The number of people who go around with high blood sugar without even knowing it is truly staggering. And part of this is because many people do not know what the symptoms of high blood sugar actually look like.
To begin with, there are more than 30 million people in the United States who live with diabetes, a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high, or as a result of insulin resistance (in the case of type 2 diabetes), or as a result that your pancreas does not make any or enough insulin (in case of type 1 diabetes). But an astounding 25% of people with diabetes don't know they have the disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). In addition, about 84 million people ̵
With that in mind, here are the symptoms of high blood sugar that you should be aware of and what to do if you are experiencing them.
What Is High Blood Sugar?
High blood sugar (or hyperglycemia) occurs when there is an accumulation of excess glucose in the blood stream. This is more of a concern for a person with diabetes than for someone without it.
Our bodies are usually pretty great for keeping our blood sugar in perfect balance, Diena Adimolam, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, SELF says.
Usually, when glucose that comes from the food we eat enters the bloodstream, the pancreas secretes exactly the right amount of insulin, the hormone your body needs to help move glucose from the bloodstream to the body's cells. for energy use or storage, explains NIDDK. This keeps blood glucose levels fairly narrow. "A normal person who has no problem with their ability to control blood glucose should never become significantly hyperglycemic," says Dr. Adimolam.
What Causes High Blood Sugar?
You might think that high blood sugar is caused simply by eating a super-sweet dessert, but it's not really as simple as that. Of course, eating a lot of sugar or carbohydrates can increase your blood sugar level, but this is usually when your pancreas starts to catch up and creates insulin that moves that glucose into cells in the body.
But when one has diabetes, this finely tuned system is thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabetes – which accounts for 90% to 95% of adult diabetes – the body either cannot make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal, but not yet in the type 2 diabetes range, according to the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or do very little.
In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around your circulatory system, which makes you feel like complete nonsense in the short term and puts your health at risk in the long run. Symptoms of High Blood Sugar
Anyone diagnosed with diabetes will be familiar with how high blood sugar feels. (They can also keep tabs on their blood sugar by testing it regularly.) But for millions of people who have diabetes or prediabetes who don't know about it, knowing the signs of high blood sugar can prompt them to seek care and make the diagnosis as soon as possible.
Although the symptoms of type 1 diabetes can occur suddenly and severely, it is important to note that the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can creep gradually and be so mild that they are not noticed, explains NIDDK. And most people with prediabetes actually have no symptoms, according to the NIDDK. Therefore, it is extremely important to review if you have risk factors, such as a family history, being overweight, inactivity, or over the age of 45.
However, there are many signs of high blood sugar in the short and long term that it does not hurt to be conscious, especially if you are at increased risk.
In the beginning, high blood sugar can make you feel different ways.
Feeling tired may be the most common early sign of high blood sugar, says Dr. Hatipoglu. It can also be mild, even with mild and normal blood sugar fluctuations that occur in people without diabetes (or pre-diabetes) when they consume large amounts of simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, she says.  Of course, fatigue is a rather nonspecific symptom (and may even be a sign of low blood sugar, as Dr. Adimolam points out). If you notice fatigue that occurs on a regular basis as soon as you eat, especially foods high in carbohydrates, this may be related to an increase in blood sugar levels. "People will say, 'I want to sleep after lunch' or 'I just can't open my eyelids after dinner,' often after eating something like a lot of pasta or potatoes or sweets," says Dr. Hatipoglu. In any case, it is a sign to see someone.
2. Frequent urination
When you have too much sugar in your blood, "your kidneys start trying to pour more sugar to get rid of it. And while they separate the sugar, they extract water with it, ”explains Dr. Hatipoglu. This makes you go to the bathroom more than usual.
 3. Increased Thirst [/h2] It's a natural effect of drinking more, explains Dr. Adimolam, because your body is dehydrated. "People start to feel thirsty all the time," says Dr. Hatipoglu. Dehydration also becomes cyclical, the Mayo Clinic explains: The more you pee, the healthier you get, the more you drink, the more you pee, etc.
Dehydration can cause headaches for any reason, says Dr. Hatipoglu. Of course, headaches can be a sign of many different things, but it's worth checking out if it's something new or combined with other symptoms here. (Dehydration can also aggravate your fatigue, by the way.)
