Hyperglycemia symptoms closely resemble low blood sugar symptoms. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a medical condition characterized by too much glucose in the blood. This article will explain the signs and symptoms of Hyperglycemia as well as the effects and treatments of this condition.
Hyperglycemia Symptoms and Signs
Hyperglycemia can be spotted by watching for what is known as the “classic hyperglycemic triad”:
- Frequent and pronounced hunger
- Frequent and often excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
Some other Hyperglycemia symptoms to watch for are:
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Pronounced weight loss
- Slow healing scrapes or cuts
- Dry, itchy skin
- Tingling feet or heels
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Recurrent infections
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Stupor or apparent intoxication
- Unconsciousness or coma in severe cases
It is important to realize that many of these symptoms are also symptoms of low blood sugar. If you exhibit several of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately for an accurate diagnosis. It is also important to realize that chronic symptoms can seem “normal”. If you’ve experienced several of these symptoms over a long period of time seemingly without complications you still may be suffering from this condition. If left undiagnosed and untreated, Hyperglycemia can lead to a much more severe condition whose symptoms and effects are much more severe than those of Hyperglycemia.
Extremely high levels of blood sugar can evolve into a condition known as “Diabetic Ketoacidosis”. Diabetic Ketoacidosis occurs when the body’s insulin levels are so low that fats are broken down into ketones in order to create energy for the body. Ketones are acidic and in high concentrations they can lower the pH of the blood. Ketones are also suspected to interfere with normal organ functions ultimately causing organ damage. This lowering of the blood’s pH is known as ketoacidosis and should be regarded with extreme caution.
The symptoms of ketoacidosis are:
- nausea and vomiting
- extreme thirst (dry mouth)
- excessive urine production
- abdominal pain
- Breath smells like acetone or possibly even “fruity”
Effects of Hyperglycemia
- Mental impairment (confusion, drunkenness)
- Dizziness, nausea
- Unconsciousness or coma
- Organ damage
Hyperglycemia can be treated with insulin in order to bring blood sugar levels back down to a safe level. Diabetic Ketoacidosis is also treated with insulin but also with fluid replacement to relieve dehydration, as well mineral (Potassium, Bicarbonates) replacement that is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Hyperglycemia symptoms are almost indistinguishable from low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia) symptoms in most cases. It is important to understand that no matter which condition you may suspect you have, seeking medical attention is always advisable should you display several of the above listed symptoms. If left undiagnosed and untreated, both low and high blood sugar levels can cause major health issues.
For common questions and answers regarding Diabetes, see our website.