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high blood sugar and hyperglycemia; woman checking blood sugarWhat is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar (glucose) levels is caused when there are excess amounts of glucose in the body due to a high-sugar diet, requiring a greater amount of insulin to be produced in order to break down these chemicals and convert the sugar into usable energy. The two main types of high blood sugar are fasting hyperglycemia which occurs when glucose levels are unusual high (over 130mg/dL) after fasting for 8 hours, and postprandia glycemia in which sugar levels elevate abnormally (to over 180mg/dL) after eating a meal.

Hyperglycemia may be caused by several factors including diet or conditions such as:

  • a diet that is high in carbohydrates
  • lack of exercise
  • trouble producing insulin
  • high levels of stress
  • various infections or illnesses
  • medical procedures or surgery
  • medications including steroids (corticosteroids, antipsychotics, diuretics or water pills, drugs for lowering blood pressure, and medicines that suppress the immune system)

High blood sugar may be seriously dangerous, especially for those with diabetes. This condition may cause harmful effects on nerves and blood vessels, even injuring organs or causing diabetic ketoacidosis (inability to convert glucose into energy) with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fruity breath, trouble breathing, and abdominal pain. Hyperglycemia may also lead to:

  • dehydration, dryness of the mouth, and feelings of thirst or hunger
  • sensations of dizziness, confusion, sleepiness, or unconsciousness (coma)
  • increased frequency of urination
  • changes in vision or blurriness
  • dryness or itchiness of the skin
  • tiredness, a lack of energy, or fatigue
  • rapid decrease in weight

How is Hyperglycemia Treated?

Hyperglycemia may be controlled by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet that is sugar and caffeine-free, and frequently checking your blood sugar level. Patients who suspect to have high blood sugar should contact their doctor for proper instructions to ensure their safety. Certain medicines such as diabetes medications, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, meglitinides, sulfonylureas, insulin, medications to increase insulin production, and drugs to prevent insulin resistance may be prescribed to reduce your sugar level.