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.
Cut And Spread Out Carbs
Your first act should be to cut down on the carbohydrates you eat. Many dieters swear that keeping off carbs and eating a diet rich in dark greens, fruits and nuts help them to avoid hyperglycemia.
If you cannot avoid having the apple pie at that all-important party, eat it in small amounts. You can save some for later. Make the effort to spread your carbs out.
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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High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes will be familiar with how it feels to have high blood sugar. But for the millions of people walking around with diabetes or prediabetes and unaware of it, knowing the signs of high blood sugar could prompt them to seek care and get a diagnosis as soon as possible.
While type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on suddenly and severely, its important to note that type 2 diabetes symptoms can creep up gradually and be so mild that theyre not noticeable, the NIDDK explains. And most people with prediabetes actually have no symptoms, per the NIDDK. So, its extremely important to get screened if you have risk factors, like having a family history, being overweight, being inactive, or being over age 45.
Still, there are many signs of high blood sugar in the short and long term that it doesnt hurt to be conscious of, especially if you are at elevated risk.
Early on, high blood sugar can make you feel off in a variety of ways.
When To Get Urgent Medical Attention
Contact;your diabetes care team immediately;if you have a high blood sugar level and experience the following symptoms:
- feeling or being sick
- a fever for more than 24 hours
- signs of;dehydration, such as a headache, dry skin and a weak, rapid heartbeat
- difficulty staying awake
These symptoms;could be a sign of a more serious complication of hyperglycaemia, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or a hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, and you may need to be looked after in hospital.
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What Is Considered A High Blood Sugar Level
If you just received a diabetes diagnosis, you may be wondering what blood sugar levels mean and how you should be creating goals based off of your blood glucose tracking. One of the most important things for you to know is what blood sugar levels are and when theyre considered to be high. Learning what steps to take if you find your levels are too high will help you stay safe.
Because diabetes is such an individual condition, the best first step is to consult your doctor about what is a healthy range for your blood sugar. Once youve gotten advice from your medical expert, you can begin to modify your lifestyle and continue to do additional research to improve your health and benefit your diabetes management journey. Before researching online, its important to remember that blood sugar levels are an individual, personal reaction to many factors, and can vary while still being within an acceptable range. Generalized numbers are often not a 100% accurate measure of personal health and there may be other factors that are affecting your blood sugar, resulting in confusing numbers when you check.
Make sure that you carefully follow the instructions your doctor has created for you. Diabetes can have negative effects if not managed properly. By understanding healthy blood sugar ranges, you can take steps to reduce or avoid added diabetes complications, and better understand what changes in ;blood sugar may be reflecting about your bodys health.;
How To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
As Dr. Emanuele says, glucose monitoring can be an important tool to help you get your blood sugar under control. Typically, you would do it yourself using a glucose meter or glucometer, which analyzes a drop of blood that you draw by sticking your finger with a lancet and placing the blood on a disposable test strip that you insert into the meter. Your blood sugar goals are set by you and your doctor, but blood glucose for an adult without diabetes is below 100 mg/dl before meals and at fasting; and less than 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal, notes the;ADA.
Some people will check their blood sugar daily or multiple times a day, sometimes using a continuous monitor that is worn on the body particularly those who have;type 1 diabetes;or who have type 2 but take insulin. Yet how frequently a person should monitor their blood sugar is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to whether theyre on insulin, whether they’re taking;oral medication, and how well their blood sugar is controlled and how old they are.
Meanwhile, keep an eye out for these nine key warning signs and symptoms that blood sugar is too high and talk to your doctor about whether you need to adjust your management plan.
Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:;;
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
Remember, a bedtime snack is only helpful for some people. To see if it works for you, youll have to carefully monitor your glucose before bed, during the night, and when you wake up.
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Moderate To Severe High Blood Sugar
Moderate to severe symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Blurred vision.
- Flushed, hot, dry skin.
- Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up.
