Monday, November 29, 2010

Symptoms of a high

(NaBloPoMo Day 29)
While it is important to know the symptoms of a LOW blood sugar, I think it is also important for people to understand a little more about HIGH blood sugars.

Again, from the JDRF site:

High Blood Sugar: Definition, Symptoms

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, occurs when the body has too much food or glucose, or too little insulin. The following are all potential reasons that a person with type 1 diabetes might have high blood sugar:

  • Not enough insulin taken
  • Eating more than usual
  • Eating earlier than usual
  • Eating food with higher glucose content without injecting extra insulin
  • Injecting insulin at a site on the body where the absorption rate is slower
  • Missing or skipping an insulin dose
  • A clog in insulin pump tubing
  • Less exercise than normal
  • Stress
  • Illness or injury
  • Other hormones
  • Medications


High blood sugar generally does not immediately put the person with type 1 diabetes in danger. However, high blood sugar levels over long periods of time can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.

Very high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or a "diabetic coma." DKA occurs when the cells can't get the energy they need from glucose, and the body begins to burn fat and body tissue for energy. This causes the release of byproducts called ketones, which are dangerous when released at high levels. Ketones become like poison to the body and are passed in the urine as they build up in the blood.

A person with type 1 diabetes and high blood sugar may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Thirst (dehydration)
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased hunger
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness, lethargy, exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Weight loss (a longer-term symptom) that eventually leads to coma

So, what do people with T1 need to do when their blood sugar is higher than normal?

Click HERE to read what JDRF recommends.


When The Superhero is high, he needs insulin.

We typically give insulin through his pump, unless it is suspected that his site is the problem. In that case we would use a syringe to administer his insulin.

We monitor his blood sugar closely to make sure he comes down, SAFELY.

We check for ketones as needed to prevent DKA.

When The Superhero is high, he is MEAN. I don't just mean, ordinarily not nice, I mean MEAN. He turns into a monster.

He drinks a lot.

He pees a lot.

He sweats a lot.

He is MEAN. (didn't I say that?)

M.E.A.N.

I try to cut him a little slack for his behavior when he is high for a lengthy period of time. I know he has a hard time controlling his behavior. I try to make sure The Princess is not around him too much, or she will get hurt. Seriously.

Then we just WAIT it out. And hope/pray the BG comes down so he can be back to his normal self.


Diabetes Fact #29: It is important to know and understand the signs of a HIGH blood sugar for a person with T1 Diabetes.

Diabetes Fact #28: The siblings of people with T1 Diabetes are AMAZING.


Diabetes Fact #27: Knowing the signs of a LOW blood sugar and how to treat the low can save someone's life!

Diabetes Fact #26: Adults and children with T1 Diabetes are incredibly BRAVE and STRONG.

Diabetes Fact #25:A Diabetes diagnosis can put strain on the marriage of the person with T1 (for adults) or for the parents of the child diagnosed.

Diabetes Fact #24:Complications from out of range blood sugars with T1 Diabetics are very real and very worrisome to those living with the disease (and their parents/loved ones).

Diabetes Fact #23:The only thing constant with Diabetes, is that nothing stays the same.

Diabetes Fact #22:Diabetes is a family disease and affects every person in the family, near and far.

Diabetes Fact #21:Having Type 1 Diabetes means finger pokes 8-10 times per day (or more) and YES that means using BLOOD to do this.

Diabetes Fact #20:Despite always injecting the proper amount of insulin, people with type 1 Diabetes face many other factors that can adversely affect efforts to tightly control blood sugar levels. These factors include stress, hormonal changes, periods of growth, physical activity, medications, illness/infection, fatigue, and EVERYTHING they do or don't do every.single.day.

Diabetes Fact #19: T1 Diabetes is a 24/7/365 disease. It NEVER sleeps and neither do the parents of the children who have it (or the T1 people themselves).

Diabetes Fact #18: T1 Diabetes can happen to ANYONE, it is not necessarily hereditary. This means that yes, it CAN happen to YOU or to someone YOU know.

Diabetes Fact #17: People with T1 or T2 Diabetes (and their caregivers) are more likely to experience depression than their peers without Diabetes.

Diabetes Fact #16: The out of pocket cost of managing T1 Diabetes is EXPENSIVE.

Diabetes Fact #15: Having Type 1 and getting an illness (especially a tummy bug) CAN be dangerous.

Diabetes Fact #14: Without insulin, a person with T1 Diabetes would DIE within ONE week.

Diabetes Fact #13: Type 1 Diabetes usually strikes children, adolescents, and young adults, but it CAN be diagnosed in adults as well.

Diabetes Fact #12: It is important for families of Diabetic children or the people with Diabetes themselves to genuinely try to understand what we go through, to learn about Diabetes along with us, and to support us through encouraging comments.

Diabetes Fact #11: Diabetes is ALL consuming. It is NOT our life, but it is a HUGE part of it.

Diabetes Fact #10: Parents of children with Diabetes HATE when people say "I could NEVER do it!" when referring to the management of their kid's disease. In reality, YOU could, and WOULD do it if you HAD to. We probably had the same thoughts as you and now look at us, doing it 24/7.

Diabetes Fact #9: The term "Juvenile Diabetes" is outdated. We now call it "T1 Diabetes" or "Insulin Dependent Diabetes". People with this type of Diabetes will NEVER outgrow it. EVER. They will have this relentless disease until a CURE is found.

Diabetes Fact #8: A cure would be great, but a long life without complications is a close second for people with T1 Diabetes.






*Disclaimer: I am a mom of a T1 Diabetic child. I am NOT a doctor. I just play one in real life. Please do not take anything in this post or any other post on this blog as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns of your own, please seek advice from your doctor.*

3 comments:

Meri said...

So glad to be caught up on all the facts! You have done a great job educating this month Tracy!

Nicole said...

Cara 2 gets MEAN when she is high!! MEAN AND LOUD!!

Laura said...

I agree with Meri - great job this month!
We've been dealing with some serious highs! YUCK!

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