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Last Updated: Oct 25, 2021
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High Sugar: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

About Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Signs Prevention Measures How to lower high blood sugar? Treatment side effects Recovery Cost Diet plan Complication Physical Exercises Results Alternatives
High Sugar: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is high blood sugar?

High blood sugar is also known as hyperglycemia happens when the level of blood sugar level rises in the body and it affects the people with type 1 and types 2 diabetes. Hyperglycemia is defined by certain high levels of blood glucose like fasting levels above 7.0 mmol/L or 126 mg/dL and two hours postprandial levels greater than 11.0 mmol/L or 200 mg/dL.

What are the symptoms of high sugar?

The symptoms of high sugar or hyperglycemia are thirst, vision problems, stomach pain, increased hunger, nausea, drowsiness, lethargy, exhaustion, sweating, confusion, vomiting, inability to concentrate, weight loss that leads to coma and frequent urination.

Some of the other physical manifestations that a person may experience if he/she has high blood sugar are: vaginal and skin infections, stomach and intestinal problems like diarrhea and constipation and nerve damage which can result in cold and insensitive feet, loss of hair and erectile dysfunction.

What causes high blood sugar?

There can be several types of diabetes which can cause high blood sugar:

  • Type 1 diabetes:

    In this, the cells of the pancreas which make insulin are attacked by the immune system due to which there is a lack of insulin in the body thus there is a rise in blood sugar level.

  • Type 2 diabetes:

    In this insulin is produced in the body but not utilized properly by the body. The insulin is made in the pancreas but it is not enough for the body itself. Insulin resistance in Type-2 diabetes

  • Gestational diabetes:

    This happens during pregnancy when there are insulin resistance and high blood sugar in the body. Pregnant women should monitor this during pregnancy as it can cause problems for the mother and baby. Gestational diabetes goes after pregnancy.

  • Cystic fibrosis:

    In this, a link is created between cystic fibrosis and diabetes.

  • Medications:

    People who take steroids and certain medications experience high blood sugar levels. Insufficient amount of insulin treatment and early morning hormone surge which is also known as dawn phenomenon or dawn effect.

Can high sugar cause a heart attack?

High sugar levels can lead to strokes and heart attack. High blood sugar level causes the blood vessels to contract. When the blood providing artery is blocked, that causes the heart attack.

If, at the time of heart attack, the blood sugar level is high, it makes the blockage more severe by contracting the arteries.

How High Sugar is diagnosed?

High sugar, referred to as hyperglycemia, is a systemic condition which is characterized by an increase in blood glucose level. Its diagnosis is done by blood tests such as :-

  • Fasting plasma glucose test
  • HbA1c test
  • Fructosamine test
  • Oral glucose tolerance tests

The blood tests may be performed by ‘’self-check’’ or ‘’At-home testing’’ method in which frequent blood glucose monitoring is done at home itself, while lab tests are also a way for this which is done with a doctor’s consultation, as a part of the routine examination.

What happens when your blood sugar is too high?

If the blood sugar level becomes too high then the person starts feeling thirsty, tired, lose weight, have blurry vision, frequent urination, fainting, and feeling of vomiting.

How to prevent High Sugar?

A well-balanced and nutritious diet plays an important role in the management and prevention of high blood sugar. Whole wheat bread, fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, legumes, cold water fishes and yoghurt are some of the food items preferred to be consumed in this case. Besides these, some lifestyle changes are also considered which include regular exercises, adequate hydration, having smaller and frequent meals, stress reduction and maintenance of a healthy body weight.

What to do when blood sugar is high?

These are the things which can be done if the blood sugar level is high:

  • Drinking more water: Drinking more water helps in the removal of excess fluid from the blood in the form of urine. It also avoids dehydration.
  • More exercise: Doing regular exercise helps maintain the blood sugar level in the body. But you should consult your doctor before doing a specific exercise as in some cases it may also increase the blood sugar level.
  • Changing eating habits: A diabetic person must be specific about the diet and eat accordingly. They must consult their dietitians and change their eating habits.
  • Switch medication: If you are taking any medication regarding diabetes then take it in the correct amount and take them as prescribed by the doctor.

