The goal of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. The NHS says that symptoms of high blood sugar in people with diabetes tend to develop slowly over a few days or weeks, however, they may not appear. There are no symptoms until the blood sugar level rises significantly.
High blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, can affect people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes. You may notice signs in your mouth and breathing, and there are some cases in which you should contact your doctor.
Hyperglycemia should not be confused with hypoglycemia, which is when the blood sugar level drops too low,” the NHS notes.
Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst and dry mouth or bad breath.
You may also find that you need to urinate more frequently, feel tired, have blurred vision, unintentional weight loss, or have frequent infections, such as thrush. People have also reported abdominal pain.
Symptoms of high blood sugar can also be caused by undiagnosed diabetes, so check with your doctor if this applies to you.
If you have any signs of severe hyperglycaemia, you should check your blood sugar level.
But be careful if high blood sugar is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can progress to ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood, and this emergency can lead to coma or death.
For people with diabetes, high blood sugar can be caused by factors such as stress, illness, not getting enough exercise, or eating too much.
Diabetes UK says: “Hyperglycemia can occur when blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high – usually above 7 mmol/L before a meal and above 8.5 mmol/L two hours after a meal. …”
This happens because the body is unable to produce enough insulin to handle blood sugar or because it cannot use the insulin effectively enough.
However, when your blood sugar levels are slightly higher than normal, you will not usually experience any symptoms.
It is normal for blood glucose levels to rise and fall slightly throughout the day, however, there are a number of ways to treat high blood sugar.
You may be advised to change your diet, drink plenty of sugar-free fluids, exercise more often or, if you are using insulin, adjust your dose.
Until your blood sugar level is back under control, watch out for additional symptoms that could be a sign of a more serious condition.
You should also call your doctor right away if you develop high blood sugar and experience feeling or being sick, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. The same is true if you have rapid, deep breathing, a fever for more than 24 hours, and signs of dehydration or trouble staying still. Being awake, these symptoms may be a sign of more serious complications of high blood sugar, and you may need hospital care.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes the blood sugar level to become too high. Signs can vary, and the symptoms you experience will not exactly match those experienced by someone else. However, the most common symptoms that many people with diabetes experience are increased thirst, increased urination, feeling tired, and weight loss.