Hyperglycemia is a medical condition in which blood plasma contains an excessive amount of glucose. A person with hyperglycemia or high blood sugar is called a hyperglycemic. A hyperglycemic who is considered a diabetic has a glucose amount equivalent to 7 mmol per liter in his or her blood.
A mild hyperglycemia is considered asymptomatic and benign while persons with chronic hyperglycemia manifest serious complications over a number of years. The complications include neurological damage, kidney damage, cardiovascular damage and damage to the retina of the eyes. Persons with chronic hyperglycemia can also suffer from damage to legs and feet.
A person with acute hyperglycemia has glucose levels considered high but are still free from serious long term complications. This stage of hyperglycemia can still be resolved by maintaining blood glucose levels just slightly higher than normal levels. Blood glucose levels, at this stage, can be lowered through proper diet, regular exercise, injection of insulin as well as taking drugs such as Metformin.
Persons who experience acute stress out of a stroke and myocardial infarction may also develop hyperglycemia even without being diagnosed with diabetes.
Hyperglycemia in the absence of diabetes can also be caused by pancreatic disease, intracranial disease, abnormalities in the adrenal, thyroid and pituitary glands, sepsis and certain infections.
Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
Common symptoms of acute or chronic hyperglycemia are frequent thirst, frequent hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue, dry mouth, tingling in feet or heels, dry or itchy skin, erectile dysfunction, recurring infections, wounds that do not heal and cardiac arrhythmia.
Not treating hyperglycemia in time can cause ketoacidosis which is a condition of insufficient amount of insulin. This condition is life threatening and requires immediate treatment.
Direct injection of insulin can be used to treat acute hyperglycemia while severe hyperglycemia can be reversed through oral hypoglycemic as well as strict lifestyle change.