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What Is Hyperglycemia?

Posted Aug 15 2010 11:34pm

Hyperglycemia refers to the presence of high concentrations of glucose in the blood. People with diabetes or pre-diabetes are susceptible to hyperglycemia. Pre-diabetes is a susceptibility to hyperglycemia and an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are similar terms that should not be confused. Hypoglycemia is the opposite of hyperglycemia and described the condition of having low blood sugar. Both conditions are dangerous if left untreated.

The early symptoms of hyperglycemia are the same as the early symptoms of diabetes. These signs of hyperglycemia and diabetes are increased hunger, frequent urination, and increased thirst.

Fatigue, weight loss , impotence, dry skin, dry mouth, and recurrent infections such as yeast infections are symptoms of hyperglycemia. A person with hyperglycemia may also notice that wounds like cuts do not heal as well as they used to.

Hyperglycemia can also cause abnormally high concentrations of sugar in the urine. A person with hyperglycemia may not have any symptoms.

People with hyperglycemia may also have sugar in their urine. Not everyone with hyperglycemia will have symptoms. Stress and illness can make diabetic patients prone to hyperglycemia.

People with diabetes test their blood sugar levels to check for hyperglycemia. If the blood glucose levels are high, diabetic patients often have medication such as insulin to take to reduce their blood glucose levels.

The concentration of glucose in the blood can often be reduced by exercising. When a person exercises, some of the glucose in the blood is used by the muscles for energy. Since ketones can cause blood sugar levels to rise when a person exercises, a diabetic patient should test for ketones before exercising.

Ketoacidosis is a dangerous medical condition that can be caused by hyperglycemia. Without the appropriate amount of insulin, the body cannot utilize glucose in the blood for energy. Therefore, the body begins to break down fats for energy which causes ketones to be produced.

Hypoglycemia and skipping meals can also cause ketoacidosis. This is because without sufficient glucose, the body may break down fat for energy which causes ketones to develop.

Ketoacidosis causes vomiting, nausea, fruity smelling breath, abdominal pain, dry mouth, and shortness of breath. If a person develops ketoacidosis, the person can enter a diabetic coma or die. Diabetic patients with symptoms of ketoacidosis should seek immediate emergency medical treatment.

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