Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. Even when you do your best to manage your blood glucose, you may still sometimes experience highs. These highs can be dangerous if you don’t act quickly. Learn to recognize the signs of hyperglycemia (when your fasting blood glucose is above 180 mg/dL) and act. Some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugar levels.
Note: When initially discussing your diabetes care plan, ask your doctor how you should adjust your injectable medication when your blood glucose is high.
If your blood glucose is very high (>240 mg/dL) or if you have the symptoms outlined below, check for ketones.
Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t produce enough glucose lowering hormone so it breaks down fats into ketones. Ketone levels can be measured with a simple urine test using ketone strips (similar to blood glucose test strips) purchased from a pharmacy.
Ketoacidosis is serious and dangerous and can lead to a diabetic coma. Ketoacidosis usually develops slowly, but when vomiting occurs, this life-threatening condition can develop in a few hours.
Get medical help right away if you notice these symptoms:
Because you may need help from those around you, it may be helpful to:
Mayo Clinic. Hyperglycemia in Diabetes. Accessed August 8, 2019.
American Diabetes Association. DKA (Ketoacidosis & Ketones). Accessed August 8, 2019.
Healthline. Checking Ketone Levels. Accessed August 19, 2019.