Managing diabetes: Hyperglycemia

Updated On Jan 12, 2022
  • Opposite of hypoglycemia – when blood sugar levels are too high in people with diabetes 
  • Fasting blood glucose levels are greater than 7.0mol/L (126mg/dL) 
  • 2 hours after meals, blood glucose levels exceeding 11.0mmol/L (200mg/dL)
  • Caused by loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas or by insulin resistance in the body, missed dose of diabetic medication, tablets or insulin, consuming more carbohydrates than your body and/or medication can handle, mental or emotional stress (injury, surgery, anxiety), food and physical activity choices, and infection
  • Hyperglycemia, if not treated, can become severe and result in complications requiring emergency care
  • The long-term effects of persistent hyperglycemia can affect your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart
  • Long-term complications include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy), diabetic retinopathy, cataract, skin infections, ulcerations, amputations, bone and joint problems, teeth and gum infections


  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger 
  • Increased urination 
  • Feeling tired or weak 
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Weakness 
  • Confusion 
  • Coma 
  • Abdominal pain 

Preventing hyperglycemia

  • Diabetes management 
  • Monitoring your blood glucose 
  • Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control (taking medications required, eating healthily, exercising, not smoking, drinking moderately, keeping your medical appointments, and going for regular check-ups)
  • Regular screenings 
  • Ketone testing