Hyperglycaemia is common in people living with diabetes, even if your blood sugar (glucose) levels are well controlled you may experience episodes of hyperglycaemia.

Hyperglycaemia: “hyper” means high; gly = glucose; aemia = blood: therefore hyperglycaemia means HIGH BLOOD GLUCOSE levels. Normally symptoms of hyperglycaemia will only appear if the blood glucose (sugar) level is greater than 11.0mmol/l. 

The causes of hyperglycaemia are:

  • Not using enough insulin or oral diabetes medication
  • Not injecting insulin properly or missing an insulin injection
  • Not following your diabetes eating plan
  • Being inactive
  • Having an illness or infection
  • Using certain medications, such as steroids
  • Being injured or having surgery
  • Experiencing emotional stress, such as family conflict or workplace challenges

The symptoms of hyperglycaemia are:

  • Frequent urination (needing to go to the toilet more often than normal)
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue (unusual tiredness)
  • Headache

When you feel these symptoms, you should test your blood sugar (glucose) levels, and you should try and drink as much water and or DIET coke as possible.  When your blood sugar (glucose) levels are high, it can result in you losing extra fluid and thus result in dehydration. Try and avoid eating any sugar foods or drinking any sugary liquids like Coke and fruit juice.  If your blood sugar level is greater than 14mmol/l do not exercise as this could make your blood sugar levels go even higher.

If you have missed your medication, do not double up on your next dose, just take your next normal dose as prescribed by your doctor.

If you start experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor.

Vomiting and or diarrhoea, stomach ache, chest pain and or difficulty in breathing, a fruity smell on your breath, difficulty in concentrating and staying awake, as these are the symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), and if left untreated could lead to a coma.

Continue to drink as much water and or DIET coke as possible.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious condition that occurs when there is a lack of insulin in the body, leading to high blood sugar (glucose) levels, and a build-up of ketones in the blood and urine. Ketones are formed when the body breaks down fat for energy. DKA is more common in Type 1 diabetes, but may occur in people with long-duration type 2 diabetes who are on insulin.