Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a condition that is becoming prevalent among the young and old.
Society has become affluent, so people prefer expensive, sugary desserts. So the fact that there are more people with high blood sugar than before is not surprising.
If diabetes and hyperglycemia run in your family, take some time to understand its causes and symptoms. This article will point out the signs of high blood sugar and teach you how to keep it in check.
Causes of High Blood Sugar
You must rein in your blood sugar if you have Type 2 diabetes. Not doing so will lead to a potentially fatal condition known as the hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS), when your body cannot process blood sugar any longer. You may be unable to urinate because you are completely dehydrated.
To avoid hyperglycemia, you must know its causes. Your blood sugar may spike if you miss your insulin injections or eat too many carbohydrates. You may also develop hyperglycemia if you are ill, under stress or do not exercise enough.
Warning signs that your blood sugar is high.
How would you know if your blood sugar has shot through the roof? You can spot the warning signs of high blood sugar even before you see the doctor. If you notice any of them, arrange for an appointment at once!
Your skin will feel dry and scaly if your blood sugar levels are on the high end. You may have problems urinating as well. Dehydration can cause diabetic ketoacidosis or too many acids building up in the body. It can lead to organ failure or death.
2. Feeling Parched
Are you always reaching for water, even if the weather is not too hot? Constant thirst indicates dehydration. It shows you that you have to work at making your blood sugar levels drop.
Having constant diarrhea is a warning symptom of Hyperglycemia. Seek a doctor’s help if your stools are runny. There may be an overgrowth of bacteria in your intestines. Also, it may be difficult for them to break down sugar.
4. Loss of Appetite
Hyperglycemia can create a condition known as Gastroparesis when food moves slowly through the digestive tract. Food cannot move out of the stomach and into the small intestine. A person with Hyperglycemia will lose his appetite because he has a clogged stomach.
5. Excessive Hunger Pangs
If you have hyperglycemia, you will always need to raid your kitchen. Devouring an entire apple pie will not seem enough; you will have to top it up with a few scoops of vanilla ice-cream as well. You will have developed Polyphagia, or excessive hunger, one of the main symptoms of diabetes.
Sex may not bring you the same satisfaction it used to. High blood sugar has links with Erectile Dysfunction or ED. Men with diabetes may develop ED because the blood vessels and nerves that prompt erections are weak.
7. Open Cuts
If your cuts and bruises take a long time to stop bleeding, it may be a sign that you have diabetes, Alert your doctor if you have external injuries that do not heal. Your nerves may have weakened, causing a loss of sensation and difficulty healing. The lack of blood flow to the wound may stop it from closing up. You may also have immune deficiencies, which will not help it either.
You may scratch to no end if you have high blood sugar. Itchiness and scaly skin are a clear symptom of Type 2 Diabetes and Hyperglycemia. High blood sugar lowers your immunity, which makes you prone to fungal infections and diabetic dermopathy (big, brown patches on the skin).
9. Frequent urination
Do you always need to go to the bathroom? Check your blood sugar levels. If you have to pee often, It could be a sign that they have risen.
10. Nerve Dysfunction
If you prick yourself with a needle but do not feel it, think about your blood sugar. Hyperglycemia often results in nerve damage and a loss of sensation.
11. Unclear Vision
One of the early warning signs of diabetes is blurred vision. Hyperglycemia may cause the fluid in the macula to leak. It may start to swell as well, resulting in some loss of sight.
12. Recurring Infections
If you have foot infections that refuse to heal, you may have diabetes and high blood sugar. According to many studies, the recurring infections happen because diabetes lowers the body’s immunity. Research by the University of Michigan shows that diabetes puts a patient at risk of surgical site infections.
If your head spins like a top, it could indicate problems with your blood-sugar level. Fluctuations in blood sugar may damage brain cells, causing you to feel lightheaded.
Those same fluctuations may make you feel tired all the time. Many people blame this on insulin resistance. Blood does not circulate well, causing you to feel excessively tired.
15. Problems with Focus
Do you find concentrating difficult? Fluctuating blood sugar levels may be making it hard for you to focus. Visit your doctor if you find yourself falling asleep at your office desk.
