Hyperglycemia or a high sugar level in the blood occurs due to a lack of insulin or resistance to insulin. A high blood sugar level means the person has diabetes. A diabetic patient should be treated immediately, especially if the blood sugar is extremely high. Untreated hyperglycemia leads to complications of other organs of the body or serious stages of diabetes.
Reading your blood sugar range
A person is considered prediabetic if a fasting blood sugar level is over 100. A diagnosis of diabetes is made when the fasting blood sugar level is 125 or more in 2 separate tests. When blood sugar is too high, one must seek immediate medical help regardless of the symptoms. This can put a person at risk of a life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
What is DKA?
DKA is a complication of diabetes with a blood sugar level of more than 240 that requires a doctor’s attention. This occurs when the body uses fat as an energy source instead of insulin due to a lack of insulin. When the fat starts to break down, ketones are released into the bloodstream causing blood to become acidic. In rare cases, one may have DKA with a level less than 240 known as euglycemic diabetes-related ketoacidosis.
Knowing when to go to the ER
A person with high blood sugar levels and DKA symptoms must visit the emergency room (ER) without delay. Symptoms such as vomiting, excessive thirst, dehydration, frequent urination, abdominal pain, and ketones in urine require the doctor’s immediate attention. A fruity smell of breath, shortness of breath, dry mouth, and confusion are also signs to watch out for.
Hyperglycemia affects your other organs
Uncontrolled or untreated high blood sugar levels can lead to detrimental effects on other organs. Skin, eyes, kidneys, heart, and nerves are areas that can be severely impacted by hyperglycemia if not treated right. Along with blood glucose level, getting these specific areas checked such as having an eye check-up is vital.
Ways to bring your blood glucose down
In a high blood sugar level situation, one will try to act quickly to bring the level down. Taking the prescribed diabetic medications such as insulin can lower blood sugar. However, speak to the doctor about the appropriate dose before administration. Exercise can bring blood glucose levels down for 24 hours or more.
Do not delay
A high blood sugar level of more than 240 with or without symptoms requires calling the doctor immediately. Healthcare providers will administer ER treatment to reduce the level and symptoms. After leaving the ER, follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid another incident of DKA.