre living with type 2 diabetes. Dips and spikes can not only make you feel cranky and sluggish, but they can also wreak havoc on your personal health.
For the record, the American Diabetes Association notes that you have diabetes if one of the following applies to you:
- Your blood glucose after fasting is 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
- Your blood glucose two hours after eating a meal is 200 mg/dl or higher.
- Your hemoglobin A1C is 6.5 or higher.
The tricky part is that with type 2 diabetes you may not feel it when blood sugar levels are too high, according to the ADA. It feels different for everyone. Not everyone will have the same symptoms, and some individuals will have no symptoms at all, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, a Los Angelesbased former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Because blood sugar management is so important to your overall health with type 2 diabetes, you need to take action if you think your levels may be out of control, even if youre feeling totally fine.
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.
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What Happens If Your Blood Sugar Gets Too High With Diabetes
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is too high, your cells cant function correctly, and youll start to feel uncomfortably sick.
The cells in your body need glucose, more commonly known as sugar, to survive and function. Our diets contain many sources of glucose, but it cant reach our bodies cells without the help of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose to your cells. When your body doesnt have enough insulin or it is not active enough, both symptoms of diabetes, the sugar remains in the blood without reaching cells. Thats why diabetes and high blood sugar often go hand in hand.
What Causes High Blood Sugar?
Sugar accumulates in the blood either when there is not enough insulin to transport it or when the insulin that is available is not active.
Type 1 diabetes patients are incapable of making the insulin necessary to transport glucose to the cells.
Type 2 diabetes patients are insulin resistant. They often, but not always, have the insulin required by the body, but the insulin is ineffective.
Patients with diabetes are more prone to high blood sugar levels if they:
- Miss taking diabetes medication or insulin
- Eat too much food
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Symptoms Treatments And Prevention
Hyperglycemia means high glucose in the blood . Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabeteswhen the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn’t properly using or doesn’t make the hormone insulin.
Eating too many processed foods may cause your blood sugar to rise.
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Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
Can Sugar Cause High Blood Pressure
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Avoiding High Blood Sugar And Dka
No matter how well they take care of themselves, people with diabetes will sometimes have high blood sugar levels. But the best way to avoid problems is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to your desired range as possible, which means following your diabetes management plan. Checking your blood sugar levels several times a day will let you know when your blood sugar level is high. Then you can treat it and help prevent DKA from happening.
High blood sugar levels don’t always cause symptoms, and a person who isn’t testing regularly might be having blood sugar levels high enough to damage the body without even realizing it. Doctors may use the HbA1c test to find out if someone has been having high blood sugar levels over time, even if the person has not had obvious symptoms.
Here are some other tips for avoiding high blood sugar levels and preventing DKA:
- Try to eat all your meals and snacks on time and not skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly and your ketone levels when your diabetes management plan recommends it.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
Different Levels And What They Mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.
The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.
That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.
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Headaches And Difficulty Concentrating
Acute hyperglycemia can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating in a fashion similar to polyphagia in which starving cells send out hunger signals because they cant access the glucose circulating in the blood.
Your brain is the biggest glucose hog around. If you dont believe it, consider that while the brain represents about 2 percent of your body weight, it devours fully 25 percent of the glucose you consume. And when brain cells have difficulty getting the fuel they need, they function poorly. This can cause problems with thinking, reasoning, and remembering, difficulty staying focused on tasks, and headaches.
Chronic high blood glucose can also lead to headaches, but by a different route. These headaches are often related to various types of nerve damage. Examples include occipital neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve from elevated glucose levels, and a variety of diabetic mononeuropathies, which can affect specific cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, or nerve roots all of which can lead to headaches of varying intensities.
Natural Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Preventing high blood pressure is key, however, there are natural treatment options available that could help to reduce your blood pressure.
Managing stress with meditation or deep-breathing exercises Quit smoking Eating more food rich in calcium and magnesium
Eating foods rich in potassium can help
In Addition to the options listed above, there are several natural supplements that may also help to lower blood pressure or prevent it from elevating, to begin with.
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Take Your Insulin As Prescribed
High blood sugar occurs when your body has too little insulin, or your body cant use insulin properly. Administering insulin can bring your blood sugar levels down.
Talk to your doctor about how much rapid-acting insulin you should administer when your blood sugar is high.
You may want to check your blood sugar about 1530 minutes after taking insulin to make sure your blood sugar is going down and that its not dropping too low.
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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High Blood Sugar Over Time Leads To:
- Kidney damage and kidney failure
- Blood vessel damage that can cause heart attacks and strokes
- Eye disease that can cause poor vision or blindness
- Nerve damage that can cause pain like pins and needles in the feet
- Sores on the feet or legs that do not heal and could lead to removal of a toe, foot, or leg
- Sexual problems, such as not being able to get an erection
Taking care of your diabetes and keeping most of your blood sugars near the normal range throughout your life lowers your chance for these long-term problems.
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You Can’t Get A Good Night’s Rest
Eating a cookie or cupcake with loads of added sugar too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep, at least in the short-term. “It will give you a boost of energy by spiking your blood sugar, which always makes going to bed harder when you’re trying to wind down,” says Zeitlin. It might have the opposite effect shortly thereafter because sugar triggers the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes you feel relaxed and even sleepy, Ansel adds. But even if it is easier to nod off, the sleep you get probably won’t be as satisfying. “You might not wake up feeling as good, because your blood sugar dips during the night,” says Ansel.
A good rule of thumb, says Zeitlin: Stop eating entirelyâespecially sugary foodsâtwo hours before bedtime, so you don’t get indigestion and sugar has time to make its way through your systemâand you can relax and get into sleep mode.