High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)

Glucose, a type of sugar, is the main source of energy used in your body and comes from carbohydrates. The hormone insulin helps your body’s cells use it – your pancreas produces insulin and releases it into your blood when the amount of glucose in your blood rises, which is usually right after you eat. This all happens so that your blood glucose levels don’t get too high.

When you have high blood glucose levels, also known as hyperglycemia, you not only have a higher risk of developing diabetes, but it also increases your risk of heart disease. Elevated blood sugar requires your body to create more insulin, which speeds the development of plaque in your arteries. This increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. High levels of blood sugar over time can also damage your kidneys, eyes and nerves.

Anyone with diabetes, prediabetes or a family history of diabetes should monitor and manage their blood sugar in order to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Diagnosing High Blood Sugar

A blood glucose test is a blood test that tells you if your level of glucose, or blood sugar, is within a healthy range. Fasting plasma glucose, or FPG, is a common test used to diagnose and monitor diabetes or prediabetes.

A healthcare provider may recommend a blood glucose test if you have symptoms of diabetes. These include increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, increased urination, tiredness, blurred vision and sores that don't heal. Sometimes people with prediabetes or diabetes don't have any symptoms.

If you are overweight, obese, or have other risk factors for diabetes like high blood sugar, your healthcare provider may recommend this test. Other risk factors for diabetes include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and a family history of diabetes.

Treating High Blood Sugar

  • Lifestyle Changes: In many cases, high blood sugar can be managed with changes to your diet and exercise routine.
  • Medication: Your cardiologist may prescribe medication for abnormal blood sugar.