What is Hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar. It is the name given to the blood glucose level measured after at least 8 hours of fasting is above 100 mg/dl or the blood glucose level measured two hours after drinking a sugary beverage is above 140 mg/dl.
What is Blood Sugar, How is it Balanced?
Before we go into hyperglycemia, let’s explain what blood sugar is. Your body breaks down carbohydrates in foods such as rice, pasta, and bread into small enough pieces to enter your cells, into sugar molecules called glucose.
Glucose is the primary energy source for all cells in your body. The bloodstream transports glucose molecules to millions of cells. Thanks to the hormone called insulin secreted from the pancreas, the glucose in the bloodstream is taken into the cells and burned, the excess glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. When you starve for a few hours, the sugar level in your bloodstream drops and glycogen stored in the muscles and liver is broken down and released into the blood, thanks to another hormone called glucagon secreted from the pancreas. Your body can also produce its own glucose, primarily in the liver, and some in the kidneys. This will keep your blood sugar balanced until your next meal.
Causes of Hyperglycemia
If you cannot produce enough insulin (type 1) or respond poorly to the insulin produced (type 2), the glucose level in your bloodstream rises, so hyperglycemia may develop. When this reaches dangerous levels, it is called diabetes. Therefore, it may be necessary to use insulin or other drugs. However, taking too much insulin or high doses of drugs can also cause hypoglycemia by lowering blood sugar levels too much. It is extremely rare for someone who is not treated for diabetes to develop hypoglycemia, and a few causes can be listed as follows:
- Excessive alcohol intake: Heavy alcohol taken without a meal can prevent your liver from sending glucose into the bloodstream.
- Some severe diseases: Blood sugar drops may be seen in those with severe liver or kidney disease.
- Excessive insulin production: A rare condition called insulinoma.pancreatic tumor may manifest itself with sugar drops.
- Reactive hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia usually develops during fasting. However, this is not always the case. This can happen if your body produces more insulin than it needs after consuming foods that contain sugar and are high in calories, or if food quickly raises blood sugar in people who have had stomach surgery.
If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, unconsciousness or even death. If hyperglycemia is left to itself, it can lead to diabetes and vascular diseases may develop due to this.
- dry mouth
- drinking a lot of water
- frequent urination
- A fruity acetone odor on the breath
- Stomach ache