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What Is High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)?

High blood sugar (glucose), or hyperglycemia, means there's too much sugar in your blood. When blood sugar remains too high, your diabetes is said to be out of control. Blood sugar levels can change depending upon a number of factors, including:

  • Food (especially foods that contain carbohydrates)
  • Not taking enough or the right type of diabetes medicine
  • Emotional stress
  • Getting less exercise than usual
  • Physical stress (being sick or in pain)

A number of medicines, including some over-the-counter medicines, may increase your blood sugar. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out which medicines are safe for you.

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

With high blood sugar, you can feel just fine even though your blood sugar is too high. When symptoms of high blood sugar are present, they may be mild or come on so slowly you don't notice them. That's why it is important to test your blood sugar regularly.

Here are some of the symptoms you should watch for:

  • More hunger or thirst than usual
  • Feeling tired or very sleepy
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Slow healing of cuts or sores
  • Having to urinate often, especially at night

How to Treat High Blood Sugar

If you have high blood sugar, it should be treated. Although there may be no short-term symptoms, there are long-term health risks related to high blood sugar. Talk with your healthcare provider or diabetes educator about high blood sugar.

Your options may include:

  • A change in medicines or dose
  • More careful meal planning
  • Regular exercise
  • More frequent blood testing and a plan for acting on the results
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