Living with Diabetes

Diabetes and Hyperglycemia

As a patient with Diabetes it is possible to experience elevation of blood sugar levels, which is referred to as hyperglycemia in spite of taking your medications as directed by your healthcare team, you may still be experiencing high blood sugar readings!!! Why is this? Explore the reasons why...

You may have high readings for one or more of the following reasons…

  • You missed a dose of your Diabetes medicines
  • You are not on the optimal treatment for your condition
  • You increased your food consumption that day
  • You did not exercise as much as necessary
  • You experienced a stressful situation or an illness
  • You are taking some medications (to treat other conditions) which tend to increase blood sugar (inform your doctor if you are taking any medications)

How do I know if my blood sugar is high?

When you have high blood sugar you may have any of the following signs, but not necessary all of them!

Testing your blood sugar is the best and most accurate way to find out if your levels are truly high

What should I do?

High blood sugar should be addressed promptly to avoid  Ketoacidosis;

This is a condition that develops when there is insufficient insulin to carry the sugar inside your cells and ketones buildup. Without insulin, you will have high sugar levels in the blood.  Your body will then break down fats to use as energy. Broken down fatty acids or fats produce smaller units called ketones, which are acids that build up in the blood and are spilled into the urine.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a very dangerous condition that it may lead to coma or even death. Although ketoacidosis may happen to any patient with Diabetes, it is rare in people with Type 2 Diabetes and more common in people with Type 1 Diabetes.

What are the signs and symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis?

  • High blood sugar levels
  • Ketones in urine or blood
  • Passing urine frequently
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fruity smell breath
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Severe dehydration
  • Confusion or drowsiness

What should I do to reduce the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis?

  • Make sure you have a sick days plan to follow when you are unwell
  • Ensure you have a reliable blood  sugar  meter to check your blood sugar levels and a ketone testing kit for use during illness
  • Consider new dietary and physical activity plans. DO NOT exercise when your blood sugar is very high and you have a positive ketone test
  • Get a comprehensive medication review in order to control your Diabetes