The Prevention and Treatment of Hyperglycemia – High Blood Sugar
One reason that an individual develops diabetes is because of the levels of sugar in the blood is higher than normal. This is called hyperglycemia and can be dangerous if left untreated.
What is Hyperglycemia?
Blood sugar levels sometimes get out of control. The high level of sugar in the blood causes problems in the rest of the body. That is the gist of diabetes. Chronic high blood sugar may cause diabetes over time, but you may also experience an acute spike in blood sugar which can have more immediate results.
Why would the blood sugar be high? One reason may be you are eating the wrong foods. Too many carbohydrates at one meal can flood the body with excess sugar that the insulin can’t handle.
Another reason is not enough insulin in the body. Your body may not produce enough insulin. Also, if a person is being monitored and treated with insulin for Type 1 diabetes, they may not be injecting enough insulin each day. For Type 2 diabetes, there could be insulin resistance in their cells.
Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
If you have diabetes, it is important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia. If hyperglycemia is left untreated, it may develop into ketoacidosis (if you have type 1 diabetes) or HHNS (if you have type 2 diabetes), both of which are serious emergencies.
The body will try to get rid of excess sugar you ingest. One way is through the kidneys. That causes frequent urination. Because you are losing so much water from your body, you will also notice that you are thirsty more often.
Check your blood sugar. If it is way above normal, say over 200mg/dl, steps are going to have to be taken to lower it.
One way to treat it is with exercise. Yes, we did say exercise. Put that extra glucose to good use. Vigorous physical activity burns that sugar off as fuel. It can start to bring your blood sugar levels back down to normal.
A word of caution here: When there is not enough insulin to move all of the sugar that the cells need, the body can go into ketoacidosis. This is a condition were the body burns fats for energy which gives off ketones. Too many ketones are toxic to the body and it will try to get rid of them. Also, if fats are being used then sugar isn’t, and the blood sugar level will rise again.
How can you tell you have ketoacidosis? Here are some signs:
Medical attention is needed right away. Ketoacidosis can lead to diabetic coma and death.
Exercise (as long as ketones are not present in the urine)
Take some insulin
Monitor your diet
Reduce your stress level
Just like the sugar in your blood can get too low, it can also go sky high. The repercussions will be dangerous for your entire body. Knowing the signs and treatment of hyperglycemia will help you immediately control the outcome. Knowledge is power in the life of a person living with diabetes.