Hyperglycemia - high blood sugar

Qu'est ce que l'hyperglycémie?

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) will occur every now and then. In those circumstances, the objective is to reduce the length of the hyperglycemia.

The higher blood glucose is, higher are the risks of long term complications. Fatigue, thirst, mood swings, blurred vision and frequently need to urinate, are light signs of hyperglycemia. It is important to look for the causes of hyperglycemia, and if it persists, to see your doctor.

Hyperglycemia can bring on a diabetic coma. Call your doctor right away if you get nauseas and vomiting (especially if you cannot keep liquids down), if you lose weight, suffer from abdominal pains or that you have a fruity breath.

It is hard to determine your blood glucose level just by the way you feel. Always check with a monitor and test your urine or blood to detect the presence of ketones.

Les causes de l'hyperglycémie

Hyperglycemia is caused by one of the following factors:

  • Too many carbohydrates
  • Not enough insulin or diabetes pill
  • Less physical activity
  • stress
  • Infection or fever


Symptoms associated with hyperglycemia

Most people do not have symptoms. However, the higher your blood glucose is, the more you will feel the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue, sleepiness
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Intense thirst
  •  Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Hunger
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea
  •  Fruity breath
  • Ketones in your urine or blood
  • Change in consciousness, that can lead to coma

Those signs may vary from one person to another.


What should you do when your blood sugar level is too high?

  • Monitor your blood glucose frequently
  • Find the reasons to your hyperglycemia and make the necessary corrections
  • Follow your meal plan
  • Drink more sugar free liquids
  • Adjust your insulin dose according to your doctor’s recommendations.

If your blood glucose is higher than 15mmol/l:

If you have type 1 diabetes, take a urine or blood test to check for ketones. If ketones are present, call your doctor. If your hyperglycemia persists, even after making the corrections, call your doctor.

Especially in type 1 diabetes, a severe emergency hyperglycemia can bring on ketoacidosis. This situation, caused by a lack of insulin, can come quickly and even in a few hours (ex.: when you are sick or stressed out). An immediate treatment is necessary because an untreated ketoacidosis can lead to coma.



Il faut consulter votre médecin sans délai ou vous rendre au service d’urgence si :

  • Your blood glucose is over 20mmol/l and your urine sample contains a high level of ketones (++to +++)
  • You experience abdominal pain and vomiting- You experience change in your conscious state of consciousness


To prevent hyperglycemia

Food : Respect the meal plan given by your dietitian.

Medication : Take your medication as prescribed and find ways not to forget to take them (ex: pill distributor). If you buy medication off the shelves, check the medication code or speak with your pharmacist to make sure that it does not interfere with your diabetes.

Exercise : Stay physically active on a regular basis

Life attitude : Keep healthy life habits by including relaxation activities.

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