Understanding High Glucose Levels in diabetes

Updated at: Jan 15, 2013
Understanding High Glucose Levels in diabetes

High glucose level fluctations happen daily in people with diabetes. It is important to control blood sugar levels through exercises, diet and medication

Dr Poonam Sachdev
DiabetesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Oct 11, 2011

Blood sugar levels can be affected by many conditions. The most common cause of high blood sugar is diabetes. According to experts the criteria for diagnosing diabetes are satisfied if any of the following results are obtained on at least two different days:

  • Fasting blood glucose level: > is 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L)
  • 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test level: > is 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L)
  • Symptoms of diabetes along with random blood glucose test levels > is 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L).

The common signs and symptoms of high blood sugar or diabetes are;

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination: Elevated blood sugar in the blood causes fluids to move out your cells. This makes you feel thirsty----and so you drink more water----this leads to frequent urination
  • Increased frequency of urination during the night
  • Increased hunger---as your body cannot use the glucose in the blood your muscles and other tissues become depleted of energy source----so you feel hungry more frequently.
  • Blurred vision: Elevated glucose levels in the blood leads to loss of fluid from the lenses of your eyes----which can affect your ability to focus and see clearly.
  • Dry, itchy skin.
  • Patches of darkened skin.
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Weight loss
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.

People with fasting blood glucose levels from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 --6.9 mmol/L) are considered to have prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose). If you have impaired fasting glucose your risk of developing diabetes is increased.


Some other causes of high blood glucose levels include;

  • Severe stress,
  • Heart attack, stroke,
  • Endocrine problems such as Cushing's syndrome or excess production of growth hormone (acromegaly).
  • Certain medications such as corticosteroids

If your blood sugar levels are elevated your doctor may recommend re-testing of sugar levels and if required other tests. DO not ignore if your blood test results are abnormal.


Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.


Read more articles on Understand Diabetes


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