Skip to content

When is blood sugar too high?

Hi there,

Your introductory Sweet Life booklet at end of 2011 relates.

I am 57 years old, and a Type 2 diabetic. I use insulin Apidra 25 units, morning and evening and Lantus 35 units, morning and evening plus Glucophage 1000mg 3 x  a day.

You refer to sugar levels at 7 as ideal.

Question:

When should one consider blood sugar levels to be high? If medication as above had already been taken, and levels are eg. 12 – 14 , what should you do for immediate reduction?

Thank you,

Gawie

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
What to read next
Join Diabetic South Africans on Facebook

Join our diabetes community

13 Comments

  1. Brenda Brenda

    Wow you sure do take a lot of Diabetic medicine, Is this for type 1 or type 2. Also do you eat a lot of sugar. The fasting blood sugar should be be between 4 and 6 when you measure in the morning. Anything above 6 indicates a sugar problem. The most mine has been is around 9 but that was due to bad eating and having cakes and sweets. I don’t take any diabetic medicine but control my sugar levels with proper eating.

  2. Michael Park Michael Park

    Hi there.

    Broadly speaking, there are two norms which should be considered in deciding whether blood sugar is to high. The first of these norms says that your sugars should not go over 8. If it goes over 8, it is a matter for concern, but it is not a crisis. When however, sugar levels go over 10, then you are in troubled waters because that is when the sugar forms minute little crystals in the blood stream. These little crystals initially rip the walls of capillary vessels to shreds, hence the dilation of blood vessels in the eye etc. This later goes on to affect bigger and bigger blood vessels and I am not going to go down that road at the moment.

    I am not a doctor, but being a diabetic for the last 14 years, I am of the firm belief that the general norm is only the starting point for good diabetes management. What you need to do, is to determine what is good blood sugar and what is not, with reference to your particular circumstances, provided of course that it is understood that whatever is said and done, sugars over 10 are unacceptable and you might need to take this matter up with your doctor if you are in private care.

    Of course, judging by newer diabetes medications such as Byetta, Onglyza and Victoza, to mention a few examples, your problem may not be to do with insulin, but you could be lacking in the production of a hormone called DPP4 while another hormone, Glucagon-like peptide could be in abundance. Your insulin may be perfect but you can still have these high sugars. When last did your doctor perform a full battery of liver and kidney function tests on you? This could be the key to your problem.

    Regarding the matter of determining your own norms, the million-dollar question is always this: what other problems do you have stemming from diabetes?

    In muy case I suffer from a diabetic related depression. If I have huge fluctuations in my sugar levels, I fall into a deep depression and it is not psychosematic either. I can at any time guess my blood sugar levels to within 0.5 of a point and when my sugars jump around like they do from time to time, I get depressed and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. In that event, I can also be quite a handful and I therefore owe it to people around me to try and keep this problem in hand.

    In order to address the problem, I have, in conjunction with my care team, decided that my sugar averages should be between 5 and 7, but preferably, between 5 and 6.5 and my fasting sugars should sit between 5 and 6. If my sugars drop below 5, I tend to get very tired and irritable and if my fasting sugar goes below 5 I will not, on a morning I am scheduled to do gymn, do gymn at all, in case I go hypoglycaemic either in the gymn or while travelling between home and the gymn.

    If there is interest in the subject of how one determines one’s norms, I am prepared to post an article here in which I explained how I went about determining my own norms and how I help others to determine their own norms.

    There are just two things to bear in mind here. The first is that if the norms you have determined, are too easy to reach, chances are that you might not be doing the thing right. Diabetes management is hard work and determining personal norms, like everything else, requires hard work–but having said that, you can live a full life, work hard at it and not go hungry.

    The second thing that I want to mention here is that you must firmly understand that there is no such thing as a good universal norm. I am extremely blessed because I am able to maintain sugar levels which are very similar to a non-diabetic, but this does not mean that everybody must do that and you are going to have as many norms as there are people who have diabetes and who try to manage it.

    The article I wrote, is not very scientific on the face of it, but it has worked for me and the system has also worked for other diabetics I have helped. It is really plain common sense. If there is an interest in this article, I will gladly publish this article here.
    Hi there.

    Broadly speaking, there are two norms which should be considered in deciding whether blood sugar is to high. The first of these norms says that your sugars should not go over 8. If it goes over 8, it is a matter for concern, but it is not a crisis. When however, sugar levels go over 10, then you are in troubled waters because that is when the sugar forms minute little crystals in the blood stream. These little crystals initially rip the walls of capillary vessels to shreds, hence the dilation of blood vessels in the eye etc. This later goes on to affect bigger and bigger blood vessels and I am not going to go down that road at the moment.

