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High blood glucose, or hyperglycemia, happens when the amount of glucose in your blood rises to 180 mg/dL or higher after meals. High blood glucose may affect people whether their diabetes is well controlled or not. In people whose diabetes is not well controlled, episodes of high blood glucose may happen because they are not treating their diabetes. Or they may not even know that they have diabetes. For people who use an insulin pump, blocked tubing could also lead to high blood glucose. If left untreated, high blood glucose can cause serious health problems.
How high is high? How to measure if your blood glucose is high
High blood glucose can happen if you:
It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of high blood glucose early, so something can be done before it gets worse.
You may have high blood glucose if you:
If you have signs or symptoms of high blood glucose (higher than 130 mg/dL before a meal or higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after starting a meal), follow these steps:
If your blood glucose is higher than usual, you can help lower it if you:
Download Checking your blood glucose
High blood glucose can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, in people who have type 1 diabetes (it’s very rare for type 2). DKA happens when there is a buildup of ketonesKetonesOrganic compounds produced when the body breaks down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel. This is most likely to occur when the body does not have enough glucose or carbohydrates or the body cannot use glucose effectively. Because high levels of ketones are dangerous, a urine test is one way to check the level of ketones in your body. in the blood. Ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose. This can happen when the cells don’t get the glucose they need to use for energy.
Symptoms of DKA that may require ketone testing include:
How to test for ketones
What level of ketones is considered dangerous?
Your diabetes care teamDiabetes care teamYour diabetes care team may include a primary care doctor, a diabetes and hormone doctor (endocrinologist), a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, a dietitian, a heart doctor (cardiologist), a foot doctor (podiatrist), an eye doctor (ophthalmologist/optometrist), a kidney doctor (nephrologist), a dentist, a pharmacist, and a mental health professional. will often tell you what level of ketones is dangerous. If they have not, call your doctor if a urine test shows moderate or large amounts of ketones.
What is the most important information I should know about ketones?
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic syndrome, or HHS, is a severe condition. It happens when high blood glucose levels cause an unusual increase in urination. This can lead to dehydration.
If your blood glucose levels are running high, but you don’t know why, you may need medical attention. Your doctor can tell you what blood glucose levels and symptoms are associated with HHS, and when you should call someone from your diabetes care team if you experience them.
What are common reasons you should call your doctor?
Find out how and when to check your blood glucose levels, including recording your numbers and goals.
Everything you need to know about high blood glucose and its effect on diabetes.
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