Very high blood sugar

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i was diagnosed with diabetes 2 and a bit years ago but it was treated by diet alone until this summer. I am now being treated with metformin sustained rsleazemg 2 tablets per day. I was told nt to take my blood sugars regularly as it would worry me too much except for 2 weeks when my prednisone was increased from 5 to 25 mg per day one week before and one week after a cataract operation because I also have an inflammatory eye condition called uveitis On average during that time was blood sugar was 14 and the doctor w as not worried, said not to continue monitoring blood sugars. However, today, I was not feeling at all well so took the blood sugars anyway and it was 30.4!! Went to the doctor and he told me blood sugars often go up when you have diabetes  and an inflection which I did not know. I have actually got two   Infections - bacterial urine infection and viral throat infection. Is it true that it can go as high as that and not be dangerous?

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  • Posted

    Hi gill70346,

    Your blood sugar (glucose) level of 30.4 mmol/l (millimoles per litre) will not prove immediately dangerous, ma'am.  It's when blood sugar levels are higher than the 'normal' range for extended periods of time that the damage starts to occur.  You ARE likely to experience some of the symptoms that go along with having higher than 'normal' blood sugars, such as peeing as though it were going out of fashion, and drinking a lot to replace the fluids that you're peeing out.  (The damage that I speak of is what leads to the development of diabetic complications as the body's organs, blood vessels, and nerves can all be damaged by higher than 'normal' blood sugar levels.)

    Infections DO raise blood sugar levels ... particularly in diabetic patients, and so does the taking of certain types of steroids ... prednisone being one of the culprits ... which is PROBABLY why your doctor wanted you to test whilst you were taking them.

    Personally, I am perturbed that type 2 diabetics are being told to not test their blood sugar levels.  To me, this is a false economy.  The chances are that people who do check would be more likely to know that they need to do something to lower their blood sugar levels, whereas those advised not to check will not know that they need to do something.

    I've signed petition after petition to try and get this Government to reverse this decision as I firmly believe that they're doing many diabetic patients a disservice.

    There's pressure on doctors to advise type 2 diabetics that they don't need to check their blood sugar levels ... or, at least, not as frequently.  NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) is a watchdog that advises the Government on how they can 'save' money by not prescribing certain items ... blood glucose test strips being just one of them.  The truth of the matter is, if a diabetic needs to be admitted to hospital for treatment, the cost is astronomical in comparison, costing hundreds of pounds per day/night.

    Has your doctor advised you to check in, say a week's time, or to go to his surgery to be checked?  To me, that would make more sense, as he could then keep an eye on what's happening.

    Because type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, which means that your medication(s) MAY well need to be increased in dose(s) or with other medication(s) added to what you already take, to keep your blood sugar levels under reasonable control, your doctor is likely to need to check at some time anyway.

    Metformin works in a slightly different way to other types of oral medications that your doctor MAY prescribe at some point, but it is usually one of the first type of oral medications that doctors tend to prescribe for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics.  (I won't go into detail about how they all work as it's confusing enough as it stands, and I'm quite sure that this was ONE of the reasons that your doctor advised you to not to check regularly.  After all, what would you do when you do test and find that your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be?)

    I'm presuming that your doctor has prescribed both antibiotic and antiviral medications to treat your current infections, ma'am.  Hopefully, when these are taken care of your blood sugar levels should fall back down to a 'near normal' level.

    I wish you well and hope that you soon see some improvement.

    Be well, gill70346.

    Lots of Love and Light.

     Mick

    x x x x

     x x x

    P.S. Please don't be offended or alarmed at the "x's".  It's simply a logo, of sorts, that I've used for some 30-odd years now.

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  • Posted

    Thank you that was really helpful. To answer your questios

    1. My doctor will speak to me on the 9th January and in themeantime I have to check my blood sugars before and after a meal for the next 8 days.

    2. The doctor has given me antibiotics but not antivirals. I just have to wait but in the meantime cannot take cough sweets or cough syrup because they all have so much sugar in

    3. The doctor has added gliclazide to my daily dosage (I take 9 different tablets each day with a warning that if it causes blood sugar to go too low I have to get in touch immediately.

    4. As for taking blood sugars, I guess I would treat it like I do my blood pressure. I take it monthly . and so long as it Is within limits specified by my GP I do nothing. It is just as well I do do that because when I tested it in September it had gone up to more than 210/140 and I was immediately admitted to hospital, it is now relatively normal.

    again thanks for your message -it was very reassuring.

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  • Posted

    Dear gill70346,

    Thank you, ma'am, for coming back with the information that you provide.

    Hopefully, your doctor will have advised you to check your blood sugar level 2 hours after eating, otherwise you COULD get a false high reading.  (It can take roughly 2 hours for our body to break down foods and release the glucose into our bloodstream, so testing earlier MIGHT catch it whilst your sugar level is still rising if you test earlier.)

    I'm glad your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, ma'am.  It's likely to take a few days to 'kick in' before these start to have any real effect.  As for not treating the virus, you doctor MAY believe that your body will be able to fight it off by itself.