    I am not a doctor, but being a diabetic for the last 14 years, I am of the firm belief that the general norm is only the starting point for good diabetes management. What you need to do, is to determine what is good blood sugar and what is not, with reference to your particular circumstances, provided of course that it is understood that whatever is said and done, sugars over 10 are unacceptable and you might need to take this matter up with your doctor if you are in private care.

    Of course, judging by newer diabetes medications such as Byetta, Onglyza and Victoza, to mention a few examples, your problem may not be to do with insulin, but you could be lacking in the production of a hormone called DPP4 while another hormone, Glucagon-like peptide could be in abundance. Your insulin may be perfect but you can still have these high sugars. When last did your doctor perform a full battery of liver and kidney function tests on you? This could be the key to your problem.

    Regarding the matter of determining your own norms, the million-dollar question is always this: what other problems do you have stemming from diabetes?

    In muy case I suffer from a diabetic related depression. If I have huge fluctuations in my sugar levels, I fall into a deep depression and it is not psychosematic either. I can at any time guess my blood sugar levels to within 0.5 of a point and when my sugars jump around like they do from time to time, I get depressed and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. In that event, I can also be quite a handful and I therefore owe it to people around me to try and keep this problem in hand.

    In order to address the problem, I have, in conjunction with my care team, decided that my sugar averages should be between 5 and 7, but preferably, between 5 and 6.5 and my fasting sugars should sit between 5 and 6. If my sugars drop below 5, I tend to get very tired and irritable and if my fasting sugar goes below 5 I will not, on a morning I am scheduled to do gymn, do gymn at all, in case I go hypoglycaemic either in the gymn or while travelling between home and the gymn.

    If there is interest in the subject of how one determines one’s norms, I am prepared to post an article here in which I explained how I went about determining my own norms and how I help others to determine their own norms.

    There are just two things to bear in mind here. The first is that if the norms you have determined, are too easy to reach, chances are that you might not be doing the thing right. Diabetes management is hard work and determining personal norms, like everything else, requires hard work–but having said that, you can live a full life, work hard at it and not go hungry.

    The second thing that I want to mention here is that you must firmly understand that there is no such thing as a good universal norm. I am extremely blessed because I am able to maintain sugar levels which are very similar to a non-diabetic, but this does not mean that everybody must do that and you are going to have as many norms as there are people who have diabetes and who try to manage it.

    The article I wrote, is not very scientific on the face of it, but it has worked for me and the system has also worked for other diabetics I have helped. It is really plain common sense. If there is an interest in this article, I will gladly publish this article here.

  3. Didie Didie

    My sister is 18 and was diagnosed with sugar diabetes 2 weeks ago , her sugar testing is 15 on average and the dr has put her on insulin. It hasn’t come down lower. What the normal reading or levels it should b after take insulin

    • Hi Didie,
      So sorry to hear your sister has just been diagnosed… Ideally, blood sugar should be under 10 at all times (7 is the magic number) but it can take some time to lower when insulin has just been started. Has she been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes? Perhaps ask her doctor if the dosage is correct, depending what she’s eating? All carbohydrates push blood sugar higher.

  4. Didie Didie

    Thanks for the late reply but her levels have come down hospital has give her a diet plan and think the insulin has adapted to her body now many thanks

  5. Shabur Shabur

    Hi. I feel absolutely miserable,nauseus and feel bloated with severe headaches and feel very thirsty. Then I know my sugar count is high. I am also a heart patient with high blood pressure. When I test my sugar it is between 8 – 12. I am currently on glucophage 500 and find that this is not helping me to stabilise my sugar. Please assist.

    • Hi Shabur,
      Sounds like it’s time to visit your doctor or clinic and possibly adjust your medication. You shouldn’t be feeling so terrible! Let us know how it goes?

  6. Shabur Shabur

    What is the worst that can happen if my sugar count does not drop

    • Hi Shabur,
      High blood sugar over a long period of time leads to really serious diabetes complications – blindness, amputation, liver failure etc etc. It’s really dangerous.

  7. Nolitha Nolitha

    Hi. My blood sugar is always above 20. Should i be worried? Im 50 years old and recently had half my pancreas removed due to a tumour. I feel numb and woozy sometimes even when i have taken my medication. Im on Indo Metformin 500

    • Hi Nolitha,
      We’re not doctors but blood sugar above 20 is very high and you should definitely go to see your doctor or clinic as soon as possible. I’m so sorry you had to have part of your pancreas removed and that you’re not feeling well – blood sugar should ideally be around 7 and under 10, so 20 is really very high. Please go to a doctor and let us know what they say? Good luck!

  8. Nolitha Nolitha

    Is it okay for blood sugar to always be above 20

What do you think?

Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.