High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) (cont.)
High Blood Sugar Causes
Diabetes mellitus is one of several persistent conditions causing high blood sugar levels. For someone with diabetes, hyperglycemia has many possible causes:
- Carbohydrates: Eating food containing too many carbohydrates, a form of sugar. The body of a person with diabetes cannot process high levels of carbohydrates fast enough to convert it into energy. Blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes can rise within hours after eating.
- Insulin control: Not producing enough insulin action (either by injection of insulin or taking medicine which stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin). People with diabetes must control blood sugar by a combination of dietary discretion, taking medication, and physical activity. When food, exercise, and insulin are not balanced, blood sugar levels rise.
- Stress: Emotions can play a role in causing hyperglycemia, but should not be used as an excuse for poor control of diabetes.
- Low levels of exercise: Daily exercise is a critical contributor to regulating blood sugar levels.
- Infection, illness, or surgery: With illness, blood sugar levels tend to rise quickly over several hours.
- Other medications: Certain drugs, especially steroids, can affect blood sugar levels.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/2/2014
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