Causes of high blood sugar

Hyperglycaemia is the medical name for when your blood sugar (glucose) levels rise temporarily. Hypoglycaemia is the complete opposite, and when you have low blood sugar levels. As you may be aware glucose comes from the majority of foods, and there are certain chemicals that are able to produce glucose in both the liver and muscles. The blood, in turn, will then carry glucose, or blood sugar, to all the cells inside the body. In order for the blood to achieve this, it will require some help from insulin, which is a specific hormone that is made by the pancreas.

Based on actual blood sugar levels, the pancreas will release insulin into the blood. This will then help to move glucose from any food you have digested directly into the cells. However, certain conditions such as diabetes type I will mean that the body has stopped producing insulin and diabetes type II will typically mean that the body’s production of insulin is not working properly. Unfortunately, for somebody suffering from diabetes, insulin will not enter the cells as efficiently as it could. This will simply mean that insulin will stay in the blood and therefore create high blood sugar levels.

In order to check your blood sugar levels you can use an instrument known as a glucometer. You will typically need to place a tiny drop of blood from either your finger or forearm directly onto a test strip. This test strip is then inserted into the glucometer and your blood sugar levels will be displayed within seconds. It is important to realise that the blood sugar levels can vary dramatically throughout the day and night, especially in people who have diabetes. The ideal level of blood glucose/sugar levels should range from 90-130 mg/dL before you have eaten and somewhere below are 180 mg/dL within a couple of hours of consuming your meal. If you are suffering with diabetes it is critical to keep your blood sugar levels within a controlled range, typically somewhere between 80-150 mg/dL.

There are numerous causes of high blood sugar however diabetes mellitus is probably the most persistent offender. If you are suffering from diabetes than hyperglycaemia may have been caused because of numerous factors which include:

Carbohydrates – carbohydrates are a form of sugar and, unfortunately, a person who has diabetes will be unable to process high levels of carbohydrates quickly enough in order to turn them into energy. Within just a few hours of eating carbohydrates someone with diabetes is likely to display alarmingly high blood sugar levels.

Stress – it is important to keep your emotions in check and remain as stress free as possible. Stress however is a major cause of high blood sugar levels, but that does not mean it should be used as an excuse for not controlling your diabetes.

Controlling your levels of insulin – it is vital that people with diabetes should control their blood sugar, typically through a combination of diet, medication and physical activity. Many people who suffer with diabetes will find that they are not producing enough insulin and will typically require either an injection or medications that can stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. If you are not able to balance exercise, food and insulin you are likely to find that your blood sugar levels will rise.

Other causes of high blood sugar, as mentioned, could be low levels of exercise. In order to regulate your blood sugar levels it is of paramount importance that you set yourself a daily exercise regime. Certain illnesses, infections or even surgery may cause your blood sugar levels to rise. You will also find that certain drugs, especially steroids, can have a major effect on your blood sugar levels.

If your blood sugar levels remain high for a number of hours, certain complications may develop. One of the most obvious of these complications is dehydration. Hypoglycaemia that has not been recognised or is not treated correctly for a number of years can cause some serious damage to the tissues in the brain, arteries and kidneys. If hypoglycaemia is associated with the presence of ketones in your urine, this can be considered extremely serious and it is advisable that you seek immediate medical attention. If your blood sugar levels begin to rise and you find that they stay at a consistently high level, e.g. over 165 mg/dL, for a long period of time, this is usually a sign of diabetes and should therefore be treated.

For somebody who is suffering with diabetes they can expect their high blood sugar levels to fluctuate throughout the day. As mentioned, it is vitally important to try and control blood sugar levels through diet, exercise and medication. High blood sugar, in itself, is a symptom of diabetes, although there are certain other symptoms you should look out for and these include dry mouth, thirst, blurry vision, dry and itchy skin, weight loss, frequent urination, the need to urinate during the night and extreme fatigue or drowsiness.

Last updated on Jun 20th, 2011 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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