High blood sugar can cause a number of signs to crop up, as can low blood sugar. You may need to speak to a health professional in some instances. Hyperglycaemia can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes. Fortunately, there are some foods and drinks which may be able to help blood sugar levels.
Hussain Abdeh, Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct, notes that blood sugar levels being too high can cause a number of symptoms to occur.
“One of the most widely talked about is a fruity smell on your breath, which can occur due to the high level of ketones.
“You may have a very dry mouth at the same time and also experience an extreme thirst. You might find that you need to urinate more often than normal, this can also be a sign of high blood sugar levels.”
Nonetheless, the pharmacist says that drinking a sufficient amount of water each day “helps your kidneys to flush out excess sugar through your urine”.
He says: ”This could help to lower your blood sugar levels if they are excessively high. Studies have also shown that people who drink enough water have a lower chance of high sugar levels.”
The pharmacist also says that exercising regularly works to increase insulin sensitivity, which means that the body’s cells can use blood sugar more effectively.
“When you are exercising, your muscles are able to use blood sugar for energy.
“Make sure you stay hydrated so that your body can keep going as you exercise, and avoid high-sugar energy snacks as this can counteract the effects exercise can have on effectively lowering your blood sugar levels.”
The NHS notes that if you have diabetes, “no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to experience hyperglycaemia” at some point.
It adds: “Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own.”
The NHS says that symptoms of hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes tend to develop slowly over a few days or weeks, though “in some cases, there may be no symptoms until the blood sugar level is very high”.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels are increased urination, increased thirst and increased hunger.
Diabetes UK says: “Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.”
Diabetes UK says that if you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a “vital part of living with diabetes”.
It adds that routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low, called a hypo, or too high, called a hyper.
The charity adds that more and more people with diabetes are choosing to use a flash glucose monitor.
This helps to check their sugar levels, and is a sensor you wear on your skin and that you don’t have to prick your finger to use.
Diabetes UK says: “Hyperglycaemia, or a hyper, can happen when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too high – usually above 7mmol/l before a meal and above 8.5mmol/l two hours after a meal.”
If you experience hyperglycaemia regularly, you should speak to your doctor or diabetes care team, according to the NHS.
Hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.