Hyperglycemia is a condition in which blood glucose levels rise too high due to shortage of insulin in the body. Though there is plenty of glucose in the body it cannot be utilized, and the body shifts to the fat reserves as an alternate source of energy which in turn release a toxic byproduct called ketones.

Increased levels of ketones in the blood can result in a condition known as Ketoacidosis. It is an emergency state often seen in uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. In cases such as this, there is excessive fat breakdown resulting in the formation of ketones that spillover in the urine. Urine tests are recommended to detect presence of ketones.

Symptoms and Signs:  

  • Abdominal pain, especially in children
  • Furry tongue
  • Feeling thirsty


  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Dry hot skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability/Mood changes
  • Sweet smelling breath (known as  acetone breath)
  • Rapid and deep breathing (known as Kussumaul breathing)
  • Fainting or coma


Causes of Hyperglycemia

It happens when the dose of insulin is not enough to control the rise in blood glucose levels. This could happen if the individual:

  • has missed an insulin injection
  • taken less than the required dose of insulin
  • is ill especially, when he has fever (infection)
  • has taken an inappropriate diet
  • is stressed

How to reverse hyperglycemia

  • Consult your doctor and take insulin as advised
  • Drink plenty of fluids without sugar

Record the event (symptoms, levels of blood glucose, insulin administered etc.) in your log book.