Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar or glucose.

Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose into your cells to give them energy. Hyperglycemia happens when your body doesn't make enough insulin or can't use it the right way.

People with diabetes can get hyperglycemia from not eating the right foods or not taking medicines correctly. Other problems that can raise blood sugar include infections, certain medicines, hormone imbalances, or severe illnesses.

If your blood glucose runs high for long periods of time, this can pose significant problems for you long-term including increased risk of complications such as:

  • eye disease
  • kidney disease
  • heart attacks
  • strokes
  • and more

High blood glucose can pose health problems in the short-term, as well. 

  • Too much food
  • Too little exercise or physical activity
  • Skipped or not enough diabetes pills or insulin
  • Insulin that has spoiled after being exposed to extreme heat or freezing cold
  • Stress, illness, infection, injury or surgery
  • A blood glucose meter that is not reading accurately
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Dry mouth or skin
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • More frequent infections
  • Slow healing cuts and sores
  • Unexplained weight loss

The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of water. It is recommended to drink a minimum of 8 glasses each day.
  • If your blood glucose is 250 or greater and you are on insulin, check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones, follow your sick day rules or call your healthcare team if you are not sure what to do.
  • Ask yourself what may have caused the high blood sugar, and take action to correct it. Ask your healthcare team if you are not sure what to do.
  • Try to determine if there is a pattern to your blood glucose levels.
    • Check your blood glucose before meals 3 days in a row.
    • If greater than your target level for 3 days, a change in medication may be needed.
    • Call your healthcare team or adjust your insulin dose following well day rules.
    • Call your healthcare team if you are currently using diabetes pills.