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
- 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
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