High blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, is a condition in which glucose concentrations in the blood are too high. This condition is commonly found in individuals who have diabetes and is caused when the body does not produce enough of or is resistant to the effects of the hormone insulin. When high blood sugar is left untreated, it can lead to organ and tissue damage, coma and death. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is a good way to address high sugar immediately and there are several ways to lower sugar levels in the blood.
Engage in exercise. According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise can help lower your blood sugar level by using the excess sugar as fuel. If, however, your blood sugar level is over 240 mg/dL, use a urine test strip to check your urine for the presence of ketones. When ketones are being produced by the body, exercise can cause your blood sugar levels to rise, rather than decrease. Physical activity can have immediate benefit in lowering blood sugar and also long-term benefit by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Eat 15 g less carbohydrates at your next meal. While skipping meals is not a healthy option for individuals with high blood sugar, decreasing the number of carbohydrates consumed at the next meal can help force your body to use the excess sugar. Check your blood sugar an hour after the meal and if your sugar level has decreased but is still high, decrease the next meal by 30 g of carbohydrates.
Choose foods that are less likely to cause an additional sudden rise in blood sugar. These foods can be identified by determining their glycemic index value (see Resources). Look for foods with a low glycemic index value, such as beans and legumes, and avoid high glycemic foods, such as white potatoes. Don't assume a food has a low glycemic number, even if it appear healthy; many healthy foods can cause a rise in blood sugar, particularly in susceptible individuals.
Contact your doctor and ask if you should change or increase your medication dosage, if you are taking a medication for diabetes. Despite the perception you may have that your blood sugar instability is becoming worse, Diabetes Health explains that the medication adjustment may just be dividing the dosage and taking it more often. Additionally, infection and illnesses can make your body less efficient at processing sugar, resulting in higher blood sugar levels temporarily.
Get checked by your doctor for infection or other illness that could be causing your blood sugar levels to rise. When your immune system is compromised, hormones are released by the body that can increase the production of glucose for healing. For some individuals, this can explain unexpected high blood sugar levels and may require antibiotic treatment to help the body heal.
If your blood sugar remains over 250 mg/dL for more than two days, contact your doctor.