If your body produces little or no insulin , you also may have:
- Rapid, deep breathing.
- A fast heart rate and a weak pulse.
- A strong, fruity breath odour.
- Loss of appetite, belly pain, and/or vomiting.
If your blood sugar levels continue to rise, you may become confused and lethargic. You also may become unconscious if your blood sugar levels are very high.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
Depending on the cause of your high blood sugars, the symptoms could develop quickly or gradually.;
People with undiagnosed type 1 diabetes will develop nearly all of the symptoms of high blood sugar very quickly, over the course of a few weeks, because their blood sugar levels are rising rapidly while insulin production is declining rapidly.
People with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes may not notice these symptoms for months or years because gradually increasing insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction can take a long time to become severe enough to produce noticeable symptoms.
Warning Signs That Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Out Of Control
Maintaining the right level of blood sugar or glucose is key to living a healthy, happy life. When we experience blood sugar peaks and crashes, the effects can be devastating to your mood, and to your body as well; while there are many risk factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, elevated blood sugar levels can increase your risk.
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Three High Sugar Foods To Avoid
If you have recognized some of the symptoms we have mentioned and you are trying to avoid the high blood sugar, you should definitely remove some foods from your diet. Naturally, you should start with processed sweets and fizzy drinks. Better yet, do not have them in the house, especially if you are already suffering from high blood sugar.
Signs Of Hyperglycemia What To Look For
The most important signs of hypoglycemia are rapid or irregular changes in blood sugar levels and blood pressure. A gradual decrease in blood glucose levels is usually seen in patients with type 2 diabetes, while those with type 1 diabetes often experience spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. In rare cases, however, an individual may develop symptoms of hyperglycemia without a significant drop in blood glucose levels.
One symptom of hyperglycemia that can be recognized by a physician is a sudden increase in the blood sugar level. Signs of hyperglycemia can also include nausea and vomiting, a headache, and excessive sweating. If left untreated, these symptoms can be dangerous as high blood glucose levels may result in coma and death.
There are many potential causes of hyperglycemia. Most commonly, hyperglycemia is caused by an abnormally high level of insulin produced by the pancreas. In some people, this condition is referred to as being in a state of hyperglycemia. However, it is not necessarily true that you have been diagnosed with hyperglycemia if you have an abnormal rise in blood sugar. In fact, in a number of cases, the symptoms of hyperglycemia will not occur until you become seriously ill.
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Can A Diabetic Coma Be Prevented
You can help yourself prevent a diabetic coma by taking steps to keep your blood sugar in the target ranges. Meeting with a Certified Diabetes Educator is an important part of understanding how to care for your diabetes. The CDE will help you be aware of symptoms for high and low blood sugar levels and how best to manage your condition.
Its also important for your family, friends and coworkers to understand how to help you if you need help. Let them know about the symptoms of high and low blood sugar.
In terms of food and drink, here are some tips for preventing diabetic coma:
- Learn about foods that affect your blood sugar and the best meal plan for you.
- Dont skip meals.
- Keep treatment for a low blood sugar with you at all times .
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
- Ask your healthcare provider to prescribe a glucagon kit and teach a support person how to use it in case you ever have severe low blood sugar.
These are other recommendations to help you manage your blood glucose levels:
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/02/2020.
Planning For Sick Days
Your body releases stress hormones when you are sick, which can cause hyperglycemia. Keep taking your insulin and other diabetes medications, even if you are throwing up. If you have ketones and your blood sugar is above 240 mg/dL, call your doctor. They might also want you to call if:
- You have diarrhea that lasts more than 6 hours
- You are throwing up
- You have a high fever or trouble breathing
- You feel very sleepy or confused
Continue checking your blood sugar levels and keep track of the results.
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What Is Considered High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is easily measurable. Blood glucose is measured by milligrams per deciliter this number is considered high when its above a fasting blood sugar of 125-mg/dL, notes Self.
