Hyperglycemia and Diabetes
What Are the Symptoms of Hyperglycemia in Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, it is important to know the early signs of hyperglycemia. If hyperglycemia is left untreated, it may develop into ketoacidosis (if you have type 1 diabetes) or HHNS (if you have type 2 diabetes), both of which are serious emergencies.
Early signs of hyperglycemia in diabetes may include:
- Increased thirst
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Frequent urination
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar more than 180 mg/dL
Prolonged hyperglycemia in diabetes may result in:
- Vaginal and skin infections
- Slow-healing cuts and sores
- Decreased vision
- Nerve damage causing painful cold or insensitive feet, loss of hair on the lower extremities, and/or erectile dysfunction
- Stomach and intestinal problems such as chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Damage to your eyes, blood vessels, or kidneys
How Is Hyperglycemia in Diabetes Treated?
If you have diabetes and have any of the early signs of hyperglycemia, be sure to test your blood sugar and call your doctor. Your health care provider may want the results of several readings. He or she may then recommend the following changes:
Drink more water. Water helps remove the excess sugar from your blood through the urine and helps you avoid dehydration.
Exercise more. Exercise can help to lower your blood sugar, but under certain conditions, it can make the blood sugar go even higher. Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. When you have ketones, do NOT exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you must also be sure that you have no ketones in your urine and that you are well hydrated. Then your doctor may give you the OK to exercise with caution as long as you are feeling well.
Change your eating habits. You may need to meet with a dietitian to change the amount and types of foods you are eating.
Change your medications. Your health care provider may change the amount, timing, or type of diabetes medications you take. Do not make adjustments in your diabetes medications without first talking with your health care provider.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is more than 250 mg/dL, your doctor may want you to test your urine or blood for ketones.
Call your doctor if your blood sugar is running higher than your treatment goals.