As is already known, controlling blood glucose is important for avoiding hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia-blood glucose lows and highs.
Hyperglycemia, or high blood glucose, occurs when levels rise above your recommended range. A healthcare professional managing diabetes will help determine the proper healthy blood glucose range.
High blood glucose can be caused by many things, including:
- Eating too much food
- Little or no physical activity
- Not taking medications
- Stress, infection or illness
- Bad or spoiled insulin
High blood glucose can cause serious problems and is a major cause of long-term diabetes complications. Some warning signs of high blood glucose include:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth or skin
- Slow-healing cuts and sores
- Unexplained weight loss
It is important to keep blood glucose level within the recommended target range set by the treating doctor. Checking blood glucose often may help avoid hyperglycemia. High blood glucose levels can damage many parts of the body, including eyes, heart and toes.
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose level drops too low.
The body responds to low blood glucose levels with warning signs that may be different in each person. Some warning signs of low blood glucose are feeling:
- Irritable or confused
Low blood glucose may occur if meal or snack is delayed or missed, after vigorous physical activity, or if too much insulin is given. In a person without diabetes, the pancreas will stop producing insulin if the blood glucose level falls below normal. In a person with diabetes, the insulin they inject or pump keeps working, even when the blood glucose level is low.
Low blood glucose may be caused by the following:
- Not following the meal plan
- Too much exercise or exercising for a long time without eating a snack
- Too much medication or a change in the time one takes medication
- Side effects from other medications
- Alcohol intake, especially without food
Regular testing may help avoid hypoglycemia. Low blood glucose can happen very quickly, so one should be prepared to act fast to correct it. If untreated, hypoglycemia can cause serious effects, such as seizures or unconsciousness. By keeping blood glucose level in the target range decided by treating physician, one can delay or prevent long-term complications. The good news is that along with treating doctor, one can easily be able to lessen the impact of diabetes complications on life.
This section lists some of the more common diabetes-related complications, their symptoms and treatments, and some steps doctor may recommend to help reduce risk.