What is Hyperglycaemia?

Hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) occurs when blood glucose rises above normal blood glucose levels. Basically high blood glucose means that your body has too little insulin or you can’t use insulin properly.

What Causes Hyperglycaemia?

Here are some causes of high blood glucose:

  • If you have Type 1 diabetes, you may have forgotten to take your insulin, or you need an increase in your insulin dose
  • If you have Type 2 diabetes, your body may not have enough insulin or is not using insulin properly
  • You eat more than planned
  • You exercise less than planned
  • You have stress, or worries about things that are happening in your life
  • You have stress from an illness such as a cold or flu

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Glucose?

Some people do not have any signs or symptoms of high blood glucose. Some symptoms include:

  • Above target blood glucose results
  • Glucose in your urine
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Hunger

What Can I Do if I Have High Blood Glucose?

Sometimes you can lower high blood glucose with exercise, but if your blood glucose is above 13.9 mmol/L you should check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones in your urine, you should avoid exercise.

Think about your food choices. Cutting down on the amount of food or changing the type of food, can help.

You may need a change in your medication or insulin. It is a good idea to talk with your diabetes care team about your blood glucose and put a plan in place to regain control of blood glucose.

What if High Blood Glucose Continues and Goes Untreated?

If your blood glucose stays high, it means that the glucose cannot move into cells for energy. If your body does not have enough insulin, it uses stored fat for energy instead. When stored fat is used, waste products called ketones can build up in the blood. Ketones in the blood – called ketoacidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can result.

Ketoacidosis is more likely to occur in people with Type 1 diabetes. However, people who have Type 2 diabetes may sometimes develop DKA. The stress of illness, trauma, and/or surgery may make controlling your blood glucose levels more difficult and may result in DKA. During times such as these more frequent blood glucose checks are recommended.

Symptoms of DKA include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Breath that smells fruity
  • Shortness of breath or deep rapid breathing
  • Very dry mouth / dehydration
  • Confusion and sometimes even coma.

If you have any of these symptoms, you will require immediate medical attention. Talk to your diabetes care team about a plan for sick days and how to handle ketoacidosis.

ADA website:

The information on this site is intended to provide you with information about Ascensia Diabetes Care’s products and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.  Any questions or concerns you have regarding diabetes or a medical condition should always be discussed with a qualified medical professional.

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