In this article we will explore everything there is to know about hyperglycemia.
What is hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia literally stands for high blood glucose or high sugar in the blood due to the inability of the body to produce enough insulin or the inability of the body to respond to insulin.
Why is it important to know about hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia is a disorder which if gone undiagnosed can directly lead to diabetes along with nausea, heart palpitations, vision impairment, and in extreme cases coma or death.
A person is said to have hyperglycemia if –
- The blood glucose levels are higher than 180 mg/dL post meal.
- The blood glucose levels are higher than 125 mg/dL during fasting (no food consumption for 8 hours or more)
What happens if hyperglycemia is untreated?
Prolonged untreated hyperglycemia can cause:
- Nerve damage leading to eye and kidney disorders
- Tissue and organ damage
- Cell damage
- Vessel damage leading to heart disease or stroke
- Difficulty in healing wounds
You are at a risk of hyperglycemia if –
- Diabetes runs in the family
- You are obese
- Suffer with high blood pressure
- Suffer with high cholesterol
- Have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- Have underlying hormonal disorders like PCOS
Causes of hyperglycemia –
- Inactive lifestyle
- Physical stress – due to a disease
- Mental stress – work/life pressure
- Underlying hormonal conditions like PCOS or Cushing’s syndrome which cause insulin resistance
- Suffering with pancreatic disorders like cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of hyperglycemia –
It is important to be aware of the symptoms of hyperglycemia to know when to get a check-up and prevent diabetes or other complications arising from hyperglycemia like ketoacidosis leading to toxins building in the blood which can be fatal. Symptoms or signs of hyperglycemia include –
- Increased blood sugar
- Frequent thirst or hunger
- Vision impairment
- Frequent urination
- Sudden weight loss
- Skin infections
- Delayed wound healing
- Heart palpitations
Management and treatment of hyperglycemia –
- Leading an active lifestyle
- Eating a balanced diet
- Living stress-free
- Administering insulin if suffering with diabetes
Hyperglycemia may seem very similar to diabetes, let us look at some of the differences between hyperglycemia and diabetes to distinguish between the two-
|Meaning||Increased blood sugar levels||A disorder due to the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar on it’s own|
|Cause||Underlying health disorders or unhealthy lifestyle||Could be auto-immune, or due to unhealthy eating habits and inactive lifestyle|
|Symptoms||Frequent thirst, urination, loss of weight, nausea, vision impairment and weakness||Frequent thirst, urination, sharp hunger, sudden weight loss, dry skin and breathlessness|
|Complications||Detrimental to the nerves and organs, coma and death.||Detrimental to the nerves and organs, if untreated can be fatal.|
Can hyperglycemia be prevented?
Studies have shown that hyperglycemia can be easily prevented by
- Leading an active lifestyle – Regular exercise can reduce the chances of hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 50%.
Specifically, strength training since it aids in faster breakdown of blood sugar, improves glucose mobilisation, helps in losing weight and targets belly fat which is a major risk factor for developing hyperglycemia and diabetes..
- Consuming a balanced diet – Since a high carbohydrate diet is directly linked to hyperglycemia, it is crucial to consume a balanced diet for its effective management.
- Reduce consumption of alcohol and smoking – smoking and alcohol consumption cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels causing an override of the blood sugar regulating mechanism in the body hence reducing the consumption of stimulants is important to keep hyperglycemia at bay.
- If you are diabetic, make sure you take your medication or insulin regularly to keep your glucose levels under control.
If you think you run the risk of hyperglycemia or suffer from the symptoms of hyperglycemia, get your blood glucose levels tested and consult a diabetes specialist to manage and treat hyperglycemia for the prevention of further complications.