Diabetes with High Blood Sugar

You have been treated for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). This may be because of an infection or other illness. Or it may be from eating too many sweets or starches. Or it may be from not taking enough insulin or other diabetes medicine.

Home care

Check your blood sugar level at least 2 times a day. Write it down the results. Do this before breakfast and before dinner. If you take insulin, also write down your routine insulin dose. Note any other doses you needed based on your sliding scale or as advised by your healthcare provider. Do this for the next 3 to 5 days.

High blood sugar may cause symptoms that you can learn to spot. These include:

  • Peeing often

  • Thirst

  • Headache

  • Breath that smells fruity

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Belly pain

If you have symptoms of high blood sugar, use a blood or urine test to find out what your blood sugar level is. If it is above your usual range, use the sliding scale regular insulin dose from your healthcare provider. Call your provider for advice if you were not given a range for your insulin dose. If your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dL, check your urine for ketones.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. You may need to meet with your provider in the next week. You will likely look at your blood sugar records together. You may need to change your dose of insulin or other diabetes medicine.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if these occur:

  • Symptoms of high blood sugar that don't get better with the treatment your provider advised. This is especially true if you also have ketones in your urine.

  • Blood sugar over 300 mg/dl. If you can’t reach your healthcare provider, go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care center.

Call 911

Call 911 if you have any of the following:

  • Confusion

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Weakness of an arm, leg, or one side of the face

  • Sudden trouble with speech or vision

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