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High blood sugar


High blood sugar occurs when your body makes too little insulin or when your body is not able to use insulin the right way. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose (sugar) for energy. Insulin is made by the pancreas.

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

Alternate Names

Hyperglycemia - self-care; High blood glucose - self-care

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.

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. Here are some questions to ask yourself if your blood sugars are high:

Are you eating correctly?

Are you taking your diabetes medicines correctly?

What else has changed?

Preventing High Blood Sugar

When you have diabetes, you will learn to use diet, exercise, and diabetes medicines or insulin to prevent high blood sugar levels.

You and your doctor will:

If your blood sugar is higher than your goals for 3 days and you do not know why, check your urine for ketones. Then call your doctor or nurse.


American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes -- 2013. Diabetes Care. 2013; 36 Suppl 1:S11-S66.

Review Date: 12/11/2012
Reviewed By: Nancy J. Rennert, MD, Chief of Endocrinology & Diabetes, Norwalk Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.