How high is high blood sugar?

Blood Sugar level is the level of glucose in the blood. The level of glucose is measured in two ways. One is when a person has not eaten 8 hours before the test i.e. fasting sugar. And the other way is testing the sugar level after the person has eaten.

An adult who does not have diabetes, his/her fasting sugar should be less than 100mg/dL. At the same time a person who does not have diabetes, his/her sugar level 2-3 hours after having a meal must be 90-110 mg/dL.

Normal blood sugar level of a person who is diagnosed with diabetes varies according to the age of the person and time of the day. Children below 6 years of age should have a normal blood sugar level ranging from 80-200 mg/dL everyday.

Children of age ranging from 6-12 with diabetes must have a blood sugar level of 80-180 mg/dL for a day. Teenagers must have a sugar level of 70-150 mg/dL. And people with age range of 20 and above should have a range of sugar levels of 100-180 mg/dL.

How to lower high blood sugar?

These are the ways in which the blood sugar level can be maintained:

  • Monitoring blood sugar level closely: If a person has a high level of diabetes then they must monitor their blood sugar level every hour or might be 5-6 times a day. Doing this helps to maintain the blood sugar level in blood.
  • By reducing the intake of carbohydrates: One must reduce the intake of carbohydrates in the diet as it reduces blood sugar level. Instead, a high protein diet must be taken which keeps blood sugar normal.
  • Choosing low glycemic index food: Low glycemic food must be eaten in order to keep blood sugar level normal. These are some of the food items: Sweet potato, quinoa, legumes, low-fat milk, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, fish, and meat.
  • Increasing the intake of dietary fiber: Fiber plays a very important role in maintaining the blood sugar level as they slow down the rate of carbohydrate in the body. Thus the rate of sugar absorption in the body also slows down.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Losing weight also decreases the level of diabetes in the body as reducing weight also reduces the level of insulin in the body. If a diabetic person keeps a normal weight then they reduce the chances of diabetes.

Will drinking water lower blood sugar?

Drinking lots of water surely helps lower the blood sugar level. Water lowers down the insulin resistance which reduces the hunger to an acceptable capacity. When a person is properly hydrated, his/her insulin is reduced as 8 glasses per day tends to bring down a person’s blood sugar level.

Having more and more water a day and especially before a meal reduces hunger and the person eats less and feels full sooner. If a person has a high level of blood sugar and his/her kidney finds it difficult to process the sugar. In that case, water helps to remove excess sugar from the kidneys.

Is high sugar and diabetes the same?

High blood sugar is an underlying situation which can lead to development of diabetes. People in the prediabetes zone are at a higher risk of diabetes. Pre diabetes is a situation when blood sugar level is higher than the normal bar but is lower than what it would have been in diabetes.

How high sugar is treated?

There can be different approaches to treat high sugar on the basis of the amount of blood sugar present in blood. If blood test shows that the sugar levels are slightly above normal, a person should exercise regularly, drink more water or sugar-free drinks, regularly monitor blood sugar levels and also consider injecting additional insulin if it has been recommended by the doctor.

If the blood sugar levels are moderately high, a person should abstain from any strenuous activity, avoid drinks which contain sugar, inject additional insulin, chart blood-glucose test results, regularly monitor blood sugar levels and also try to find out the root cause for increase in blood glucose levels.

If blood sugar levels are alarmingly high, a doctor should be immediately consulted. A person should adhere to the rest of the guidelines that he/she followed when he/she has moderately high blood sugar levels. However, ketone levels are to be tested if recommended by a doctor.

If a person is suffering from severe hyperglycemia, there are a few treatments that may help to address this condition. Firstly, there is the fluid replacement therapy whereby a person receives fluid, either orally or intravenously until he/she is rehydrated. A person may lose excess fluid due to frequent urination and so this loss is compensated with the help of fluid replacement therapy. This procedure also helps to dilute the excess sugar in the blood.

Lower levels of insulin in people with hyperglycemia lower the levels of several electrolytes. Thus the electrolyte replacement therapy provides electrolytes through the veins so as to keep the heart, muscles and nerve cells healthy. Insulin therapy involves the administration of insulin through the veins. This reverses the processes that result in the build-up of ketones in the body.

