Key Points About Diabetes During Pregnancy
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cant produce enough insulin, or it cant use it normally.
There are 3 types of diabetes: Type 1, tType 2, and gestational diabetes.
Nearly all pregnant women without diabetes are screened for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Treatment for diabetes focuses on keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range.
Women with gestational diabetes are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in later life. Follow-up testing is important.
How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body
Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isnât good for you. Yet youâre probably still overdoing it. Americans average about 270 calories of sugar each day, thatâs about 17 teaspoons a day, compared to the recommended limits of about 12 teaspoon per day or 200 calories.
Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.
No matter what itâs called, sugar is sugar, and in excess, it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Hereâs a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have diabetes and experience a randomly high blood sugar from time to time, there is usually no need to panic. Perhaps you are dehydrated or skipped breakfast: these factors can cause high blood sugar spikes. Knowing the reason behind a high blood sugar helps you figure out how to prevent it next time.
On the other hand, if you have been experiencing high blood sugars regularly, you may need a change in your treatment plan. This doesn’t mean you havent been managing your diabetes well. Rather, diabetes is a progressive disease that can change how it affects you over time. That means changes to things like medications, meal plans, and exercise regimens might be needed to help you achieve better control over your blood sugar levels.
If you do not have diabetes and suspect that you are experiencing high blood sugar, consider making an appointment with a healthcare provider.
Regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should also seek care if you are experiencing any symptoms of DKA or HHS. For both conditions, quick treatment is crucial.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Common causes of high blood sugar in people with diabetes include:
- eating too much sugary or starchy food
- being less active than usual
- missing doses of diabetes medicine
You can also get high blood sugar if your diabetes medicine is not working well, you’re taking certain medicines or you recently had an operation.
Risks And Side Effects
Although safe and beneficial when consumed in moderation, high amounts of resistant starch can cause digestive symptoms, such as abdominal pain, gas and bloating. To prevent negative side effects, its best to start with a low amount and increase your intake slowly. Additionally, be sure to keep intake in moderation and scale back if you experience any negative side effects.
Unless following a low-carb diet, its also recommended to skip the resistant starch supplement and opt for whole food sources instead. In addition to increasing your intake of this starch, incorporating these foods in your diet can also provide an array of important vitamins and minerals that are vital to health.
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Why Do These Symptoms Matter For Diabetics
These symptoms are essential for diabetics to understand, because they may encounter high or low blood sugar levels from time to time.
A cold or virus can cause sudden high blood sugar levels, and understand the symptoms means knowing how to deal with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
People with diabetes who can recognise the symptoms can avoid levels that lead to medical emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis
How Is High Blood Sugar Treated
For the treatment of high blood sugar , both medication therapy is applied and patients are asked to follow some recommendations. Accordingly, for hyperglycemia patients, if the underlying cause is the disease, it is treated. These people should definitely lose weight. He/she should exercise and walk regularly, and fully comply with the diet program given by the dietician. At the same time, patients should be informed about the regimen of treatment and the use of insulin medications. In addition to these, insulin-releasing antidiabetics and insulin sensitizing medications are given to patients for therapeutic purposes. People who will use these drugs should be more careful about kidney, liver and heart failure. At the same time, weight-bearing side effects of the medications can be seen. In medication treatment, patients are explained by the physician about these conditions.
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What Happens If I Have Kidney Disease
Your healthcare provider will create a special treatment plan for you. This may include taking medicines, limiting salt and certain foods, getting exercise, and more. You will also need regular checkups to monitor your kidney function. Having kidney disease or diabetes does not mean your kidneys will fail. Finding and treating it early can help keep kidney disease from getting worse.
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How Does High Blood Sugar Affect The Body
Monitoring your blood sugar is essential if you have diabetes. Symptoms will get worse if treatment is not provided, and serious health complications can arise as a result. The signs of high blood sugar to look for include fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches along with:
- Frequent urination and thirst: Excess sugar in the blood is passed through the kidneys and into urine. This draws more water into the urine which means more frequent urination. High glucose levels cause thirst even when you are drinking enough fluids.
- Weight loss: Elevated blood sugar levels over time can lead to unexplained weight loss as a result of cells not getting the glucose they need. As a result, they start burning fat instead.
- Numbness: High blood sugar can cause tingling and numbness in the extremities. It is important to note that this is a complication of long-term diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels.
Heart And Blood Vessel Diseases
Over time, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your heart. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.
Untreated high blood sugar can also block blood vessels. This can lead to infections and foot ulcers. In serious cases, it can lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or lower leg.
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What If It Goes Untreated
Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.
When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.
Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.
