Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can be defined as a condition that arises when the blood sugar levels in the body are above normal levels. According to the World Health Organisation Blood glucose levels, greater than 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dl) when fasting is called fasting hyperglycemia. Blood glucose levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L (200 mg/dl) 2 hours after meals is called postprandial hyperglycemia. This is the main indicator of a diabetes diagnosis. Rarely do people without diabetes have sugar levels above 140mg/dL, except after having a large meal.
What Causes Hyperglycemia?
Most people will experience an increase in blood sugar level after consuming foods that are high in glucose. However, people who have consistent hyperglycemic episodes usually lack sufficient insulin or the insulin produced by the body does not work well.
In addition to the hormone insulin, these are some other causes of the hyperglycemic condition:
- Frequent consumption of foods high in sugar
- Lack of regular exercise and being inactive
- Irregular consumption of prescribed diabetes medication
- Having an infection/illness
Signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia may include:
- High blood glucose levels which is above 126 mg/dl before meals (fasting) or above 200 mg/dl 2 hours after meals
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained Weight loss
If you experience these symptoms, you should consult your doctor immediately.
If hyperglycaemia goes untreated, it may result in complications such as:
- Increased risk of Infections of the skin and vagina
- Slow-healing wounds
- deterioration of vision
- Nerve damage including pain, numbness, erectile dysfunction
- Digestive tract disorders
- Vascular and kidney disorders
Treatment of hyperglycemia, especially in people with diabetes, is a long-term and ongoing commitment.
The following actions must be taken:
- Drink a lot of water so it can help remove sugar through the urine (provided your kidneys are in good working condition)
- Exercise regularly in consultation with the doctor first
- Follow a diabetes meal plan
- Take your regular diabetes medications
- A healthy diet for people with hyperglycemia is not only focused on the type of food but also the amount of intake and the combination of the food. It’s also important to avoid foods with high sugar content and include more vegetables and fruits in your diet. Choose Low GI carbohydrates as much as possible.
- Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes a day to maintain blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity also helps the body use insulin more efficiently.
- Monitor blood sugar routinely. Check and record the level of blood sugar several times a week or several times a day.