16. A Weak Pulse
Poor blood flow will lead to a weak pulse. A threading pulse is one of the classic symptoms of hyperglycemia.
17. Bad Breath
Diabetes and bad breath go together. If you have diabetes, your gums and teeth are not likely to receive enough blood. Glucose levels in the gums increase, leading to bacteria and bad breath.
If you have diabetes and consume high glycemic foods, you will create blood sugar imbalances. They cause irregular blood flow and hence, palpitations.
19. Blood Sugar Readings
Get your doctor to take your blood sugar reading. You have Hyperglycemia if your reading is higher than 350mg/dl.
Diabetes and Hyperglycemia could lead to permanent nerve damage in the legs. Damaged nerves can cause you to have an insatiable urge to move your limbs often, disrupting your rest.
The GI Index
A definite way to keep your blood sugar in check is to be conscious of the carbohydrate content in food. The Glycemic Index (GI) shows how many carbohydrates the bread, pasta and rice you eat contain.
A Low-GI diet can lower the risk of Hyperglycemia. It also protects an already Hyperglycemic individual from related conditions like stroke or cardiovascular disease.
You should probably give these foods a miss if your blood sugar is high:
- Baguette 95
- Waffles 76
- Bagel 72
- Wonder bread 73
- Whole-Wheat Bread 71
- White Wheat Bread 71
The fact that white wheat bread has the same GI level as whole-wheat bread may floor you; the foods that you think are low in carbohydrates may have them in large amounts. Keeping an eye on the GI of the food you eat is always wise.
These foods have a mid-range glycemic index; you can indulge yourself with them once in a while.
- Cracked wheat kernel bread 58
- Pumpernickel bread 56
- Hamburger bun 61
- Pita bread, white 68
- Corn tortilla 52
You will note that hamburger buns have a lower GI than whole-wheat bread, but try not to go crazy eating them!
These are foods that a person with high blood sugar should have more of; do make them a part of your diet.
- Wheat tortilla 30
- Plain sponge cake 46
- Coarse barley bread 34
- Whole wheat kernels 30
- Pearled barley 28
How to bring your blood sugar down
Reining your blood sugar in is not difficult if you observe a few simple habits. Of course, you must be consistent if you want to lower it.
1. Cut and spread out carbs.
Your first act should be to cut down on the carbohydrates you eat. Many dieters swear that keeping off carbs and eating a diet rich in dark greens, fruits and nuts help them to avoid hyperglycemia.
If you cannot avoid having the apple pie at that all-important party, eat it in small amounts. You can save some for later. Make the effort to spread your carbs out.
Never stay still if you have hyperglycemia. Light exercise can lower your blood sugar by 40 points. Mobile apps have become exercise-friendly. The 7-Minute Workout App by the New York Times works out your entire body vigorously, yet makes exercise a fun activity.
3. Have healthy drinks
What you drink can impact your blood-sugar level. Unsweetened tea lowers your blood sugar within a mere half an hour. Red wine, touted to benefit the heart, brings it down it as well.
4. Get Stress Relief
Stressful situations can raise your blood-sugar level. Find ways to alleviate your stress, such as taking a walk in the park or engaging in your favorite hobby.
5. Sleep Well
Getting enough sleep is a way to lower your body’s resistance to insulin. Inadequate sleep raises your body’s blood sugar. Try to scale back on the activities that keep you up late.
Drinking lots of water is one of the best ways to flush out excess sugar. The more water you drink, the better. It helps to purge excess glucose from the bloodstream.
7. Eat Protein Snacks
Protein works to keep blood-sugar level stable. A person with hyperglycemia tends to have a voracious appetite. Protein will curb your hunger while maintaining your blood sugar.
8. Take Supplements
Supplements work to bring down blood sugar. Studies show that cinnamon pills reduce Hyperglycemia. Researchers have found that chromium picolinate brings down blood sugar in Type Two diabetics. Green tea, too, is an efficient way to lower it. If you dislike tea, try it in capsule form.
In all, you can bring your hyperglycemia down if you know what makes it rise it the first place. Eating the right foods can stop your blood sugar from soaring. If you have a tendency to develop Hyperglycemia, knowing its warning signs will lessen the chance of it happening.
By Michelle L.