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  • Juanita Weaver-Reiss

How do I understand high blood glucose levels? - part 1

To understand and manage glucose numbers, it is important to know some basic information.

  1. What are the targets that glucose should be?

Before meals - 80 to 130

2 hours after meals - less than 180

Bedtime - 110-150

Ask your provider for your individual target numbers. Your numbers may be different than those listed. The reason why you may have different targets is that each person is individual when it comes to managing your diabetes.

2. Understanding high glucose - hyperglycemia

High glucose, also called hyperglycemia, is when your blood glucose levels are above your targets. If your target after meals is less than 180, and you checked your glucose level and you were above this value, we would call that number high out of target.

3. What are symptoms of high glucose levels?

žA person may have the following symptoms when their blood glucose is above target ranges:

Increased thirst

žIncreased urination

žDry mouth or skin

žTiredness or fatigue

žBlurred vision

žMore frequent infections

žSlow healing cuts and sores

žUnexplained weight loss

Some people whose blood glucose is running high may not have any symptoms at all.

4. What should a person do if their blood glucose is above their targets?

First drink a lot of water. This helps to flush the glucose out of the blood.

If you have Type 1 diabetes if your glucose is above 250, you may want to check your urine for ketones. If you have ketones present, you will want to follow your provider's guidelines for this.

Ketones in the urine would suggest that you don't have enough insulin to open the cell doors so the glucose can go out of the blood into your cells. It could lead to ketosis. This means your body is breaking down fats to use for energy. This changes the chemistry in your body and causes a more acidic environment. This can lead to a coma and if untreated death.

If you are not sure what to do if you do have ketones in your urine, it is very important for you call your doctor to ask for help.

5. What if the glucose stays high for 3 days?

If your glucose stays elevated for 3 days, it is time to call your provider. It may mean that the medicine that you take may need to be adjusted.

If you know the reason your glucose is elevated, you may be able to take care of the problem without calling your doctor.

For instance, if you know you ate a large amount of food at a meal, and this is what caused the high glucose. You would not need to call your provider for this. You can concentrate on watching your food portions more closely to see if that will prevent the highs.

Or if you forgot to take your diabetes medication, which can make the glucose go high out of target, you can take your medication and see if that helps with the elevated glucose issue.

6. What are some other ways to understand glucose numbers?

Write down some information of factors that can influence glucose numbers.

Food - type, when eaten, and amount

activity – when, how much

Stress and stressful situations

illness, injuries, surgery

This information can help you understand why the glucose numbers may go up.

I wish you Best Health.


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