Often, people use the words “hyperglycemia” and “hypoglycemia” interchangeably. This is understandable because they are similar and both related to diabetes. However, while hypoglycemia means having low levels of blood sugar, hyperglycemia is just the opposite. When you have hyperglycemia, your blood sugar levels are seriously elevated, and this is a serious problem.
Of course, diabetes is not the only thing that causes hyperglycemia. Some of the other medical problems that can result in elevated blood sugar include Cushing’s syndrome, a tumor, pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis and some medications will also elevate your blood sugar. It is worth noting that food can elevate your blood sugar, although usually not anywhere near danger levels.
In order to understand hyperglycemia better, and be able to differentiate between a serious elevation in blood sugar causing the symptoms below and a normal increase after eating, you have to understand that the normal blood sugar range is 70-100. This is for someone who hasn’t eaten anything. When you have your blood sugar tested, your doctor will tell you to fast before the blood is drawn.
After a meal, for several hours, your blood sugar may be somewhere between 100 and 140. Any higher than this and you start crossing moving towards that danger zone. In this article, we’re going to go into the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia in some detail, so that you can recognize them if you experience them.
Early Warning Signs
Your body needs glucose, commonly called sugar. It’s one of the main sources of energy for your cells. Your cells can get energy from other molecules, like carbohydrates, but in the end, they break down to glucose anyway. The problem with hyperglycemia is that your body has too much glucose, which is just as dangerous as too little. A substance called insulin usually regulates your glucose levels for you, but diabetics do not have a properly working insulin response system. When your body gets too much glucose, there are initial warning signs that you can watch out for.
1. Being thirsty all the time
The first symptom that we’ll discuss is increased thirst. If you have too much glucose in your blood, you are going to be thirsty, because when the blood contains high levels of glucose, things get kind of slow down at the kidneys. They aren’t able to process as well as they would in a healthy person, and that means that you have to go pee more often. When this happens, you become dehydrated and you feel thirsty all the time.