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High Blood Sugar and Diabetes

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Blood sugar control is at the center of any diabetes treatmentplan. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, is a major concern, and can affect people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes . There are two main kinds:

  • Fasting hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that’s higher than 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after not eating or drinking for at least 8 hours.

  • Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia. This is blood sugar that’s higher than 180 mg/dL 2 hours after you eat. People without diabetesrarely have blood sugar levels over 140 mg/dL after a meal, unless it’s really large.

    Frequent or ongoing high blood sugar can cause damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs. It can also lead to other serious conditions. People with type 1 diabetes are prone to a build-up of acids in the blood called ketoacidosis.

    If you have type 2 diabetes or if you’re at risk for it, extremely high blood sugar can lead to a potentially deadly condition in which your body can’t process sugar. It’s called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). You’ll pee more often at first, and then less often later on, but your urine may become dark and you could get severely dehydrated.

    It’s important to treat symptoms of high blood sugar right away to help prevent complications.

    Causes

    Your blood sugar may rise if you:

    • Skip or forget your insulin or oral glucose-lowering medicine

    • Eat too many grams of carbohydrates for the amount of insulin you took, or eat too many carbs in general

    • Have an infection

    • Are ill

    • Are under stress

    • Become inactive or exercise less than usual

    • Take part in strenuous physical activity, especially when your blood sugar levels are high and insulin levels are low

    Symptoms

    Early signs include:

    Ongoing high blood sugar may cause:

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