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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hyperglycemia is a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal. Hyperglycemia can be short-term, or it can become a long-term condition that leads to diabetes.
You may need any of the following:
- Hypoglycemic medicine helps to decrease the amount of sugar in your blood. This medicine helps your body move the sugar to your cells, where it is needed for energy. Your healthcare provider will tell you how often to take this medicine and how long to take it.
- Insulin helps to decrease blood sugar levels. You may need 1 or more shots of insulin each day. You or a family member will be taught how to give the insulin shots. Your healthcare provider will tell you how often you need to inject insulin each day. He will also tell you how long you will need to take it.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return for more tests. Your healthcare provider may also need to refer you to a specialist, such as a dietitian. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
The following may help keep your blood sugar at the level recommended by your healthcare provider:
- Get regular exercise. This can help to lower your blood sugar levels. It can also improve your heart health and help you stay at a healthy weight. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days each week. Ask your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Even a small loss of 5% to 10% of your body weight can help to decrease your blood sugar levels. It can also improve your heart health.
- Eat healthy foods. Include foods that are high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Also include foods that are low in fat, such as low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese), fish, and lean meat. Limit foods that are high in calories and sugar, such as sweet desserts, potato chips, and candy. Limit foods that are high in sodium, such as table salt and salty foods. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you limit carbohydrates to lower your blood sugar levels.
- Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can worsen the problems that can occur with hyperglycemia. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
- Limit alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
How to check your blood sugar level:
You may need to check your blood sugar level with a blood glucose meter. If you take insulin, you may need to check your blood sugar level at least 3 times each day. Ask your healthcare provider when and how often to check during the day. Ask what your blood sugar levels should be before and after you eat. You may need to check for ketones in your urine or blood if your blood sugar level is high. Write down your results and show them to your healthcare provider.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- Your blood sugar levels continue to be higher than you were told they should be.
- You continue to urinate more often than usual.
- You continue to be more thirsty than usual.
- You continue to have nausea and vomiting.
- You have a wound that has signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, and pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.