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High blood sugar - self-care

Description

High blood sugar is also called high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia.

High blood sugar almost always happens in people who have diabetes. High blood sugar occurs when:

Insulin is a hormone that helps the body move glucose (sugar) from the blood into muscle or fat, where it is stored for later use when energy is needed.

Sometimes high blood sugar occurs due to stress from surgery, infection, trauma, or medicines. After the stress is over, blood sugar returns to normal.

Alternative Names

Hyperglycemia - self care; High blood glucose - self care; Diabetes - high blood sugar

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

Symptoms of high blood sugar can include:

You may have other, more serious symptoms if your blood sugar becomes very high or remains high for a long time.

What to Think About When Your Blood Sugar is High

High blood sugar can harm you. If your blood sugar is high, you need to know how to bring it down. If you have diabetes, here are some questions to ask yourself when your blood sugar is high:

Are you taking your diabetes medicines correctly?

What else has changed?

Preventing High Blood Sugar

To prevent high blood sugar, you will need to:

You and your doctor will:

If your blood sugar is higher than your goals over 3 days and you don't know why, check your urine for ketones. Then call your health care provider.

References

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes - 2017: 4. Lifestyle management and 6. Glycemic targets. Diabetes Care. 2017;40(Suppl 1):S48-S56. PMID: 27979893 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27979893.

Pasquel FJ, Umpierrez GE. Hyperglycemic crises: diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 46.


Review Date: 4/15/2017
Reviewed By: Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Health Care Ethics, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.