Who is eligible for the treatment?

A person is eligible for treatment of high sugar or hyperglycemia if he has been diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner and/or has exhibited some of the symptoms associated with this condition. There are two methods by which it can be understood whether a person has high sugar or not.

One is the fasting hyperglycemia blood test and the other is the post-prandial or after-meal hyperglycemia blood test. The symptoms that a person suffering from high sugar include increased thirst, frequent urination, blood sugar level more than 180 mg/dL , weight loss, fatigue, headaches and vision problems.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who has not been properly diagnosed as suffering from high sugar and who does not experience symptoms associated with this condition are not eligible for treatment. Home-based treatment requires a person to exercise regularly. But if a person is physically invalid, he/she cannot opt for home treatment. A person with kidney problems should consult a doctor before going for fluid replacement therapy.

What are side-effects of high sugar treatments?

The side-effects of insulin therapy are as follows: headache, hunger, sweating, tremor, weakness, fast heartbeat accompanied with rapid breathing and fainting or seizure. Electrolyte replacement therapy can cause too much sodium to appear in blood.

Excess sodium may cause convulsions, dizziness, high blood pressure, irritability, restlessness, muscle twitching, weakness and swelling of feet or lower legs. The side effects of Fluid replacement therapy include hypernatremia or high levels of sodium, high blood pressure, heart failure, injection site reactions and electrolyte abnormalities.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are a few post-treatment guidelines that a person will need to adhere to in order to keep high sugar levels in check. A person taking insulin or oral diabetes medication has to be consistent about the amount and timing of his/her meals. The food must be balanced with the insulin working in your body.

Person will have to regularly monitor his/her blood sugar levels and report to the doctor immediately if there are any anomalies. A person with high sugar levels is supposed to exercise. But if he/she is not being able to adhere to the workout plan, he/she should consult a doctor and get the medications altered. Furthermore, it is of paramount importance that a person take the prescribed medicines regularly.

How long does it take to recover?

High sugar or hyperglycemia can be a serious condition and it can lead to diabetes in the long run. The treatment for hyperglycemia involves some home remedies such as shifting to a healthy diet, exercising and also monitoring the blood glucose levels. So, a person may require a long time to get his blood sugar levels in check as he/she would have to adhere to strict guidelines recommended by a physician.

Use of electrolyte replacement, insulin therapy and fluid replacement may help to bring down the high blood sugar levels. But to maintain the low levels and to prevent it from flaring up again may require a person to undergo treatment for a lot of time.

Can high sugar go away on its own?

Complete cure for diabetes is not available but high sugar can go into remission.

When the disease comes into the remission stage, there is no visible sign or symptom shown by the body. But even though there are no visible signs, the disease still persists.

Even if a diabetic person maintains his/her sugar for 30 years, it’s not that the diabetes is cured, it still remains there in the body.

What is the price of high sugar treatments in India?

Insulin therapy may cost between Rs 14, 500 to Rs 47,000 for a year. Blood sugar checking machines are available between Rs 750 and Rs 2200 in India. The cost of a check-up will depend on which place the patient is going for the check-up and also on the individual doctor.

Government hospitals generally provide free check-ups for the poor and also provide some free medicine. Intravenous fluids are available between Rs 22 and Rs 200.

Best diet plan for people with high sugar:

What to eat when blood sugar is high?

Diet has a proven role in the management of high blood glucose levels. In this case, a well-balanced and nutritious diet involves a proper amount of carbohydrates along with proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the food items that ensure this include the following:-

  • Green and leafy vegetables may be consumed in raw, cooked, or roasted form. e.g tomatoes, onion, mushroom, spinach, sprouts, zucchini, and kale.
  • Drinks that should be flavored as well as low calorie such as lemon water with cucumber dispersed in them.
  • Fresh fruits such as melons and berries
  • High fibre foods such as whole grains, legumes, peas and lentils.
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil,avocados and fishes.
  • Proteins such as lean meats, chicken, eggs, greek yoghurt, cheese, and celery.
  • Raw, cooked or roasted vegetables:

    These roasted vegetables add color to your meal. You can add low-carb vegetables like onions, eggplants, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and zucchini. Dips can also be tried among those vegetables like low-fat dressings, salsa, hummus, etc.

