Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose level rises above what it normally is.

Hyperglycemia can affect anyone but especially those with diabetes and prediabetes, which refers to borderline high blood sugar levels that haven’t yet reached the level of a full-blown diagnosis of diabetes.

In order to understand hyperglycemia and its treatment options, you first need to learn about the most common symptoms of hyperglycemia and what causes hyperglycemia.

What is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia is characterized by high levels of glucose in your blood.

Glucose or blood sugar is a carbohydrate that enters your bloodstream through foods such as grains and sweets.

High levels of glucose can be dangerous to your health and may lead to issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and neuropathy.

In order to determine if you have hyperglycemia, check your fasting glucose test results after not eating for at least 8 hours.

A normal reading ranges from 80-120 mg/dL; anything over 120 is considered hyperglycemic. 

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

The general signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia include excessive thirst, frequent urination, and hunger.

Many patients with hyperglycemia may also complain of blurry vision and excessive fatigue as a result of low blood glucose levels.

In some cases, a patient with high blood glucose may also experience nausea or have difficulty breathing.

Serious complications from hyperglycemia can develop if left untreated, according to Diabetes UK.

An individual’s medical history is usually sufficient for an initial diagnosis of hyperglycemia.

There are several factors that can contribute to symptoms associated with high blood glucose including inadequate nutrition, hormonal imbalance, and certain medications like steroids and thiazide diuretics.

However, there are no clear signs or symptoms associated with all instances of hyperglycemia.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes should regularly monitor their blood glucose levels in order to ensure proper care and safety.

However, anyone who has a family history of diabetes should consult a physician immediately if they notice any of these warning signs since early detection allows them time to take preventative measures against serious health issues later on down the road.

Causes of Hyperglycemia

A high level of glucose in the blood can be caused by diabetes mellitus, pancreatic disorders such as pancreatitis, and tumors of the pancreas or adrenal glands.

It may also be caused by alcohol intake.

Hyperglycemia is a symptom of many other diseases as well. If you are hyperglycemic you should see your doctor to determine its cause. 

Treatment depends on what is causing it. For example, people with diabetes have to monitor their food and medication intake carefully to manage their disease.

If a tumor is causing hyperglycemia then surgery will be necessary for removal of it.

However, in most cases, hyperglycemia does not require any treatment but simply improves with time when the underlying condition is treated.

All that one has to do is follow his/her doctor’s advice regarding diet, lifestyle changes and medications.

Ways to Treat Hyperglycemia

Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.

  •  Cut back on starchy foods such as pasta or potatoes.
  • Avoid unhealthy fats such as margarine and butter.
  •  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  •  Exercise daily to increase your metabolism and burn calories.
  •  Maintain a healthy weight for optimal health.

While diet can help manage high blood sugar levels, some patients also need medication to maintain normal glucose levels in their bodies.  

If you think you may have hyperglycemia, speak with your doctor about managing it properly to avoid potential complications.

Eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding sugary foods, and exercising regularly are just three ways that you can lower high blood sugar at home without taking medication.

Your overall lifestyle affects how quickly your body processes sugars and carbohydrates which directly impacts how much insulin you’ll produce naturally. 

Check out these easy steps that anyone can take to cut down on added sugars and keep their blood sugar levels down

  • Skip eating simple carbs like soda, candy, white bread and pastries to prevent dangerous spikes in blood sugar.

These foods spike your blood sugar by providing large amounts of easily accessible energy; oftentimes they contain little nutritional value.

Healthy choices include oatmeal, wheat bread and quinoa which slow digestion allowing your body time to break them down over time into a steady source of energy rather than an instant rush followed by crashing effects afterward.

  • Swap out simple carbs for whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa to keep blood sugars steady throughout the day.

These foods are digested more slowly in comparison and don’t cause spikes in glucose levels like refined carbohydrates do.

  • Incorporate protein into every meal to keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
  • Protein slows digestion which helps keep your blood sugars steady throughout the day.
  • Protein also supports muscles and maintains bone health so make sure to get plenty in your diet.
  • One of our favorite protein sources is salmon, a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial for heart health.

In Conclusion

Hyperglycemia is commonly known as high blood sugar. It is a condition in which your body has an elevated amount of glucose in your bloodstream.

A person with hyperglycemia may show no signs or symptoms at all because most people can tolerate higher levels of glucose before showing signs and feeling discomfort.

However, it can lead to serious long-term complications such as diabetes, liver disease and many other debilitating diseases that can be life-threatening.

If you have any doubts or concerns about hyperglycemia then please consult your doctor right away.

Your doctor will guide you better on what tests are best for you and how to manage your blood sugar level effectively.

It’s also important that you watch what type of food items you consume daily, to make sure they are good for diabetics. 

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