Unlike high cholesterol that doesn’t have specific signs and symptoms, high blood sugar (medically called as hyperglycemia) sometimes can cause some symptoms. Both men and women can experience hyperglycemia – including for those who don’t have diabetes (in a few cases)! So, how do you know if you have it?
Glucose (a simple form of sugar /carbohydrate) is the primary source of energy for your body. But before it can be converted to become energy, your body’s cells need to absorb it first from the bloodstream.
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In the digestion process of your digestive system, carbohydrates taken from foods will break down into various molecules of sugar and one of them is glucose. Then this glucose can directly go into the bloodstream.
Glucose will be directly or indirectly absorbed by cells of the body – depending on your body needs. While most glucose is absorbed by cells, the remaining glucose can be stored in the liver as glycogen.
The cells of your body need the help of insulin to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. If there is something wrong with the action of insulin, such as poor insulin sensitivity or /and poor amount of insulin in the bloodstream secreted by the pancreas – the mechanism of your glucose metabolism is affected. This condition is medically called as insulin resistance, which commonly found in people with diabetes.
Normally, when the level of sugar in the blood increases, your body will respond this by secreting more insulin into the bloodstream, as a result the level of blood sugar will decrease and return to normal!
Although hyperglycemia also can occur in non diabetics, but it is much more common in people with diabetes (as noted before). In other words, you are likely to this condition if you have diabetes (either type-1 or type-2 or gestational diabetes) – particularly if you:
- Skip your insulin medication or skip other prescribed medicines from your doctor to help improve your blood glucose control.
- Are being illness.
- Are having uncontrolled stress.
- Eat a large meal (especially eating too many carbohydrates at once).
- Are having certain infection.
- Are physically inactive or have decreased activity.
- Take a strenuous exercise.
There is almost no significant difference for the signs & symptoms of hyperglycemia in women and men.
If your blood glucose level rises up to 180 mg/dL, this should not be ignored. It may point to the existence of pre-diabetes (a condition of prior to diabetes – as the name suggests). See also why you need to catch the presence of pre-diabetes as early as possible on this section and foods to avoid diabetes onset!
Some signs and symptoms commonly associated with hyperglycemia may include:
- Fatigue, tired feeling, and weakness – particularly if they persist longer than usual and with unknown reason.
- Decreased ability on vision – such as blurred vision.
- Headaches or dizziness, especially with unknown reason.
- Losing many pounds of your weight without known reason.
- The cycle of your urge to urinate increases (frequent urination). This symptom may also be followed with increased thirst.
- Difficulty to get concentration.
- Mild nausea and maybe with mild vomiting. These symptoms may be more common in women than in men.
If left untreated, prolonged and uncontrolled hyperglycemia could cause:
- Decreased vision that gets worse.
- Dry mouth.
- Patient may also experience shortness of breath.
- Digestive problems, such as abdominal pain, chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea.
- If patient have sores and cuts, these problems are more likely to heal longer than usual.
- In female patients, they are more vulnerable to get vaginal yeast infections.
- In male patients, erectile dysfunction can be a major issue.
- For the case if you still don’ have type-2 diabetes, your risk of getting this health problem increases significantly.
- Blood vessels damage and kidneys damage.
- Difficulty concentrating that gets worse to become confusion.
- And even coma.
The cases of hyperglycemia in non-diabetics are much less common than in diabetics.
But most of non-diabetic hyperglycemia cases may be caused by undiagnosed diabetes. In non-diabetics, other causes of the problem may include: