Diabetes - High blood glucose levels

When you have diabetes, you may have high blood glucose (sugar) levels (hyperglycemia) or low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) from time to time.

What is high blood glucose?

High blood glucose, or hyperglycemia, occurs when the amount of glucose in your blood has increased above the normal range (typically above 10.0 mmol/L).

How can I prevent high blood glucose?

You can prevent high blood glucose by:

  • Checking and recording your blood glucose levels[PDF | 228 KB] regularly to determine patterns.
  • Taking your diabetes medication or insulin at the same time each day.
  • Eating the usual amount of food at your regular meal and snack time.
  • Doing extra monitoring of your blood glucose levels on days when you are active or sick.
  • Wearing some form of diabetes identification (Medic Alert® bracelet or necklace) at all times to ensure that, in the event of a medical emergency, those helping you will know right away that you have diabetes.
  • Talking to your diabetes health care team about your blood glucose levels and to be sure your blood glucose meter is functioning properly.

What can cause a high blood glucose level?

High blood glucose may occur when you:

  • are sick or have an infection;
  • eat too much;
  • do not exercise enough;
  • are under stress (positive or negative stress); or
  • do not take enough medication or insulin.

What are the signs and symptoms of having a high blood glucose level?

You may feel or others may notice you are:

  • weak or fatigued;
  • hungry;
  • extremely thirsty;
  • frequently urinating; or
  • experiencing blurred vision.

What should I do if I suspect I have high blood glucose?

If you are experiencing any of the signs of having high blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your level is above 11.0 mmol/L, follow the treatment recommendations provided by your physician or diabetes health care team.

If you continue to have high blood glucose, you may need to adjust your:

  • meal plan;
  • physical activity; and/or
  • medication.
Published date: 
March 15, 2016
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