||What Is Hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is the main diagnostic symptom of diabetes. It causes excessive thirst and frequent urination. If you have these symptoms, ask your doctor to perform a blood test. You may have diabetes. All diabetics experience hyperglycemia from time to time. It is one of the leading causes of diabetes complications and causes long-term tissue damage. Extremely high levels of hyperglycemia, can develop into a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is more common in people with type 1 diabetes after the age of 40. [Compare with hypoglycemia - abnormally low blood sugar].
Ketoacidosis occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body. Insulin 'instructs' the cells in the body to use glucose as a source of energy. In the absence of insulin the cells start to burn fat as an energy source. The process of burning fat creates ketones, excessive levels of which cause acid to build up in the blood and urine. Ketones in the urine is a sign that your diabetes is out of control. High levels will poison your system and lead to coma and even death. Ketoacidosis is rare in people with type 2 diabetes because they nearly always have some insulin in their body - their body may just not be very efficient at using it. Fortunately, with the advance of technology and glucose self monitoring, ketoacidosis is becoming much rarer, even in type 1 diabetics. Today, if it does occur, it is more likely to happen to a diabetic who relies on automatic insulin dosing - for example, where an insulin pump which pushes insulin when required without the patient necessarily being aware of it, fails to work. If the machine fails, insulin delivery stops and glucose levels quickly rise. Ketoacidosis could develop if you did not notice the symptoms fast enough.
The signs and symptoms include:-
Several things can cause the condition:-
Part of any diabetes management program is to regularly monitor your own blood glucose with a glucose monitor. Your doctor will advise you on what level you should aim for. Checking your blood sugar regularly will help you detect hyperglycemia and associated problems. If you are not diabetic, but suspect you may have high blood sugar, your doctor can perform a blood test to check (read diagnosing diabetes for more information).
If you are diabetic and your blood glucose levels are rising, you can take more insulin (in accordance with your doctor's instructions), or you can adjust your diet and exercise level. Exercising will speed up the rate at which glucose is removed from your blood. Cutting down on the amount of food you eat will help reduce blood sugar levels. You may need to work with a dietician to put a personal diabetes diet plan together to prevent recurrent spikes in the future. If your blood glucose levels continue to rise after treatment, and you start to feel unwell, seek immediate medical attention.
Fasting hyperglycemia: High level of blood sugar after you have fasted for at least 8 hours.
Postprandial hyperglycemia: High blood sugar levels 1 to 2 hours after eating.
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For more on diabetes, see the following:
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