  • Greens:

    You can try different kinds of salad apart from the regular ones like kale, spinach, chard, etc. All these green are healthy, low-carb and delicious. You can also use olive oil for dressing or even eat them with protein food salmon.

  • Low-calories drink:

    Remaining hydrated is always good but vegetables and fruits water is always good for health. Thus lemons and cucumber can be infused in water, which gives a good taste.

  • Melon or berries:

    Berries and melons are packed with 15 grams of carbohydrates, healthy nutrients and fiber. You can consume lemon and berries incorporated with yogurt.

  • Whole-grain, Higher fiber:

    You should choose your food carefully and stop overeating. Include dried beans, peas, and lentils in your diet.

  • Proteins:

    Food containing protein must be included in your diet like cottage cheese, eggs, lean meat, peanut butter, and celery sticks.

What not to eat when blood sugar is high?

These are the foods that should be avoided during high blood sugar:

  • Sweetened beverages:

    If you are diabetic then these kinds of beverages are not a good choice as they increase the intake of sugar in the body in a very large quantity and speed.

  • Tran fats:

    This is one of the most unhealthy things that a person with diabetes can eat. Though trans fats do not increase the level of sugar in the blood directly but they can increase inflammation, belly fat and insulin resistance and also decreases good cholesterol level.

  • White bread, pasta, and rice:

    All these foods are rich in carbohydrates and eating all these refined flour foods can increase the blood sugar level in the body rapidly.

  • Fruit-flavored yogurt:

    People suffering from diabetes should not eat fruit-flavored yogurt as it increases the blood sugar level in the body else they should eat plain yogurt which is good for the body.

Should I go to urgent care for High Sugar?

Diabetes is a systemic disease of the body which may lead to serious complications. The management can be done by proper and regular monitoring of the blood sugar level, which can be achieved either by self testing at home or lab tests with a doctor’s consultation. There are two conditions related to diabetes and need urgent care, which are as follows :-

  • Hypoglycemia, commonly referred to as low blood sugar level. The symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, shakiness and hunger. The condition needs emergency care. In case of untimely treatment or if left untreated may lead to unconsciousness, followed by diabetic coma.
  • Hyperglycemia, commonly referred to as high blood sugar level. The symptoms include loss of concentration, frequent urination, increased thirst and raised pulse. Management can be done usually by regular exercises and physical activities, yet a doctor’s consultation should be preferred.

Physical Exercises for the people suffering from high sugar:

The types of exercise suggested for diabetic people are:

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance exercise
  • Walking
  • Tai chi
  • Weight training
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Stationary cycling
  • Fast jogging

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

No, the results are not permanent. Home remedies like healthier lifestyle, exercising, medication as well as fluid replacement and insulin therapies helps to control the high blood glucose levels in blood. However, due to multiple reasons, a person may suffer from hyperglycemia again.

A person may again suffer from high sugar if he/she leads an unhealthy lifestyle, has an infection or under too much stress. Thus it is imperative to continue the treatment for high sugar for a long period of time.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are a number of home treatments that a person can undertake to address hyperglycemia. They are exercising regularly, taking recommended medication, adhering to the eating plan set by the doctor, adjusting insulin dosage to check hyperglycemia, and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly.

People with high levels of sugar can include apple cidar vinegar in their diet as this helps to decrease fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels. Consuming foods that are rich in fiber helps to keep the blood sugar levels steady and prevent frequent fluctuations. Sleeping for at least 7-9 hours per day helps our body to utilize insulin better. Cinnamon extracts can also help to improve fasting blood sugar levels.

Summary: Hyperglycemia, commonly referred to as a condition of high blood sugar, is a systemic condition of the body that can be diagnosed by various blood tests. It is one of the most important complications of diabetes. Control and management of this condition are quite possible by some diet modifications as well as lifestyle changes including exercises and physical activities.

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