October 6, 2015

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What are the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia?

In addition to having elevated levels of glucose in the blood, people with hyperglycemia often have glucose detected in their urine (glycosuria). Ordinarily urine contains no glucose as it is all reabsorbed by the kidneys.

The main symptoms of hyperglycemia are increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate. Other symptoms that can occur with hyperglycemia are headaches, tiredness, blurred vision, hunger, and trouble with thinking or concentrating.

Severely elevated glucose levels can result in a medical emergency ("diabetic coma"). This can occur in both people with type 1 and those with type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes may develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and those with type 2 diabetes can develop hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS, also referred to as hyperglycemi hyperosmolar state). These so-called hyperglycemia crises are serious conditions that can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Hyperglycemic crises cause about 2,400 deaths each year in the U.S.

Over time, hyperglycemia can lead to damage to organs and tissues. Long-term hyperglycemia can impair the immune response, leading to poor healing of cuts and wounds. It can also cause nerve damage, vision problems, anddamage to the blood vessels and kidneys (see below). Continue Reading

Reviewed on 6/11/2014