How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:
|Reason for High Blood Sugar Level
|What to Do
|Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine
|Not following the meal plan
|Not getting enough exercise
|Illness or stress
|Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar
What Happens If Glucose Levels Get Too High
High blood sugar can lead to serious complications over time. People with chronically high blood sugar can develop problems with their eyes, kidneys, circulation or nerves. If your blood sugar gets too high, you can develop diabetic ketoacidosis. With diabetic ketoacidosis, you may experience: Blood sugar levels of 600 mg/dL or higher.
Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Diabetes
The following symptoms are your bodys warning signs that your blood sugar is too high or too low.
Whenever you have these symptoms, check your blood sugar. If it is too high or too low, treat it according to your healthcare providers instructions to prevent a diabetes-related coma. If you have had diabetes for a long time, you may fall into a coma without showing any of the symptoms.
Some symptoms of hyperglycemia are:
- Taking too much insulin.
Drink Drink Drink Some Water
Dehydration can cause high blood sugars, which means getting hydrated can help prevent and reduce high blood sugars.
Your blood consists partly of water. When you dont drink enough water throughout the day, the other things in your blood become more concentrated! And thus, higher blood sugar levels.
You know that uncomfortable thirst you feel when your blood sugars are high? Give in to it. This is how your body helps flush excess sugar out through your urine, and how you replenish the necessary fluid balance in your bloodstream.
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Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia In Type 2 Diabetes
If someone has diabetes that isnt treated properly, they have too much sugar in their blood . Too little sugar in the bloodstream is usually a side effect of treatment with blood-sugar-lowering medication.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which there’s a problem with insulin . It can affect your health in many ways. In type 2 diabetes, not enough insulin is released into the bloodstream, or the insulin cant be used properly. In type 1 diabetes, the body only produces very little insulin, or none at all.
What Causes Elevated Blood Glucose Levels Chart Mayo Clinic
Several factors can contribute to high blood sugar in people with diabetes. Factors include food choices and physical activity, taking certain medications, and skipping or not taking medications to lower blood sugar. Also, diseases, injuries, surgery, stress, and menopause can affect blood sugar levels.
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Blood Sugar: When Its Too Low Or Too High
The hormone insulin takes sugar from food and uses it for energy. With type 2 diabetes, you dont have enough insulin or your body isnt effective at using insulin, and excess sugar continues to circulate in your bloodstream.
A target blood sugar range for most people with type 2 diabetes is 80 to 130 milligrams per deciliter before a meal and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after starting a meal, according to the American Diabetes Association.
A reading of 160 mg/dl or higher is typically considered high blood sugar . Over time, blood sugar in the range of 160 to 250 mg/dl can affect every organ in your body, Dr. Reddy says. It’s associated with heart disease, eye disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, stroke, and vascular disease. If blood sugar goes as high as 500 mg/dl, you may experience symptoms such as thirst, the urge to urinate more often, weight loss, low energy, and drowsiness, he says.
Low blood sugar occurs when levels fall to less than 70 mg/dl. This is a risk when you take insulin or other diabetes medications, have gone too long without a meal, have been active, or have been drinking alcohol.
If your blood sugar goes too low, youll probably feel shaky and sweaty and you may develop tremors, Reddy says. Other symptoms may include a racing heart, headache, weakness, confusion, hunger, irritability, lack of coordination, and pale skin. If your blood sugar continues to drop to 30 mg/dl and below, you could slip into a diabetic coma.
What Happens If Blood Sugar Level Is 500
If blood sugar goes as high as 500 mg/dl, you may experience symptoms such as thirst, the urge to urinate more often, weight loss, low energy, and drowsiness, he says. Low blood sugar occurs when levels fall to less than 70 mg/dl.
Should I go to the ER if my blood sugar is 500?
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more. Call your doctor if youre worried about any symptoms of high blood sugar. They can offer advice and reassurance.
What is a dangerous level of blood sugar?
A reading above 300 mg/dL can be dangerous, according to the University of Michigan, which recommends immediately informing your doctor if you have two or more readings of 300 mg/dL in a row. In severe cases, very high blood sugar levels can result in coma.
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Blood Sugar Over 500 What To Do Final Tip No 7 Try To Exercise
Exercising makes your body better able to accept glucose into the bloodstream, and can therefore lower blood sugar levels for more than 24 hours as cells deliver glucose to muscles and tissues. When exercising, try to get your heart rate up for about 30 minutes.
Its important to check your urine for ketones because strenuous exercise above 250mg/dL can cause complications to hyperglycemia.
Take Your Insulin As Prescribed
High blood sugar occurs when your body has too little insulin, or your body cant use insulin properly. Administering insulin can bring your blood sugar levels down.
Talk to your doctor about how much rapid-acting insulin you should administer when your blood sugar is high.
You may want to check your blood sugar about 1530 minutes after taking insulin to make sure your blood sugar is going down and that its not dropping too low.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka
The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually don’t develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:
- feel really tired
- feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
- have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration
These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesn’t get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:
How Do I Treat Hyperglycemia
You can often lower your blood glucose level by exercising. However, if your blood glucose is above 240 mg/dl, check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, do not exercise.
Exercising when ketones are present may make your blood glucose level go even higher. You’ll need to work with your doctor to find the safest way for you to lower your blood glucose level.
