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Definition of Hyperglycemia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hyperglycemia: A high blood sugar. An elevated level specifically of the sugar glucose in the blood.

Hyperglycemia is often found in diabetes mellitus. It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it has to turn glucose into energy. Hyperglycemia may also occur in Cushing's syndrome and other conditions.

The signs of hyperglycemia are polydipsia (a great thirst), polyuria (a need to urinate often), and a dry mouth.

The term "hyperglycemia" comes from the Greek "hyper-" = high, over, beyond, above + "glykys" = sweet + "haima" = blood. High sweetness (sugar) in the blood.

Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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