5. Blurred vision
When there is excess sugar in the blood, it can affect some unexpected areas in the body, such as your eyes. Essentially, the extra sugar (along with some water) falls into the lens in the middle of the eye, causing a blurred effect, explains Dr. Hatipoglu. (This is temporary and is not the same as eye damage that can occur in the long run.)
6. Nausea, vomiting, confusion, etc.
These seemingly distinguished symptoms are signs of a rare and life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA can cause the above symptoms as well as stomach pain, shortness of breath, dry or red skin, fruit breath or difficulty in attention. It is commonly found in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign that they are ill, according to the US National Library of Medicine. (Rarely, DKA may occur less frequently in type 2 diabetes.) Unable to use blood sugar for energy without insulin, the liver begins to break down body fat to a type of fuel called ketones at such a high rate that they become toxic and make the blood acidic, explains the US National Library of Medicine. DKA can be fatal if left untreated, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek care immediately.
Over time, untreated high blood sugar can cause additional symptoms.
7. Recurrent Infections
Constantly elevated blood sugar levels can attenuate the body's immune response, according to the CDC. This makes it difficult for your body to fight off certain infections, making them more frequent, prolonged or serious.
Dr. Hatipoglu is particularly prone to observe frequent yeast infections in women with diabetes. That's because excess sugar from high blood sugar spilled through urine helps feed the bacteria that can cause these infections, NIDDK says. Women with diabetes are also more prone to UTIs, according to the CDC.
8. Slow Healing Pain
High blood sugar levels can also affect your body's blood system, says Dr. Hatipoglu, disrupting blood flow and the body's ability to heal. Diseases that take some time to heal, often on the feet, are a common sign of this decreased blood flow, according to the Mayo Clinic
9. Dental Problems
Glucose is present in your saliva as well as in your blood. When there is too much of it, it helps harmful bacteria in your mouth grow and combine with nutrients to create plaque, explains NIDDK. This leads to problems such as dental caries, cavities, gingivitis, gum disease and bad breath.
Swollen, tender and bleeding gums are one of the first things to look out for.
10. Trembling of the hands and feet
Over the years, too much glucose in the blood can begin to affect nerve function and eventually cause nerve damage called neuropathy, says Dr. Hatipoglu. The most common type of neuropathy is peripheral, according to the NIDDK, which affects the limbs. You may begin to notice numbness, tingling, or burning in your hands, feet, arms, and legs, for the Mayo Clinic.
What to Do If You Have These Symptoms
The good news is that if you are experiencing these symptoms, a trip to a primary care provider is usually enough to tell you whether high blood sugar due to diabetes or prediabetes is the cause. If your doctor suspects you have diabetes, he or she may have a finger test in place to see your current blood sugar and / or blood test to see your average blood sugar over the last few months, says Dr. Adimolam. The doctor may also test for certain autoantibodies to determine if your diabetes is type 1, the autoimmune version of the disease, according to the NIDDK. Treatment and Prevention of High Blood Sugar
How you treat and prevent high blood sugar depends on the cause and the individual. But it will almost certainly involve working with your medical team on a plan that includes a mix of lifestyle habits and medications to help you best manage your condition.
If your test results show you have pre-diabetes, there are things you can do that can help alleviate or even reverse pre-diabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes, according to the US National Library of Medicine, including lose weight if you are overweight, exercise, change your diet (with the guidance of someone like your doctor, GP, or certified diabetes teacher) and take prescribed medication.
If you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will often need to test your blood sugar (with sticks and a potentially continuous glucose monitoring system), take insulin every day (by injection or insulin pump) when eating carbohydrates or when you have high blood sugar, and you exercise regularly, according to the NIDDK.
If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will need to pon. hortalize your blood sugar, make certain lifestyle changes (by eating a healthy diet and exercising) and potentially taking medications (such as Metformin and probably insulin), says Dr. Hatipoglu.
And with type 1 and 2 diabetes, the best way to prevent high blood sugar is to follow your treatment plan and talk to your doctor if something doesn't work for you.