High blood sugar occurs in people who suffer from diabetes. Managing high blood sugar is crucial in preventing diabetes, as well as stopping it from causing detrimental health issues from occurring.

According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the middle east and North America have the world’s second-highest prevalence rates for diabetes. Within the UAE, one in five people between the ages of 20 and 79 suffers from type-2 diabetes.

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With that being said, managing high blood sugar and knowing the signs of when it spikes is essential to controlling diabetes.

What is High Blood Sugar?

High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia happens when a build-up of excess glucose occurs in the bloodstream. This can happen for people who don’t suffer from diabetes but is more occurrent in those who already have diabetes.

A lot of people think eating a lot of sugar and sweet foods are the main cause of the spike in blood sugar levels. Although this is true to an extent, it isn’t the only factor. 

Insulin, created in the pancreas helps to move the glucose through the body. When type-2 diabetes is an existing factor in your health, your body will not produce enough insulin to help move the glucose in your body and will build-up glucose in the bloodstreams. 

Ketoacidosis

When blood sugar levels spike to alarming levels, ketoacidosis and ketosis will occur. 

Ketoacidosis can occur in people with diabetes and must be treated as an emergency and taken with immediate action. Diabetic ketoacidosis can cause your blood to become very acidic and can result in death or diabetic coma if it rises to alarming levels.

Ketosis more commonly occurs in people who don’t have diabetes. Ketoacidosis is very unlikely to occur in people who don’t have diabetes as their bodies can still supply enough insulin to manage glucose levels. 

It’s also important to understand the difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis.

High Blood Sugar Symptoms

High Blood Sugar

If you have already been diagnosed with high blood sugar, its fairly obvious when the signs and symptoms are occurring. However, for the many people who experience high blood sugar and don’t have diabetes, its important to know the signs and symptoms, so you’re able to get early treatment.

The below signs are subtle at first, but can grow in severity over time should the blood sugar levels gradually increase.

1. Fatigue

Feeling generally more tired than usual or just being drained from doing nothing is a usual sign of high blood sugar and is often the first sign you may experience. For diabetics, they are likely to feel fatigued and tiredness after big meals or consumption of simple carbs and sugars. 

2. Frequent Urination

When the sugar levels in your blood are too high, your kidneys will start to pour out more sugar when you urinate to remove it from your system. As the sugar is leaving your body through urination, so will your water levels, and this can often make you dehydrated, and going to the bathroom more often than you usually do. 

3. Increased Thirst

As a result of the significant increase in urination, you will naturally feel thirsty due to the dehydration. Doctors actually believe that dehydration due to blood sugar levels can be the result of a cyclical pattern.

When you become thirsty, you drink more When you drink more, you pee. And when you pee more, you become thirsty and the cycle repeats.

4. Blurred Vision

Excess sugar in the blood can also affect your eyesight and vision as excess amounts of sugar may become trapped in the lens of the middle eye, causing your vision to blur. In the short term, blurred vision may only be temporary, but as the condition worsens, it can potentially cause permanent damage. 

5. Slow-Healing Sores

Your body’s circulatory system will also be affected when excess levels of sugar are in the blood. In turn, this will impair blood flow and slow down the body’s ability to heal itself. You will notice wounds and sores taking longer than usual to heal. 

6. Dental Issues

As glucose is ever-present in your saliva as it is in your blood, you will notice the condition of your teeth becoming worse overtime as harmful bacteria will grow at a more rapid rate. Along with food particles getting stuck in teeth, tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis are more likely to occur when your blood sugar is high.

7. Tingling Hands and Feet

Having excess glucose levels in the blood will impact nerve functions in the body and can also cause nerve damage. At first, you may experience tingling in your hands and feet, over time it can develop into numbness or burning if left unaddressed.

What to Do if You Have These Symptoms

High Blood Sugar

If you notice any of these symptoms speak with a medical practitioner immediately. Early intervention and treatment can help to manage blood sugar levels as well as combat diabetes or prediabetes.

If you have a family history of diabetes, it may also increase your chances of getting the disease. Having a healthy diet, lifestyle, and getting regular check-ups with the doctor will keep you on the safe side of high blood sugar.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.