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What is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar (glucose), is a serious health problem for those with diabetes. Hyperglycemia develops when there is too much sugar in the blood. In people with diabetes, there are two specific types of hyperglycemia that occur:

  • Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as a blood sugar greater than 130 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) after fasting for at least 8 hours.
  • Postprandial or after-meal hyperglycemia is defined as a blood sugar usually greater than 180 mg/dL. In people without diabetes postprandial or post-meal sugars rarely go over 140 mg/dL. However, occasionally after a large meal, a 1-2 hour post-meal sugar level can reach 180 mg/dL. Consistently elevated high post-meal blood sugar levels can be an indicator that a person is at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes

When a person with diabetes has hyperglycemia frequently or for long periods of time as indicated by a high HbA1c blood test, damage to nerves, blood vessels, and other body organs can occur. Hyperglycemia can also lead to more serious conditions, including ketoacidosis -- mostly in people with type 1 diabetes -- and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS) in people with type 2 diabetes or in people at risk for type 2 diabetes.

It's important to treat the symptoms of hyperglycemia promptly to prevent complications from diabetes.

Return to Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Gessie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 08

After 20 years with type 2 diabetes which was in recent years brought bang under control using medications (metformin, glitz and sitagliptin) and a strict low glycemic index diet, two months ago it suddenly rose from readings below 7 to above 17. The highest was 26.8. I am now up to 70 units of insulin as well (2 doses). And nothing is working for my hyperglycemia. The consultant said he doesn't know what's wrong; the diabetic nurses treat the symptoms with ever increasing doses of insulin and my general physician isn't sure and wants to leave it to the experts. Meanwhile, I feel awful and am sleeping my life away!

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Comment from: Jeff, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 19

I experienced a 3 month period of dry mouth and major weight loss, I still felt fine during this time, though my wife was worried. I went into see my doctor, who ran some blood work. My sugar level was 30 mmol/lt. So next day I saw a diabetes specialist. She shot me up with various Insulin products. Shortly after I lost my sight in one eye and phased out the other. These insulin products increased my already high blood sugars into the high 40s. I decided not to take anything, as it affected me in a really bad way. It took 2 months to regain my sight and still hasn't returned to my perfect vision before I went in. In June my levels have returned to 6 and 7 mmol/lt. I'm thinking it was not diabetes, just a bout of hyperglycemia. Unknown cause as my dietary habits never changed. I now have a serious mistrust of doctors, and unless I'm dying, I don't think I'll be seeing one any time soon.

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Comment from: gina moore, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I felt tired, bloated. I can't understand why they say pinworms are not harmful. How can that be! I did not feel the same. Doctors need to be more educated on this.

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