Cutting down on the amount of food you eat might also help. Work with your dietitian to make changes in your meal plan. If exercise and changes in your diet don’t work, your doctor may change the amount of your medication or insulin or possibly the timing of when you take it.
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How To Test For Ketones
You can use a urine test strip or blood ketone meter and ketone test strip to test for ketones at home. Testing either urine or blood is important, but when possible, a blood test is preferred because it gives you and your care team more precise information about your ketone levels. Because urine may have been in the bladder for some time, the results from these tests may show levels that are either higher or lower than the ketone levels that are actually circulating in your body. It is also very important to know that urine test trips degrade over time, so if you are using this method, you need to look at expiration dates carefully.
Your diabetes care team can give you specific directions about when you should check for ketones, but in general, you should check for them when your blood glucose is 240 mg/dL or higher. You should also check for ketones if you notice any of the DKA symptoms listed above or if you are sick it is possible to have ketones while your blood glucose levels are within range .
At-home urine test strips will change color to show the level of ketones in the urine. They typically report results as negative, trace, small, moderate or large. Blood ketone meters will provide a number that indicates the ketone levels. The following ranges are generally used:
What To Do In An Emergency
A diabetic emergency happens when symptoms relating to diabetes overwhelm the body.
At this point, home treatment is unlikely to help, and delaying medical care could cause permanent damage or death.
Some of the signs that can indicate a serious problem include:
- chest pain that radiates down the arm
- difficulty breathing
- a severe headache and weakness in one side of the body
- loss of consciousness
If there are signs of an emergency, the person should go to the emergency room, or they or someone with them should call 911 immediately.
Without rapid help, some diabetic emergencies can be life-threatening.
It is not always possible to prevent an emergency, but being able to recognize the signs can improve the chances of early treatment and a full recovery.
Strategies that can help to reduce the risk of an emergency include:
Following the treatment plan: Use medications as a doctor prescribes and keep in touch with the healthcare team. If a person cannot remember whether or not they took their last dose of drugs, they should ask a doctor before taking a further dose. This can help to prevent hypoglycemia. Anyone who notices a change in their symptoms should see a doctor.
Eating healthful, balanced, regular meals: People who use insulin or other medications that lower blood glucose should ask their doctor about what foods to eat, how much, and when, in order to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Small, frequent meals are better than fewer larger meals.
People with diabetes should:
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How Does Hyperglycemia Happen
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the sugar in your blood, which comes primarily from carbohydrates in the food that you eat. Hyperglycemia happens when your body has too little insulin to use the sugar in your blood.
People with type 1 diabetes can have episodes of hyperglycemia every day. Although this can be frustrating, it rarely creates a medical emergency. Not taking enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia .
Other things that can cause hyperglycemia include:
- Having trouble seeing or concentrating
- Experiencing stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Having sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Cuts or sores that do not heal, infections, and unexplained weight loss may also be signs of long-term hyperglycemia.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is very high, you should also test for ketones in either your blood or urine.
Just How Dangerous Is A Blood Sugar Reading In The 500s
Blood sugar in the 500s is dangerous, especially if it stays there for any significant period of time , says Stacy Mitchell Doyle, MD, resident physician of FoodTherapyMD and long-time advocate of plant-based nutritional protocols.
Dr. Doyle continues, If blood sugar remains this high, the body can develop a condition called ketoacidosis, which can result in organ failure.
Severe dehydration is also a complication of blood sugar in the 500 range. Your body tries to eliminate the sugar by urinating it out.
That is why one of the symptoms of hyperglycemia is frequent urination and increased thirst.
With all the urination, in the bodys attempt to rid the excess sugar, the body is left dehydrated, making the sufferer thirsty.
This dehydration damages the kidneys and other organs, says Dr. Doyle. The kidneys are working so extra hard to rid the sugar, that they become stressed and damaged.
Acute kidney failure may result. Theres nothing wrong with the kidneys structurally, but they just become so exhausted that they begin shutting down unless the blood sugar is promptly brought back to a normal level.
Renal injury may also result from the excess sugar in the renal arteries that feed the kidneys blood.
Even blood sugar in the 400, 300 and 200 range is dangerous, continues Dr. Doyle. All levels of hyperglycemia destroy the heart and vessels in the body, making you prone to heart attacks and strokes.
But the destruction is just the same ultimately.
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What Happens When You Have Too Much Blood Sugar
Too much sugar in the blood is called hyperglycemia. Your liver and muscles make some of your blood sugar, but most of it comes from foods and drinks that contain carbohydrates. The body needs insulin to keep blood sugar levels within normal limits. Insulin is a hormone that causes the cells of the body to absorb and store glucose.
When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
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Is Blood Sugar Of 300 An Emergency
In general, a blood sugar reading of more than 180 mg/dL or any reading above your target range is too high. A blood sugar reading of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. If you have 2 readings in a row of 300 or more, call your doctor.
What happens when sugar is 600?
If your blood sugar level tops 600 milligrams per deciliter , or 33.3 millimoles per liter , the condition is called diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Severely high blood sugar turns your blood thick and syrupy.
What Is A Diabetes
Diabetes-related coma is a life-threatening emergency that can happen to you if you have diabetes. In a diabetes-related coma, youre unconscious and unable to respond to your environment. Youre either suffering from high blood glucose or low blood glucose . You need immediate medical attention if you go into a diabetes-related coma.