What Can Happen If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High – If you live with diabetes, you probably know that life with this condition can be a tightrope walk.
Keeping blood sugar in the range without being too high (hyperglycemic) and not too low (hypoglycemic) is a constant balancing act.
What Can Happen If Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
This article explores the issue and offers advice on how you can help manage both the highs and lows of diabetes!
Diabetes And Hot Weather
According to the American Diabetes Association, a normal fasting blood sugar (when you don’t eat or drink anything but water for 8 hours in the morning) is less than 100 mg/dL.
(If you live outside the US and are used to measuring in mmol/L, divide all numbers by 18.)
If you test your blood sugar two hours after eating or drinking something with sugar (oral glucose tolerance test), the numbers should be:
High blood sugar means too much sugar in the blood due to lack of insulin in the body. This can happen for a number of reasons, including not taking enough exogenous insulin, exercising too little, eating too much or stress, hormonal changes or lack of sleep.
Should You Take Insulin If Your Blood Sugar Is Low?
High blood sugar is dangerous, but it is important to remember that high blood sugar is more dangerous.
This means that, in most cases, your blood sugar at the time of diagnosis won’t cause long-term problems, and the spike you noticed from eating an ice cream sundae last week won’t affect you in the long run.
But long-term, chronic high blood sugar (think lifelong diabetes with an average blood sugar of 200 mg/dL) can lead to diabetes complications in many people.
In patients with diabetes, blood glucose levels greater than 125 mg/dL are considered high, indicating a diagnosis of diabetes. However, a blood sugar of 145 mg/dL is usually not a problem (especially if you are going to bed or plan to exercise).
What To Do If Blood Sugar Is Over 400
Blood sugars above 200 mg/dL should be treated with insulin immediately (and water and exercise can also help), and blood sugars above 250 mg/dL should have your urine tested for ketones. To be sure, you are not headed for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
It occurs when the body’s blood becomes acidic due to chronic, dangerously high blood sugar levels and ketones in the blood. It can be fatal if not treated immediately.
It can also happen when someone is sick or dealing with an infection, because of a pump infusion site failure, or if you forget to take your insulin for a few days.
Unfortunately, about 25% of new people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed when they already have DKA.
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If you experience blood sugar above 250 mg/dL for several hours with moderate to high ketones and are unable to lower your blood sugar, contact your doctor immediately and seek emergency medical care.
People with diabetes are at risk of developing a diabetic coma due to high blood sugar when their blood sugar level is 600 mg/dL or higher.
During this time, your blood becomes thick and syrupy, and excess sugar passes from your blood into your urine, which starts a filtration process that removes excess fluid from your body (called “diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome”).
This is a true medical emergency, very dangerous and potentially life-threatening. If you are in this situation, you should call 911.
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If your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL, but not yet at a dangerous level, you may experience the following symptoms:
Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, can quickly become more dangerous. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can quickly lead to diabetic coma and death.
In most cases low blood sugar does not cause permanent problems (unless someone falls into a diabetic coma and experiences brain swelling and traumatic brain injury) but can be physically disabling if experienced. Permanent, causing short-term problems. Those with less need a fast-acting glucose (or glucagon shot) as treatment.
Symptoms of low blood sugar appear at different times in different people, and some people may not be aware that their blood sugar is low (called hypo-awareness), which can be very dangerous.
Low Blood Sugar Symptoms And Treatment
Continuous glucose monitoring systems and diabetes alert dogs can help people detect low levels before they become too dangerous.
Hypoglycemia occurs in about 40% of people with type 1 diabetes and is much less common in people with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, one study found that the average person with type 1 diabetes experiences two episodes of low blood sugar per week!
Low blood sugar can be caused by a number of reasons, all of which are caused by too much insulin in the bloodstream and not enough glucose for the body to function properly.
How To Recognize Low Blood Sugar & Why That’s Critical
Causes may include taking too much insulin with a meal, accidentally over-pressuring with an insulin pump, not finishing a meal, drinking too much alcohol, or not properly lowering the basal insulin setting after physical activity and exercise.
For diabetics, low blood sugar is less than 80 mg/dL (for pregnant women, tighter control is needed, low blood sugar is less than 60 mg/dL).
Blood sugar below 40 mg/dL is considered too low. Anything below 40 mg/dL is very dangerous and can be fatal.
If a person’s blood sugar level does not rise above 40 mg/dL for several hours, they are at increased risk of falling into a diabetic coma.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
If a person experiences severe weakness, and cannot chew food or swallow liquids, they urgently need glucagon (usually in the thigh muscles or buttocks).
If you experience very low blood sugar, less than 40 mg/dL, that does not respond to fast-acting glucose or glucose, and you have received fast-acting glucagon insulin in the last 2 hours, call 911 and get emergency treatment right away.
We have to try every day to make sure our blood sugar levels don’t get too high or too low, and it can be exhausting.
High and low blood sugar can be a hassle, but they don’t always have to be scary and dangerous.
How To Check Your Blood Sugar Levels (and Why Monitoring Is Important) — Novi Health
This list of strategies will help you better prepare and (hopefully) prevent them in the future. I took my first cup of coffee and sat on the sun deck while the birds sang. My head hurt so much that I could not sleep for a moment. I go to bed and sleep all day, but work awaits. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but my body feels heavy and I cling to the chair.
It hurts to raise your arm. This morning my blood sugar is 381. Again I think about facing the day at the office. When driving on the interstate, the lines are blurred.
I know that if the DMV finds out, I probably won’t be able to drive as high as my A1C is. When I get to the office, I walk around in a thick fog and take a few deep breaths at my desk. As soon as I start reviewing the month-end report, the figures are blurry and I can’t focus on them. My 36-ounce water bottle, with only a few sips left in it, was sweating on the desk and across the building to the bathroom.
Getting there on time is sometimes a race. My body swelled up like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. As I walk down the hall to the bathroom, my blood sugar spikes and the blueberries flow like a blue river. I think I could cut myself if I had a needle.
What Affects Blood Sugar
That would definitely be confusing. My skin is so dry and flaky that no lotion can hydrate it. No water quenches my thirst, and my face feels like the Sahara desert. With one hand on the water cooler and the other on the bathroom door, I drank until I thought I couldn’t stop.
I ran out of regular insulin and I took my long-acting insulin. I couldn’t wait for it to start. This morning didn’t start well. I have to deal with the report in my current brain fog. I made an appointment with the doctor yesterday. I look forward to the “conversation”.
On the weekends, memories of family gatherings flashed through my mind. The food was delicious and all my favorite family foods were put on the table at Aunt Ruth’s. There was no way I wasn’t involved. Yes, I should have exercised after eating. I had cheesecake and brownies. It was too much for my weak will. I find my sister to cycle with me.
But my biggest problem was my high blood sugar, which felt overwhelming. I can imagine trying to pedal a two-seater with a 300-pound weight tag. That didn’t work, so I took a nap instead. Sometimes, your
How To Bring High Blood Sugar Down Quickly
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