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Hyperglycemia & Weight Loss

By Jan Archer ; Updated July 18, 2017

Hyperglycemia is a condition that occurs when blood glucose levels rise high above the normal count. This condition can be caused by many things but occurs because the body is not producing enough insulin to break down glucose. The result is a high release of glucose into the blood stream. Hyperglycemia can be mild or severe and should be treated as soon as detected for the best results.

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

The symptoms of hyperglycemia, according to National Institute of Health, are hunger, nervousness, shakiness, sweats, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion, weakness, difficulty speaking clearly and anxiety. Hyperglycemia can also occur while you are sleeping, which causes nightmares, dampness of sheets and clothing, and confusion or irritability upon waking up.

Weight Loss and Hyperglycemia

Weight loss associated with hyperglycemia is due to a low level of insulin. Insulin allows the body to break down glycogen for energy. When insulin levels are too low, according to the University of Iowa Hospital's and Clinics database, the body begins to break down its own stored fat for energy. This causes rapid weight and fat loss. According to James Norman, M.D., FACS, FACE, and author for EndocrineWeb, frequent hunger occurs in patients with hyperglycemia due to their inability to use glucose for energy. Because glucose is released into the urine and bloodstream rather than used by the body for energy, rapid weight loss occurs.

Hyperglycemia and Ketoacidosis

If hyperglycemia goes on untreated, warns researchers from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics database, a condition known as ketoacidosis can occur. When the body breaks down fats, it sends ketones into the urine stream. Too many ketones in the urine can cause ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that can cause frequent urination, excessive dehydration, and even vomiting.


If untreated, hyperglycemia can cause many complications such as dizziness, dehydration, and nausea. Worse yet, ketoacidosis may occur, which is an emergency situation. While symptoms develop slowly, the condition is extremely dangerous. Researchers at the University of Iowa warn that a health care provider should be notified immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms. While hyperglycemia can cause rapid weight loss, it is not a safe way to lose weight. Rather, it is a sign of dysfunction in the body. If you experience symptoms of hyperglycemia, consulting a physician early will help prevent further complications associated with the condition.

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