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What is Hyperglycemia or High Blood Sugar?

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What is Hyperglycemia?

By Nina Nazor 

What is Hyperglycemia?

"Hyperglycemia" means high blood glucose concentrations. Hyperglycemia over time can affect your large and small arteries, like the coronary arteries that take blood to your heart and those in kidneys, retina, nerves or feet.

Every time your blood glucose concentrations raise over 180 mg/dL, they start damaging every part of your body reached by the blood stream loaded with glucose.

I know, it sounds terrible, but don't worry, the goods news is that if you keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible (below 120 mg/dL before meals and below 180 mg/dL after meals), you lower the risk of developing those problems by up to 75%.

What are the most frequent causes of hyperglycemia?

Usually eating too much, not doing exercise, and not taking medications are the most common causes of high blood glucose. However, other causes can be infections or stress.

The first cause of hospitalization in people with diabetes are infections. Being sick can raise your blood glucose levels. That's why there are special guidelines for care that you should follow during an illness like testing more often your glucose levels.

On the other hand, stress, depression, anxiety and difficult events in life can also cause hyperglycemia. If you have problems at work, at school or at home, your glucose levels might be higher than usual.

Infections and stress increase your blood glucose levels because your body detects an emergency and starts releasing cortisol and adrenalin. These hormones prepare the body to fight or flee, allowing the release of the fuel stored in your muscles and liver - glucose - so that you can face the danger or run away.

That is why it's so important to check your blood glucose levels more frequently if you are sick or under stress.

What to do if you have hyperglycemia?

·  Drink a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration.

·  Never stop your medications for diabetes unless the doctor tells you to do so. Continue taking your medication.

·  Avoid eating foods high in carbs.

·  Try not to exercise because that could add more stress causing your blood glucose to get higher.

·  Monitor your blood glucose every four hours.

·  Call your doctor immediately if you have readings over 300 mg/dL and/or if there are high concentrations of ketones in your urine.

As always, prevention is the key, so to keep your diabetes under control and pay especial attention when you are sick or stressed.

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