Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Nonetheless, if it is particularly high there are several symptoms which can occur. Diabetes UK says that hyperglycaemia, or a “hyper”, can happen when your blood glucose levels are too high. This is usually above 7mmol/l before a meal and above 8.5mmol/l two hours after a meal. The NHS says that symptoms of hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes tend to develop slowly over a few days or weeks.
Symptoms of hyperglycaemia can show up in your stomach, and in how you generally feel.
The NHS says that they include tummy pain, as well as feeling or being sick, and unintentional weight loss.
You may also notice increased thirst and a dry mouth, tiredness, blurred vision, and find that your breath smells fruity.
The NHS warns: “Symptoms of hyperglycaemia can also be caused by undiagnosed diabetes, so see a GP if this applies to you. You can have a test to check for the condition.”
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, you should speak to your doctor or diabetes care team, according to the NHS.
It can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
Hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.
Diabetes UK says: “Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.”
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood.
The NHS notes that if you have diabetes, “no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to experience hyperglycaemia” at some point.
It adds: “Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own.
“But hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.”
The Cleveland Clinic warns: “If hyperglycaemia is left untreated in people with type 1 diabetes, it can develop into ketoacidosis, where ketones, which are toxic acids, build up in the blood.
“This condition is an emergency situation that can lead to coma or death.”
Diabetes Australia notes that there are several common causes of high blood sugar level including sickness, infection and stress.
The organisation adds that too much carbohydrate foods at once, not enough insulin, or medications can impact your blood sugar levels.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) says that if you have high blood glucose levels and any of these symptoms below, you might have diabetic ketoacidosis:
- Feeling out of breath
- Feeling dehydrated
- Finding it hard to stay awake.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious problem that can happen in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin.
“If you think you have diabetic ketoacidosis you should contact your diabetes team straight away,” NICE adds.
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