The source also notes you can have hyperglycemia if your blood sugar levels rise above 180-mg/dL an hour or two after eating. But if you dont have a health issue involving the hormone that controls blood glucose, Our bodies are typically pretty great at keeping our blood sugar in perfect balance, says the source.
What Causes A Low Blood Sugar Level
In people with diabetes, the main causes of a low blood sugar level are:
- the effects of medicine especially taking too much insulin, medicines called sulfonylureas , medicines called glinides , or some antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C
- skipping or delaying a meal
- not eating enough carbohydrate foods in your last meal, such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit
- exercise, especially if its intense or unplanned
- drinking alcohol
Sometimes theres no obvious reason why a low blood sugar level happens.
Very occasionally, it can happen in people who do not have diabetes.
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What Are Risk Factors For Hyperglycemia
Major risk factors for hyperglycemia are:
- You have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- You are African American, Native American, Hispanic or Asian American.
- You are overweight.
- You have high blood pressure or cholesterol.
- You have polycystic ovarian syndrome .
- You have a history of gestational diabetes.
Why Is High Blood Sugar So Dangerous
We know that hyperglycemia can cause cardiovascular problems and many others, but have you ever wondered why? Studies point to inflammation and other mechanisms of action mentioned above, but we also need to address glycation.;
Glycation is defined as a natural process wherein the sugar in a persons bloodstream attaches to proteins and forms harmful new molecules named advanced glycation end products.
Besides proteins, glycation can involve lipids too. What is going on here? You see, the production of advanced glycation end products due to increased glycation are engulfed by macrophages and taken to the arterial wall where they contribute to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Higher glycation occurs with elevated blood sugar concentration, which can explain why hyperglycemia can cause problems such as heart attack and stroke. At the same time, glycated particles such as LDL or bad type of cholesterol are more susceptible to oxidation. As a result, oxidized LDL induces the atherosclerosis process.
What makes excess glycation so harmful? Well, glycated particles arent able to perform their functions adequately anymore. This also leads to apoptosis or cell death eventually.
Evidence shows that hyperglycemia increases intestinal lipoproteins and reduces HDL, which could be a consequence of hyperglycemia-induced glycation of lipoproteins, which decreases the uptake of lipoproteins due to classical LDL receptor.
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Tingling Hands And Feet
Over the years, hyperglycemia can begin to impact nerve function and eventually cause nerve damage, called neuropathy, Dr. Hatipoglu says. The most common kind of neuropathy is peripheral, according to the NIDDK, which affects the extremities. You might start noticing feelings of tingling, numbness, or burning in your hands, feet, arms, and legs, per the Mayo Clinic.
Numbness And Tingling In Our Feet And Hands
Uncontrolled blood glucose might lead to nerve damage known as diabetic neuropathy. We might notice numbness or tingling sensation in our feet and hands.
As a matter of fact, some individuals have pain in their feet and hands. Although neuropathy is common in people who have had diabetes for many years, it still might occur in people who have poor control over their condition.
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Increased Risk Of Cardiovascular Events
Cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke are common and affect millions of people around the globe. According to the CDC, every year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of the total number of heart attacks, about 525,000 are a first cardiovascular event of this kind while 210,000 occur in people who have already had a heart attack.
On the other hand, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US. About 140,000 die each year due to stroke. Every year, around 795,000 people suffer a stroke, and nearly three-quarters happen in people older than 65.
Risk factors that lead to cardiovascular problems are numerous, and high blood sugar is one of them. Although evidence on this subject is still relatively scarce, preliminary findings do show that hyperglycemia is an important prognostic factor in acute heart failure.
Studies show that hyperglycemia could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke due to the fact that glucose fluctuations are triggers for inflammatory responses through enhanced mitochondrial superoxide production.
The biggest problem here is that an inflammatory response induced by one short-term episode of hyperglycemia may last for several days. As if the problem isnt severe enough, inflammation leads to insulin resistance, which only worsens hyperglycemia. Basically, a vicious circle is created.;