Hyperglycemia occurs when the blood sugar level is too high.

This happens when the body has too little insulin or it is not able to use it.


  • There are numerous possible causes of hyperglycemia:
  • Too little or poorly timed oral medication
  • Too much food intake, especially sweet foods or drinks
  • Poorly timed or irregular meals
  • Less exercise than usual
  • Emotional stress
  • Medication is bad (it was frozen, got too hot, or is too old)
  • Illness such as fever, colds or flu, or following surgery


  • Usually, slow onset over days or months
  • Unusual, excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue, extreme tiredness
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Frequent or persistent infections
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Deep, rapid breathing
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • High level of ketones in the urine

You may want to know how you can avoid hyperglycemia, or treat it on time. This can be done through blood glucose monitoring. Your doctor will tell you how often you should measure and what your blood glucose levels should be.

Untreated Hyperglycemia

If untreated, hyperglycemia can develop into ketoacidosis, or a diabetic coma. This is a condition that develops when your body lacks insulin. Without insulin your body is unable to turn glucose into energy and so it starts using fat instead.

Breaking down fats means producing a waste called ketones. In large amounts, the body is intolerant to ketones and will get rid of them through the urine. However not all ketones can be released through urine, therefore you can develop ketoacidosis. This condition is life-threatening and needs immediate.


  • Shortness of breath
  • Breath that smells fruity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Very dry mouth

Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.