What is hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, is the presence of excess glucose in the blood.
A patient is considered hyperglycemic when they have a blood glucose level above 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and haven’t eaten for 8 hours. A level above 180 mg/dL within an hour or two of a meal is also considered hyperglycemic.
Signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia:
Symptoms of hyperglycemia, such as frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, and fatigue, don’t typically manifest until levels are significantly elevated between 180 and 200 milligrams per deciliter. Severe hyperglycemia can lead to complications, including ketoacidosis, which is a buildup of waste products that can lead to a diabetic coma.
Several factors can contribute to hyperglycemia in people wiith diabetes:
  • Undercounting carbs at mealtime
  • Not exercising
  • Emotional or physical stress
  • Illnesses
  • Medications other than those used to treat diabetes
  • Skipping or not taking glucose-lowering prescriptions
  • Over long periods of time, chronic hyperglycemia can lead to complications including nerve, blood vessel, or organ damage.
How to manage hyperglycemia:
Exercise and drinking water to flush out excess glucose after meals can help lower a blood glucose spike. Insulin injections will also treat hyperglycemia. However, the best way to manage hyperglycemia is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Methods include regularly monitoring glucose levels and using a combination of medicine (typically insulin injections), exercise, and careful meal planning.

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