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Basic Knowledge

What is Hyperglycemia?

By in Basic Knowledge

Hyperglycemia (or a high) is when glucose levels rise above the target range.

What Causes Hyperglycemia?

  • Foods with carbohydrates
  • Not getting enough insulin
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Some types of exercise such as weight-lifting or competitive sports
  • Hormones
  • Some medications, like steroids

What are the Symptoms of Hyperglycemia?

  • Extreme thirst
  • Need to urinate often
  • Dry skin
  • Hunger
  • Blurry vision
  • Feeling drowsy

What Can You Do?

Try to prevent hyperglycemia by giving the recommended doses of insulin throughout the day.  If glucose levels are above your target three hours after your last injection, your insulin dose may not be correct.

If it is more than 300 mg/dl (for injections) or more than 240 (when on a pump), also check for ketones.  If your glucose levels are higher than your goal for three days in a row and you don’t know why, call your health care provider.

What Happens When There is a Lot of Hyperglycemia?

With type 1 diabetes, it is common to experience momentary highs.  However, prolonged highs can lead to the formation of ketones and a possible medical emergency if left untreated.  In the long term, unmanaged hyperglycemia can lead to diabetes complications.


Updated 2/17/19

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


What are Ketones?

Monitoring Ketones

What is DKA?

Diabetes Complications

Wearing a Medical Alert


Hyperglycemia – Health Quality Institute

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes – PubMed