Hyperglycemia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Hyperglycemia , or high blood sugar , is an emerging symptom of diabetes and refers to elevated blood sugar levels . Hyperglycaemia can be avoided with proper nutrition, medication and monitoring of levels.

What is hyperglycemia?

Elevated blood sugar levels initially lead to tiredness and exhaustion . The patients often feel exhausted and find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.

Hyperglycemia , or high blood sugar , occurs in people with diabetes. Many causes can lead to hyperglycemia in people with diabetes; these include food or exercise choices, disease, medication, or inadequate administration of medication to lower blood sugar levels.

It is very important to treat hyperglycemia because untreated hyperglycemia can have very serious consequences and lead to serious side effects; for example, a diabetic coma can lead to direct admission to the emergency department. Over the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not particularly severe, can affect the eyes , kidneys , nerves , or heart .


The causes of hyperglycemia are directly related to the production of the hormone insulin or its maintenance in the blood. During digestion, the body breaks down carbohydrates, such as from bread, sugar, rice, pasta, into different sugar molecules.

One of these molecules is glucose, one of the body’s most important sources of energy. Glucose is released into the blood immediately after eating. But without the help of insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, the body’s cells cannot absorb the blood sugar. When more glucose is consumed, the body makes more insulin to get enough sugar into cells.

The blood sugar is conducted into the cells until the level in the blood returns to a normal value. Diabetes alters the effects of insulin on the body. Either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process the blood sugar, or the body stops responding to the hormone normally, which also causes hyperglycemia.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Hyperglycemia can cause a variety of symptoms. Elevated blood sugar levels initially lead to tiredness and exhaustion . The patients often feel exhausted and find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. It is also difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. There is usually an increased appetite and excessive thirst.

As a result, those affected have to urinate frequently , with often only small amounts of urine being excreted. Hyperglycemia can also affect the skin, leading to dry and scaly skin. Wound healing is usually disturbed and injuries open up again and again.

In addition, there is the typical itching of the skin, which occurs mainly on the arms and back. Elevated blood sugar levels can also cause headaches , nausea , and vomiting . There is an increased susceptibility to colds and other infections.

Externally, hyperglycemia can manifest itself in the form of reddened skin and a scaly scalp. Due to the ketones in the urine, the breath takes on an acetone smell, which is reminiscent of nail polish remover. The eyes are often red or black rims form around the eyes. If the course is severe , the patient loses consciousness and falls into a coma .

Diagnosis & History

People with diabetes experience intermittent hyperglycemia . After an appropriate diagnosis of diabetes, the doctor will determine the best blood sugar levels for the patient.

The patient tries to maintain these levels through medication and diet. The closer he moves to this level, the better he will feel. In order to regulate blood sugar levels, people with diabetes will also be able to check their levels at home on a daily basis. There are special devices for this. In this way, signs of hyperglycaemia can be counteracted directly. Another test is usually carried out three to four times at the doctor’s office.

It determines how consistent blood glucose levels have been over the past few months and can be a key guide to determining whether the patient is “in control” of hyperglycemia.


Elevated blood sugar levels can cause various symptoms and complications. In most cases, the sufferer must drink an increased amount of fluids to make up for the excess sugar and suffer from frequent urination. This complaint can also have a negative effect on the psyche and lead to depression or other mental upsets.

The patient’s skin and mouth become dry, and most sufferers experience vomiting and nausea. It is not uncommon for dizziness and loss of consciousness to occur. If you fall during a fainting spell, you may injure yourself. Mental confusion can also occur, which is accompanied by visual disturbances.

In the worst case, the affected person falls into a so-called diabetic coma. Hyperglycemia is relatively easy to treat. In most cases, no medical treatment is necessary, so that the affected person can counteract the symptoms with a healthy lifestyle. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause organ damage and eventually death. There are no further complications and life expectancy is usually not reduced by hyperglycemia.

When should you go to the doctor?

Symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst and dry skin indicate diabetes. If the symptoms persist for a longer period of time, a doctor must be consulted. If there are other signs of hyperglycaemia, such as fainting spells, blurred vision or confusion, medical advice is required. Diabetics who eat an unbalanced diet and have a generally unhealthy lifestyle are particularly susceptible to hyperglycemia.

