High blood sugar symptoms can happen in anyone at any age for a number of different reasons. The main reason for high blood sugar symptoms is the medical problem of diabetes, in which you either don’t make enough insulin any more (type 1 diabetes) or your insulin does not work as effectively as it should (type 2 diabetes). Either way, the symptoms of high blood sugar or “hyperglycemia” including frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue or sleepiness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, blurry vision, and weight loss even if appetite is normal. People with high blood sugar, including “pre diabetes”, can have these same symptoms, even without a a diagnosis of diabetes.
You want to see you doctor if you are having these symptoms and don’t know why, since there are other causes that require a medical professional to test and diagnose the problem. Other side effects of a high blood sugar include poor wound healing of cuts or sores and repeated infections such as vaginal or skin infections and vision problems. Eventually long-term high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves to the feet and hands so badly that you don’t feel pain the way you should – and minor cuts can lead to loss of limbs or even death.
However, if you have those symptoms and a test of your blood sugar shows a value of 180 mg/dL or more (you can do such a test yourself using a home glucometer or blood glucose meter available at any drugstore), then the reason for the symptoms may be high blood sugar. It needs to be treated – it should not be ignored. Left untreated, high blood sugar can continue on to coma and sometimes death. Most of the time, these severe outcomes can be avoided with adequate control of blood sugar levels using diet, exercise, medications, and some natural supplements.
Controlling high blood sugar can reduce the risk of developing these problems, but often, especially for a type 2 diabetic, they may not realize that they have diabetes for a while — and they may go to the doctor because of the symptoms of high blood sugar, only to find out the problem is even more complicated than it seemed originally. At least there are steps to take once you know this is a problem.
You have resources from your own health care provider to specialized diabetes educators in your community who can teach you about eating for a diabetic problem and managing your medications and everyday life. Such professionals are often nurses or nutritionists and they usually have many helpful suggestions and provide wonderful support for coping with the upheaval in your life that diabetes can bring.
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