High Blood Glucose

High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia.

Blood glucose levels fluctuate from day to day and one or two days of elevated levels are not cause for concern.

However if a high blood glucose level has been recorded the person does need monitoring. The Diabetes Medical Management plan should state when to contact the doctor.

Next: Causes


  •     Too much unhealthy food
  •     Excess alcohol
  •     Diabetes medication / insulin not taken
  •     Some medications such as steroids
  •     Not enough exercise
  •     The person is sick

Next: Symptoms


Symptoms can build up over a number of days.

High Blood Glucose

  •     Pass urine frequently
  •     High blood sugar levels (can lead to severe dehydration)
  •     Feeling thirsty
  •     Feeling lethargic
  •     Changes in behavior - usually irritability OR
  •     There may be no symptoms

Prolonged High Blood Glucose

  •     Rapid labored breathing
  •     Flushed cheeks
  •     Abdominal pain
  •     Sweet, acetone smell on breath if type 1 diabetic
  •     Severe dehydration

Next: Treatment


High Blood Glucose

Initial response:

  •     Increase blood glucose testing frequency
  •     Ensure diabetic medications are taken
  •     Increase fluid intake

Prolonged High Blood Glucose

  •     Arrange a visit to a doctor
  •     If it is an emergency, call an ambulance as this situation could lead to a coma

Next: For Carers

For Carers

This document is not a substitute for medical advice. It is about education and guidelines for managing diabetes only.

Please contact your doctor if you are in doubt about any issue presented here or any issues about diabetes.