Hyperglycemia Symptoms Can Lead to Hyperglycemic Shock

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar is a health condition that gives the signs and symptoms, that indicate an excessive amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. Generally, a blood sugar that is higher than 10 mmol/1 (180 mg/dl)is considered hyperglycemic; however, signs and symptoms of this health problem may not begin to be noticeable until an individual has readings as high as 15 - 20 mmol/1 (270 - 360 mg/dl).

According to medical facts, chronic levels that exceeds 7 mmol/1 (125 mg/dl) can result in internal organ damage.

Hyperglycemic symptoms can turn out to be a very serious health problem if go untreated.

They can lead a condition better known as ketoacidosis.

This is normally found in people with type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

An individual develops ketoacidosis when the body does not have enough insulin. Without insulin, the body is not able to utilize the blood glucose or blood sugar for fuel. When this happens, the body begins to break down fats for energy. When the body begins to break down fats, it produces a waste product called ketones.

Our bodies cannot manage large quantity of ketones; therefore, it will try to get rid of it through our urine. Sadly, the body is not able to remove all the ketones; hence, they will build up in the blood stream. This is a condition that can lead ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is a condition that is very life threatening. It must be treated immediately. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis may include:

  • Kussmaul hyperventilation. This is refer to deep, rapid breathing.
  • Confusion or decreased level of consciousness.
  • Dehydration due to glycosuria and osmotic diuresis.
  • Acute hunger and/or thirst.
  • Breath that smells fruity.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

When individuals that are diabetic experience high blood sugar or glucose levels, they are said to be hyperglycemic individual. The problem of high blood sugar happens when a diabetes individual has too much sugar in their blood plasma.

If signs and symptoms of this hyperglycemic problem are experience for very long periods, a diabetic person run the risk of nerve damage, damage to blood vessels, and as mentioned earlier - possible damage to vital organs of the body.

According to medical facts, there are two forms of hyperglycemic symptoms that individuals with diabetes can go through. The first of which is called Fasting Hyperglycemia. This hyperglycemic symptom means that the blood glucose is far greater than 100 mg/dl.

The second form of this diabetes symptom is called Postprandial hyperglycemia. This means that the blood sugar or glucose of a diabetic person is above 180 mg/dl. If your glucose or sugar level continues to elevate on a regular basis, you would be at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes

As a diabetic, you need to know the warning signs of hyperglycemia so as to avoid the serious complications that it can cause. For people that have type 1 diabetes, you are at risk of developing ketoacidosis and for those with type 2 diabetes, you are at risk of developing a condition called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome or HHNS.

This will require you to undergo hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome treatment.

Causes of Hyperglycemia Symptoms

Chronic hyperglycemic symptoms, even in the fasting state is most commonly caused by diabetes mellitus disease. Truth be told - chronic hyperglycemia is usually the defining characteristics of diabetes. Acute hyperglycemic symptoms without any obvious cause may indicate diabetes development or a pre-disposition to the disease it self.

In individuals with diabetes mellitus, high blood sugar is usually caused by having low levels of insulin (type 1 diabetes).

It can also be caused by resistance to insulin at the cellular level (type 2 diabetes).

When low level of insulin in our bodies or when insulin resistance prevent the body from converting blood glucose into glycogen, (which is a starchy source of energy stored mostly in the liver) - it makes it difficult or in some cases impossible to remove excess glucose from the blood plasma.

Under normal conditions, the total amount of glucose or blood sugar in the blood at any given time is usually only enough to provide energy to the body for 20 - 30 minutes. For this reason, our blood glucose levels must be maintained to the precise amount by our body's internal control mechanism.

Failure for our body mechanism to safely maintained and control our blood sugar, will allow it to rise to unsafe or abnormal levels. This problem will eventually lead to high blood sugar symptoms.

There are a few factors which cause hyperglycemic signs in diabetics to occur! These include:

  • Forgetting to take their diabetes medications.
  • Consuming too much carbohydrates or foods rich in calories in their daily diets.
  • Not sticking to a regular schedule exercise program.
  • Infections.
  • High levels of stress.

Drugs That Increase Hyperglycemia Risks

There are certain drug medications that can increase the risks of hyperglycemic symptoms in diabetics. These drug medications include:

  • Beta blockers.
  • Epinephrine.
  • Thiazide diuretics.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Niacin.
  • Pentamindine.
  • Protease inhibitors.
  • L-asparaginase.

Some anti-psychotic agents along with some acute administration of stimulants such as amphetamine, can typically cause hyperglycemia as well. However, chronic use of these drug treatment or medications can also cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Medical facts have also revealed that some of the newer double action anti-depression drugs such as Zyprexa (Olanzapine) and Cymbalta (Duloxetine), can also cause hyperglycemic signs.

Hyperglycemia Signs and Symptoms

Blood glucose or blood sugar can rise well above its normal level for significant time periods. Still, an individual may not ever show any symptoms or permanent effects from this increase. But, chronic hyperglycemia at levels that are slightly above normal - can produce a very wide variety of serious complications over a period of years.

These serious complications or health problems include kidney damage, neurological damage, cardiovascular damage, and damage to the retina. The signs and symptoms listed below, are normally associated with acute and chronic high blood sugar. The first three of these symptoms are the ones that compose the classic hyperglycemic triad.

  • Polyphagia (frequent hunger).
  • Polydipsia (frequent thirst).
  • Polyuria (frequent unrination).
  • Blurred vision.
  • Fatigue (sleepiness).
  • Weight loss.
  • Poor wound healing.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Dry or itchy skin.
  • Tingling in the feet.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Recurrent infections.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Stupor
  • Coma.

When hunger is frequent without any other symptoms - it can be an indication that your blood sugar level is too low. This problem can occur when an individual who has diabetes mellitus, take too much oral hypoglycemic medication or insulin for the required amount of food that they have consumed.

On the other hand, polydipsia and polyuria occur when the blood glucose level rise to the point that it result in excretion of excess glucose by the kidneys (glycosuria). This problem produces osmotic diuresis.

Hyperglycemia Treatment 

With diabetes mellitus which is the most common cause of chronic high blood glucose as was indicated above, treatment is aimed at maintaining blood glucose at normal levels or as close to normal as possible. This is an absolute must if the patient is to avoid serious long-term complications.

Hence acute hyperglycemia which involves glucose levels that are extremely high, is certainly a medical emergency. Treatment of high blood sugar symptoms requires the elimination of the underlining cause to begin with. This means treatment of diabetes when diabetes mellitus is the route cause.

Acute hyperglycemia in most cases, can be treated by directly administrating insulin.  Severe hyperglycemia on the other hand, can be treated directly with the administration of oral hypoglycemia therapy and some lifestyle changes. 

Prevention of Hyperglycemia Symptoms

High blood glucose or high blood sugar, can be prevented as long as you avoid the triggers mentioned above. Also you have to stay hydrated (drink plenty water), exercise regularly, maintain a well balanced  and take your required diabetic medications. At the same time, you have to constantly monitor your blood glucose or blood sugar level.

Taken these very important steps, will help you to properly manage your diabetes mellitus condition. Proper diabetes management and constant blood glucose monitoring, will also help you avoid serious complications that may be associated with having symptoms of hyperglycemia. 

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