    There ARE actually sugar-free cough medicines available.

    Dependent on the type of cough that you have, Covonia Chesty is one such cough medicine, for chesty coughs, obviously, that has a sugar-free variant.

    I can't remember, but I believe that they MAY do a sugar-free Simple Linctus, too.  Ask your chemist/pharmacist about sugar-free cough medicines and sugar-free lozenges.

    Gliclazide works in a totally different way to Metformin, ma'am.  This type of oral medication is called a sulfonylurea, which works by stimulating your pancreas to produce more insulin, whereas Metformin works by inhibiting your liver from producing glucose (sugar); inhibits absorption of glucose during the digestive process; and MAY help by lessening insulin resistance, which is where your body's cells don't utilise the insulin that your pancreas already produces efficiently.

    As you might imagine, if you're producing more insulin, which is used to 'transport' glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into your body's cells, where it is used to create energy, and you're also taking another medication to prevent absorption of glucose and/or production of glucose by the liver, this CAN cause SOME people to experience a hypo (low blood sugar level), hence the reason your doctor explained that you should contact him immediately if this happens to you.  Low blood sugar levels are more immediately dangerous than high ones, and need immediate treatment, which would include taking some fast-acting carbohydrates, such as regular, sweetened soda/pop, regular, sweetened orange juice, glucose tablets, glucose powder mixed in water or milk.

    I apologise to you, gill70346, but I didn't make it very clear what I meant when I said "what would you do when you do test and find that your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be?"  What I really meant was that there would be very little you could do to lower blood sugar levels by taking just Metformin.  It wouldn't work quickly enough for you to notice any real difference.  It's different for those with type 1 diabetes as they could inject a 'correction bolus' of insulin, which would lower blood sugar levels more quickly ... assuming, of course, that it was a fast-acting or short-acting insulin that they injected, as these would lower blood sugar levels within a few hours.

    Thank goodness you were admitted to hospital when your blood pressure was so high.  I've no wish to alarm you, but blood pressure that's that high puts you at incredible risk for a stroke or heart attack.  I'm truly glad that your blood pressure is now more near a 'normal' level.

    Apologies to you for the length of my responses, ma'am, but I try to include information that I feel is relevant to things that you mention.  Hopefully, I'm not 'going overboard' with too much information, and I certainly hope that I'm not frightening you when I mention some of the things that can go wrong.

    Be well, gill70346.  I hope you soon make a full recovery.

    Lots of Love and Light.

     Mick

    x x x x

     x x x

    P.S. I really ought to mention that I am NOT a medically qualified practitioner so do check anything that I tell you with your own doctor.

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  • Posted

    If I were you, I would seriously question your doctor about his/her decision to prescribe prednisone when you have active infections. Prednisone decimates the immune system, which is why it's mostly given to those with autoimmune diseases, which signal an overactive immune system. Don't stop taking it, but don't just let it go on without confirming. Also, If you're really worried about the blood sugar, theres a food plant/herb called bitter melon(or karela) that greatly reduces blood sugar. You can use it as a temporary adjunct therapy. It is bitter, so cook it first and eat it fast.
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    • Posted

      it is unlikely I will take karela for two reasons -firstly because I would not want to take anything that would take the blood sugar too low, and also being severely disabled I find cooking difficult.
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  • Posted

    I take prednisolone because I have bilateral anterior and posterior uveitis. Before taking prednisolone I was having episodes every two months each of which would leave me with no usable sight for several days until the very high doses of steroids kicked in. Now, I only get episodes every 6-9 months and they are less severe and short lived. I know all the side effects as my opthalmologist went through them with me. However we decided together that the benefits of taking small doses of steroidsregularly outweighed the risks. I enquired about alternatives but the only one possible had even more severe side effects. Continued episodes of uveitis can lead to sufferers losing the sight completely in one or both eyes, and BTW, uveitis is an auto immune disease so I definitely need to ke taking it.i have been taking them for 5 years and life is so much better than in the days when I only took steroids when I was having a flare up. Steroids do have a bad press but please think of the people like me whose lives have been transformed by them before you rubbish them and say things without knowing the full facts
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry, you misunderstand me. I'm not so ignorant as to dismiss the good that steroids do for thousands of people. My point is that they have a narrow clinical indication, and two concomitant infections signify it may be doing its job a little too well; a smaller dose is advisable.
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    • Posted

      I am not sure what concomitant means, but in any case it is impossible to reduce the dose. I was diagnosed in w2006 and initially had no maintenance dose so I had flare ups within 2 months of recovering from the previous flare up. Then I got anew opthalmologist in 2008 who suggested a maintenance of 2 1/2 mg which did not work well enough, then 4mg which was better but not good enough, so we then again increased the dosage to 5mg and since then I have had no flare ups. I wonder if you were in my circumstances what you would do? If I take the increased prednisolone then I have greater side effects, but if I reduce the dosage even to 4mg I am at much greater risk of flare ups of uveitis and eventually losing my sight in one or both eyes.
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