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When you were first diagnosed with diabetes, you probably had hyperglycemia—or high blood sugar—defined as a blood glucose level over 200 mg/dL. In fact, your glucose level may have been much higher than 200 mg/dL! Anyone with diabetes is still at risk for highs. Hyperglycemia can become a serious problem if you don't treat it. The best ways to prevent hyperglycemia is to make healthy food choices, exercise and take your medications as prescribed.

If you are experiencing hyperglycemia, you may find yourself experiencing some of the first signs and symptoms of diabetes itself—such as frequent urination, increased thirst and fatigue. You may also experience bouts of hyperglycemia without realizing it. If your A1C results are high, for example, it can be a sign that you are often experiencing high glucose and need to talk to your health care team about better control.

Untreated hyperglycemia can develop into life-threatening conditions. A person using insulin could develop diabetic ketoacidosis and people with Type 2 diabetes can develop hyperosmolar syndrome. Dramatic fluctuations in your blood glucose levels have significant physical symptoms and increase your risk of diabetes-related complications. Often, the first signs that your levels may be off-target are changes in your thinking and mood. Learning to spot and act on the warning signs of glucose highs and lows will help you get off the blood glucose roller coaster and keep your glucose levels and your moods as stable as possible.

Highs frequently occur after meals, and anything you can do to minimize these spikes can improve your health and boost your energy. Steps to consider:

- Maintain good glucose control before meals. This way, even if your glucose level spikes, it will be from a starting point within your target range and won't end up in the stratosphere.

- Take a blood glucose reading just before a meal and again two hours after. Doing this just a handful of times will give you valuable information about when and how much your glucose level spikes, which will help you and your health care team fine-tune your treatment plan.

- Adjust your medications and insulin based on what you learn from your pre- and post-meal glucose meter readings. Ask your health care team about making any changes to your insulin and medication dosages.

- Limit starches (bread, potatoes, pasta, rice) and sweets. These foods contribute the most to post-meal spikes.

Additional OneTouchGold resources (Requires Free membership):

Make Good Food Choices:
Find Time For Exercise:
Take Your Medications:

Who thinks sometimes it is important to review the basics...
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