Hyperglycemia is when your blood glucose level goes too high; it is high blood sugar. Part of managing diabetes (either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes) on a daily basis is learning how to avoid hyperglycemia. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia early is helpful.
If your blood sugar shoots up too high, it can be dangerous—and it can possibly land you in the hospital, especially if it leads to diabetic ketoacidosis.
Also, if your blood sugar is continually in the high range, your likelihood of developing long-term diabetes complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, and heart disease rises dramatically. So it is important to detect when your blood glucose reaches unacceptable levels.
Early Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
The best defensive tactic for identifying elevated blood glucose is testing with a glucose meter. Your doctor will advise you how frequently you should test and what levels you should be aiming for.
However, your body can also let you know when there is too much glucose circulating in your blood. It may prompt you with:
If you experience these symptoms, check your blood glucose right away.
If your blood glucose is high (based on the target levels your doctor said you should be aiming for), it is time to act.
Your physician and diabetes educator have likely taught you how to treat high blood glucose levels—how to bring them back to a target range.
Some possible ideas for treating hyperglycemia:
Of course, you want to avoid as many hyperglycemia events as you can, and to do that, you may need to:
If you do not have a plan for treating hyperglycemia, call your doctor or CDE to make an appointment to put one together. Knowing how to catch high blood glucose (blood sugar) readings and address them early may prevent long-term diabetes complications.