Having higher than “normal” blood sugar levels literally defines diabetes. In practice that means that after eating foods containing carbohydrate blood sugar levels do not come back down as quickly as they should (or even at all). Over time, higher than normal blood glucose levels cause damage – to blood vessels to nerves – and that damage can build up to cause serious “complications” like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, unresponsive infections and others. But, can we tell when our blood sugar levels are high by how we feel?
How does it feel when your blood sugar is high or I like to say “blood sugar is above target”. The medical terminology, by the way, is Hyperglycemia.
For some of you, it may feel like a “normal” feeling. This may be because your readings have been above target for a while, so it feels “normal”. Our bodies don’t always give us straight up signs that our blood sugar is above target and the only way to know for sure is to check.
The typical symptoms or feelings are:
- You feel very thirsty
- You need to go to the bathroom to urinate more than usual….that’s because your body can eliminate excess blood glucose this way, but it’s a slow process.
- Sometimes you may have a headache or feel lethargic or sleepy. It can go as far as having some altered mental status
- If your breath is smelling fruity, this can be a warning indicator that you are experiencing diabetes ketoacidosis. And with that you can experience nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Being in a state of Diabetic ketoacidosis is dangerous. You can check your urine with keto sticks and call your doctor immediately. This is rarely an issue with type 2 diabetes although a similar dangerous condition can occur, especially if you’re ill already.
I can hear your next question…What can cause an above target reading? If you are taking insulin, you may have not taken enough insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, your body’s insulin may not being as effective; if you ate more carbohydrate than you had planned or exercised less than you had planned- it’s all a matter of balance with eating and body movement; or you are experiencing stress-whether it’s stress from having a cold or illness or emotional stress. These all can be causes of an above target reading.
Bottom line is that if your blood sugar readings are above target, you won’t feel as well as you would if your readings are in target range. Check out my other videos related to this topic- How to bring your blood sugar down fast; 3 foods that spike blood sugar; or everything you need to know about blood sugar a couple of videos. Until next time, cheers to your health.