High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)

High blood sugar (also called hyperglycemia) occurs when the body can no longer maintain a normal blood glucose level, either because the pancreas is no longer making enough insulin, or because the body’s cells have become so resistant to insulin that the pancreas cannot keep up, and glucose is accumulating in the bloodstream rather than being moved into the cells.

High blood sugar has been defined as:

►  Blood glucose levels greater than 7.0 mmol/L  when fasting

►  Blood glucose levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L  2 hours after meals

Although blood sugar levels exceeding 7.0 mmol/L for extended periods of time can start to cause damage to internal organs, symptoms may not develop until blood glucose levels exceed 11.0 mmol/L.


The common symptoms of high blood sugar are:

  1. Excessive urination
  2. Excessive thirst
  3. Excessive hunger
  4. Weight loss
  5. Recurring infections
  6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds
  7. Dry or itchy skin
  8. Blurred vision
  9. Headaches and difficulty concentrating
  10. Fatigue (Feeling tired)
  11. Chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea
  12. Erectile dysfunction
  13. Irritability

The common causes of high blood sugar are:

  1. Stress
  2. An illness, such as a cold
  3. Eating too much, such as snacking between meals
  4. A lack of exercise
  5. Dehydration
  6. Missing a dose of your diabetes medication, or taking an incorrect dose
  7. Over-treating an episode of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  8. Taking certain medicines, such as steroid medication

Dangers of high blood sugar are:

  1. Eye damage
  2. Heart attack—or other cardiovascular complications
  3. Kidney damage
  4. Nerve damage
  5. Stroke
  6. Problems with healing wounds

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