Hello everyone! Welcome back to another edition of “So, You Think You Know Diabetes?”. Well, more like edition 3.5. This is a continuation of part 3, in which I covered hypoglycemia. We’re going to look at the other side of the spectrum:
Just as equally as a concern as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia is simply an excess of blood glucose in the blood, which is caused by an absence of insulin in the blood. Hyperglycemia usually starts about 120-130 mg/dL, depending on where you set the range of “normal” for a diabetic. But, anything over 200 mg/dL is usually defined as hypoglycemic. While doing research for this article, I found that no two sources were alike when it came to a defined minimum reading for hyperglycemia.
As you can see above, symptoms of hyperglycemia vary slightly from those associated with hypoglycemia, but some, like hunger, blurred vision, drowsiness and nausea are shared between both extremes. But, there are some on above, and not listed, that usually only occur during hyperglycemia, which include:
- thick tongue/cotton mouth/increased thirst (which makes sense in a way. I’ve watched Beth go through several glasses of water when her blood sugar starts to climb. The body is trying to purge itself of the ketones the only way it knows how, but using its own water supplies to flush them out. Therefore, the brain will make the signals that it needs to be re-hydrated, which will bring more fluid into the flushing out process.)
Now, we can’t forget that the best way to bring down high blood sugar is to do another round of insulin. Of course, plenty of water, and in a pinch, cinnamon, will also work. Untreated high blood sugar will eventually lead to a diabetic coma, and eventually, death.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t get to a…complication that is usually triggered by hyperglycemia. Now, during the course of life, you have to have energy in order to do…anything. Walk, talk, think, breathe, it all takes energy. Now, if you don’t eat, especially foods that have carbs in them, your body turns to the natural fat stores in your body to make energy. And during this process of turning fat into energy, ketones are created. (I’m not knowledgeable into the exact chemical process, but using basic laws of physics, where matter is neither created or destroyed, something bonds together to create ketones). An excess buildup of ketones will start the process of DKA…which I will cover next time.
Sorry to leave you on another cliffhanger folks. Next time, DKA will be on the docket. Until next time, I am the Baumeister, and I have been, obediently yours.