Slow Healing Of Wounds
Dr. Mitchell shares, “When you have a cut or other wound, your body works to repair the damage by sending blood to the injury site. The blood contains special cells that help close the wound and prevent infection. However, this process can be slowed down if you have elevated blood sugar. High blood sugar interferes with the ability of blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to the wound site. This can delay healing and increase the risk of infection. In addition, high blood sugar levels can damage the collagen fibers that are responsible for wound strength and elasticity. As a result, wounds heal more slowly and are more likely to reopen. Treating high blood sugar can help to speed up the healing process.”
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Blood Sugar Higher In The Morning Here’s Why
Everyone wants a perfect start to their days. Most people have a preferred morning routine that they like to follow. Many people also like to have certain boundaries in the morning that they would like people to respect. Some people start their mornings with a workout, others like to drink coffee or tea, some like to have some quiet me time, some scroll through social media on their beds, etc. All of these routines are subject to the fact that there are no unprecedented variables that might affect these plans impromptu. This luxury, however, is not something a person with diabetes can afford every single morning. This means that the first thing a person living with diabetes would have to do would be to think about and check their blood sugars in the morning.
A person with diabetes, too, would like a perfect start to their days. However, contrarily and very often, if they see a fasting blood sugar high, they would have to begin their routine by correcting that before anything else. Since mornings can set the tone for the day, whether it comes to routine, mood, or even sugar level, you would want to put in enough effort to reduce the morning blood sugars down to an acceptable level to have a good rest of the day.
How Is Dka Treated
DKA is very serious, but it can be treated if you go to the doctor or hospital right away. To feel better, a person with DKA needs to get insulin and fluids through a tube that goes into a vein in the body .
Let your parents or someone on your diabetes health care team know if you have any of these symptoms or are sick and don’t know what to do to take care of your diabetes.
Always wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace that says you have diabetes. Then, if you are not feeling well, whoever’s helping you will know to call for medical help. Medical identification can also include your doctor’s phone number or a parent’s phone number.
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What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When youre first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
Is Hyperglycaemia Serious
The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible. But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point.
It’s important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Occasional mild episodes aren’t usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.
Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as:
- diabetic ketoacidosis a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes
- hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes
Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time can result in permanent damage to parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, speak to your doctor or diabetes care team. You may need to change your treatment or lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
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How To Prevent It
If you work to keep your blood sugar under control — follow your meal plan, exercise program, and medicine schedule — you shouldnât have to worry about hyperglycemia. You can also:
- Know your diet — count the total amounts of carbs in each meal and snack.
- Test your blood sugar regularly.
- Tell your doctor if you have repeated abnormal blood sugar readings.
- Wear medical identification to let people know you have diabetes in case of an emergency.
Urgent Advice: Call Your Care Team Immediately Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you have high blood sugar and:
- you’re feeling sick, being sick or have stomach pain
- you’re breathing more quickly than usual or your heart is beating faster than usual
- you feel drowsy or are struggling to stay awake
- your breath has a fruity smell
- you feel confused or have difficulty concentrating
- you have a high level of ketones in your blood or pee
These could be signs you’re becoming seriously unwell.
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
Page last reviewed: 26 May 2022 Next review due: 26 May 2025
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Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome : When Hyperglycemia Becomes Severe For People With Type 2 Diabetes
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome is very rare, but you should be aware of it and know how to handle it if it occurs.
HHNS is when your blood glucose level goes way too highyou become extremely hyperglycemic. HHNS affects people with type 2 diabetes.
HHNS is most likely to occur when you’re sick, and elderly people are most likely to develop it.
It starts when your blood glucose level starts to climb: when that happens, your body will try to get rid of all the excess glucose through frequent urination. That dehydrates your body, and you’ll become very thirsty.
Unfortunately, when you’re sick, it’s sometimes more difficult to rehydrate your body. For example, it might be difficult to keep fluids down.
When you don’t rehydrate your body, the blood glucose level continues to climb, and it can eventually go so high that it could send you into a coma.
To avoid hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome, you should keep close watch on your blood glucose level when you’re sick .
Talk to your health care professional about having a sick-day plan to follow that will help you avoid HHNS.
You should also be able to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms of HHNS, which include:
Extremely high blood glucose level
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels
Managing diabetes is like a three-way balancing act because you have to watch:
All three need to be balanced. If any one of these is off, blood sugar levels can be too. In general, higher than normal blood glucose levels can be caused by:
- not taking your diabetes medicine when you’re supposed to or not taking the right amounts
- not following the meal plan
- not getting enough exercise
- having an illness, like the flu
- taking other kinds of medicines that affect how your diabetes medicines work
A single high blood sugar reading usually isn’t cause for alarm it happens to everyone with diabetes from time to time. But if you have high blood sugar levels a lot, let your parents and your diabetes health care team know. Insulin or meal plans may need adjusting, or you may have an equipment issue, like an insulin pump that isn’t working right. Whatever the case, make sure you get help so you can get your blood sugar levels back under control.
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