Those affected should go to their family doctor immediately with the symptoms mentioned and also consult a nutritionist. In the case of pronounced symptoms, the prescribed medication usually also has to be adjusted. The medication is often poorly adjusted or the individual diet has to be adjusted. If the patient feels signs of a heart attack or falls into a diabetic coma, an ambulance must be called. First aid measures must be taken before medical help arrives. The patient then needs a comprehensive examination in the hospital. The cause of the collapse must be determined and corrected to prevent further complications.

Treatment & Therapy

The main treatments for hyperglycaemia are in the hands of the patient and must be carried out on a daily basis. It consists largely of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Physical activity and sports usually have a very positive effect on blood sugar levels, and the prescribed medication should always be taken as prescribed by the doctor.

To avoid hyperglycemia, a diet plan must also be followed. This mainly consists of a significant reduction in sugary foods. With any uncertainty about the level of glucose in the blood or small signs of hyperglycemia, the patient must measure its values ​​in order to counteract them in time. It may also be necessary to independently inject insulin into the bloodstream if the body’s own production is no longer sufficient.

Serious effects of hyperglycemia can lead to the emergency room. There, dehydration is often combated, as well as a lack of supply to the cells through electrolytes and the direct administration of insulin into the bloodstream.

Outlook & Forecast

The prognosis of hyperglycemia is determined according to the individual health criteria of a patient and their cooperation in improving their state of health. The underlying cause of hyperglycaemia is diabetes . According to the current medical treatment options, this has a chronic course of the disease.

Despite all efforts, there is currently no cure. Nevertheless, if the patient restructures his lifestyle and diet plan, he can achieve significant relief from the symptoms and regulate the hyperglycemia independently. Normally, when diabetes is diagnosed, long-term therapy with a drug treatment is used. If the drugs are discontinued during the ongoing therapy, an immediate recurrence of the symptoms can be expected. New symptoms develop and there is also a risk of a comatose state of health. In addition, without treatment, the life expectancy of those affected is shortened.

A good prognosis can be achieved if the treatment plan that has been drawn up and a change in circumstances are made. This is especially true if there are no other illnesses and no complications. If sequelae or secondary diseases occur, the overall prognosis worsens, since some diseases are considered incurable. In particular, visual impairments or organ damage worsen the general health of the patient and have a negative impact on general life expectancy.


In order to avoid hyperglycemia, the patient should primarily stick to their diet plan. For people with diabetes, it is particularly important when and how much they eat to control their blood sugar levels. Depending on the treatment, the blood sugar level must be measured independently on a regular basis. A change in the dosage of medication is usually necessary when the range of physical activities changes.


The aftercare of hyperglycaemia consists above all in acting preventively and preventing further hyperglycaemia. For this purpose, the necessary medication should be taken regularly and according to the doctor’s prescription. The medication should always and everywhere be at hand.

It is also advisable to inform friends, acquaintances, colleagues and, if necessary, other people about the risk of hyperglycaemia, so that in an emergency there is clarity and the right treatment can be given more quickly. The people close to you should be made aware of the symptoms of hyperglycemia.

An individual emergency plan can also be drawn up. In addition, it is important to pay close attention to the right diet and sufficient exercise. Special attention should be paid to an adequate intake of fluids on a daily basis. In everyday life, stressful situations should be minimized if possible, or ideally avoided altogether. The excitement releases the hormone adrenaline, which increases blood sugar levels.

A good general state of health should always be striven for and infections should be recognized and treated quickly. Infections cause blood sugar levels to rise. In addition, regular and conscientious blood sugar monitoring should take place. The measuring device used for this should also be checked regularly for its functionality in order to avoid incorrect measurement results.

You can do that yourself

In hyperglycemia, a lack of insulin causes an increased concentration of sugar in the blood of the affected person. In order to counteract this increased blood sugar, the affected person must follow a strict diet, which has been previously discussed with a doctor and/or nutritionist . Foods and drinks that contain a high percentage of sugar should be avoided. According to the glycemic index, foods such as white flour or fruit juice have a blood sugar-increasing effect. On the other hand, the consumption of legumes and nuts is recommended, as they increase the blood sugar level only slightly. Sufficient exercise through sport can also supplement this diet.

Hyperglycemia is often a symptom of diabetes. In this case, the person concerned must measure and document their blood sugar level at a given and always the same time of the day. In addition, the person affected must regularly inject insulin using an insulin pen. An alternative is an insulin pump , which the patient always carries with them and which automatically injects the patient with insulin on a regular basis.

Hyperglycemia can also be triggered by other factors. One cause of hyperglycemia is stress . In this case, the person concerned should take it easy, allow themselves regular breaks and make sure they get enough sleep.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.