Diabetes complications

Hyperglycemia: causes and symptoms

In most cases, hyperglycemia is a manifestation of diabetes mellitus decompensation. A sudden increase in glucose level can cause a paroxysmal state, in which a person may need emergency care.
is a clinical symptom, which means a pathological increase in plasma glucose levels.

Causes of hyperglycemia

The direct cause of hyperglycemia is excess glucose uptake in the blood plasma. Chronic elevated sugar levels are observed in people with diabetes. In fact, this indicator is the main characteristic of the disease.

In a healthy person, hyperglycemia without apparent external causes is often a symptom of an exchange disorder and indicates either a hidden development of diabetes mellitus or a predisposition to this pathology.

Acute increase in sugar level in diabetics is caused insulin deficiency - pancreatic hormone. Insulin slows down (inhibits) the process of moving glucose compounds across cell membranes, and therefore the content of free sugar in the blood rises.

In type 1 diabetes mellitus, the pancreas does not produce insulin in the required amount; in diabetes of the second type, insulin may be sufficient, but an abnormal body reaction to a hormone is present - resistance to its presence. Both diabetes lead to an increase in the number of glucose molecules in the blood and cause characteristic symptoms.

Other reasons for the state in question may be the following factors:

  • Power errors
  • Stress states
  • Infectious lesions of the body
  • The consequences of a severe stroke or heart attack
  • Side effects of drugs
eating foods that are rich in simple (so-called “fast”) carbohydrates, or just overeating (excess calories) - for example, due to bulimia nervosa.
- short-term and permanent. Psychological or emotional stress affects hormonal regulation. Even if you eat rationally, but are experiencing chronic stress, it can be accompanied by hyperglycemic symptoms.
Bacterial, viral, or even helminthic infection can cause hormonal status disorders and trigger changes in the blood
People who have suffered a stroke or myocardial infarction in the recent past may experience acute episodes of hyperglycemia unrelated to diabetes.
Sometimes an elevated sugar level is temporary when taking some potent drugs - for example, Rituximab, used in the course of chemotherapy in the treatment of malignant tumors.


Doctors distinguish several degrees of severity of hyperglycemia:

  • Light (sugar content - 6-8 mmol / l);
  • Average (8-11 mmol / l);
  • Heavy (above 11 mmol / l);
  • Precomatose state (above 16 mmol / l);
  • Hyperosmolar coma (over 55 mmol / l): a condition that requires immediate hospitalization and is fraught with death.
Normally, the sugar index fits in the range from 3 to 5 mmol / liter. In a healthy person, the level of glucose compounds increases by 1-3 mmol / l 1-2 hours after eating, after which it gradually returns to normal. Indicators above this value indicate pathological processes in the body.
With diabetes in the debut of the disease, the sugar level rises slightly after eating, but it does not return to normal for a long time. This does not cause any special disturbances of well-being, except perhaps increased fatigue and reduced performance.

As the disease progresses, symptoms increase. Disorders occur in virtually all body systems. Indicative signs of hyperglycemia are:

  • Excessive thirst (polydipsia);
  • Frequent urination (polyuria);
  • Weight loss on the background of normal nutrition;
  • Constant fatigue;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Nausea;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Dry skin (sometimes itchy skin);
  • Reduced skin regeneration (poor healing of scratches, festering innocuous abrasions);
  • Infectious diseases that are poorly amenable to standard treatment (otitis, vaginal candidiasis, and others);
  • Rare breathing, shortness of breath (breath Kussmaul);
  • Drowsiness;
  • Hearing impairment;
  • Heart rhythm disorder;
  • Disorders of consciousness;
  • Pressure drop;
  • Dehydration due to glycosuria;
  • Ketoacidosis (acid-base imbalance in the body, leading to a comatose state).

In patients with chronic low-grade diabetes, symptoms may increase over several years. With proper insulin control, patients can avoid the extreme manifestations of hyperglycemia throughout their lives, but to do this, one should strictly follow the diet and recommendations of doctors, as well as use an individual glucometer. Such a device allows patients at any time to determine the level of sugar in the plasma at home.

First aid for acute attack of hyperglycemia

  1. At the first sign of severe hyperglycemia in insulin-dependent individuals, a hormone should be injected into the body by injection. It is advisable to pre-measure the level of sugar. Insulin injections should be given every 2 hours until glucose levels return to normal. In some cases, gastric lavage with warm water and a small dose of soda may be required.
  2. If no improvement is observed, you should call an ambulance or independently deliver the patient to the clinic. A further increase in glucose may lead to acidosis and depression of the respiratory function. Medical care depends on the patient's condition: the most common option is an infusion dropper.
  3. If hyperglycemia occurs in people who do not have diagnosed diabetes mellitus and is caused by causes not associated with insulin deficiency, help is to eliminate the symptoms. Initially, you should neutralize the increased level of acidity of the body. This will help: mineral water without gas, a solution of baking soda, fruit, decoctions of herbs. If the patient has excessive dryness of the skin, it is necessary to rub it with a wet towel.

Treatment methods

Therapy for this condition is the elimination of the symptoms and the primary cause. If it is diabetes mellitus, then proper treatment of this disease should be carried out (which in itself is a long and often lifelong process).

In the process of therapy will require regular measurement of glucose levels. Rapid test should be carried out on an empty stomach and after eating several times a day. If critical indicators are observed several times in a row, medical consultation and adjustment of insulin dosages are required.

One of the most effective ways to influence the performance of sugar - diet food. Controlling the calorie content of foods and taking into account the amount of carbohydrates ingested in the body will help contain glucose levels.

To measure the amount of carbohydrates consumed by physicians introduced such a thing as "bread unit" - This is 15 grams of carbohydrates. The bread unit corresponds to a small slice of bread weighing 30 g or 100 g of oatmeal. For diabetics, the number of bread units should not exceed 25 per day. Most of the daily intake should be eaten in the morning and afternoon.

The amount of protein and fat should correspond to the level of the needs of the body - and no more. To create the best diet option for patients with diabetes will help qualified nutritionists, taking as a basis the weights of patients and their energy costs.
Also help reduce the concentration of sugar:

  • Plentiful drink (clean water is best suited);
  • Physical activity (gymnastics).

The elimination of hyperglycemia associated with the presence of infectious agents lies in antibiotic or antiviral treatment. Abnormal sugar levels caused by stress and nervous disorders, normalizes by itself, as soon as the psycho-emotional state becomes stable.


A measure to prevent hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes is to control the consumption of carbohydrates and constant measurement of sugar. Prevention of this condition in people without diabetes is a balanced diet, sports, timely treatment of infectious diseases. People who have suffered a stroke (heart attack) should strictly follow the medical recommendations for the correction of lifestyle.

Watch the video: What is hypoglycemia? - DiaBiteSize (September 2019).