Hyperglycemia is Your Body's Way of Calling Out
The symptoms that are commonly associated with diabetes may be the first indicators that something is wrong. While increased appetite, frequent urination, shakiness, confusion, sweating and fatigue could be related to diabetes, there may be other causes. As long as they're transient they're usually nothing to worry about. However, if you suffer from any of these symptoms for more than 24 hours, it's probably a good idea to get examined by your physician. Your symptoms could be the first signs of liver, kidney or other metabolic diseases. They may also indicate problems with the way that your body is responding to certain medications.
High Blood Sugar Does Not Always Mean You're Diabetic
Almost everyone has heard the term "hyperglycemia," or high blood sugar. But, you don't have to be diabetic to be afflicted with it. Hyperglycemia is a fairly common malady that occurs when the body's cells cannot process blood glucose. It affects healthy individuals and people with other disorders besides diabetes. For instance, most healthy individuals will experience slightly elevated blood sugar levels (higher than 100mg/dL) within an hour after eating. People who suffer from other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis or polymyositis often take corticosteroids that elevate blood glucose levels. Others may be afflicted by infections, kidney or liver diseases. Even pregnancy can elevate glucose levels. If you're being seen by a physician for any of these diseases, it's important to have your blood glucose levels monitored frequently.
Protease Inhibitors Can Cause Hyperglycemia
In 1984, a new type of virus was discovered called "human immunodeficiency virus," or HIV. Since that time, a number of effective drugs have been developed for the treatment of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (also called AIDS). The most promising class of drugs for treating HIV and AIDS is the "protease inhibitor," or PI class of drugs. However, like most other prescription drugs, certain types of PIs have a number of undesirable side effects such as elevating blood glucose--even in people with no predisposition to diabetes. So, the question is, "What should I do if I've been diagnosed with both diabetes and HIV?" Most experts agree that since the incidence of developing PI-induced hyperglycemia is so minimal, you should continue working with your doctor to manage your HIV, AIDS and diabetes using the normal treatment options.
Manage Your Body Weight to Control Hyperglycemia
If you've struggled with hyperglycemia that is a result of type II diabetes, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that treatment often excludes taking insulin. The bad news is that you'll probably need to lose weight. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the body's ability to process glucose and obesity. Obesity appears to "desensitize" the tissues (particularly skeletal muscle tissue) to insulin, which plays a vital role in glucose uptake, ultimately causing hyperglycemia. Many diabetics who lose weight find that their condition dramatically improves. Many end up getting off medications completely, while lowering their overall risk for other cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Check Your Hemoglobin to Monitor Glucose Levels
Unlike many other processes of the body, blood glucose levels can rapidly rise and fall throughout the day. What's more important is your blood glucose concentration over an extended period of time. One of the best ways to evaluate long term glucose levels is by monitoring your Hemoglobin A1c--also called HbA1c. The HbA1c is a simple blood test that represents the average blood glucose concentration over a 120 day period and takes into consideration temporary fluctuations in blood sugar. The optimal range for HbA1c is 6 to 7%.