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Health Journey Support | What Are High and Low Blood Glucose (Sugar) Levels?

Blood sugar that's too high or too low can make you feel sick. If you try to control your high or low blood sugar and can't, you may become even sicker and need help. Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC).

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This information is intended for US Consumers

What are High and Low

Blood Glucose (Blood Sugar) Levels?

Learn About High and Low Blood Sugar Levels

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range, they will be too high or too low. Blood sugar that's too high or too low can make you feel sick. If you try to control your high or low blood sugar and can't, you may become even sicker and need help. Talk with your doctor to learn about what to do if this happens.

Learn About High Blood Sugar Levels

If your blood sugar levels stay above 180 for more than 1 to 2 hours, they may be too high. High blood sugar means you don't have enough insulin in your body. High blood sugar can happen if you

  • miss taking your diabetes medicines
  • eat too much
  • don't get enough physical activity
  • have an infection
  • get sick
  • are stressed
  • take medicines that can cause high blood glucose

Be sure to tell your doctor about the other medicines you take. When you're sick, be sure to check your blood sugar levels and keep taking your diabetes medicines.

Signs that blood sugar levels may be too high

  • feeling thirsty
  • feeling weak or tired
  • headaches
  • urinating often
  • having trouble paying attention
  • blurry vision
  • yeast infections
What Are High And Low Blood Glucose Levels Br

BLOOD SUGAR

TOO HIGH - ABOVE 180

TOO LOW - BELOW 70

Very high blood sugar may also make you feel sick to your stomach.

If your blood sugar levels are high most of the time, or if you have symptoms of high blood sugar, call your doctor. You may need a change in your healthy eating plan, physical activity plan, or medicines.

Learn About Low Blood Sugar Levels

If your blood sugar levels drop below 70, you have low blood glucose. Low blood sugar can come on fast and can be caused by

  • taking too much diabetes medicine
  • missing or delaying a meal
  • being more physically active than usual
  • drinking alcoholic beverages

Sometimes, medicines you take for other health problems can cause your blood glucose levels to drop.

Signs blood glucose levels may be too low

  • hunger
  • dizziness or shakiness
  • confusion
  • being pale
  • sweating more
  • weakness
  • anxiety or moodiness
  • headaches
  • fast heartbeat

If your blood sugar levels drop lower, you could have severe hypoglycemia, where you pass out or have a seizure. If you have any of these symptoms, check your blood glucose levels. If your blood sugar levels are less than 70, have one of the following right away (following your doctor's advice)

  • 3 or 4 sugar tablets
  • 1 serving of sugar gel—the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of fruit juice
  • 1/2 cup, or 4 ounces, of a regular, non-diet soft drink
  • 1 cup, or 8 ounces, of milk
  • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, syrup, or honey

Follow your doctor's advice about what to do in case of an emergency. You should always wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace that shows you have diabetes.

Talk to Your Doctor Always talk to your doctor about what is best for you. Ask your doctor before starting any treatments or making changes in your routine or medicine.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) Web site. https://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/monitor.aspx#learn. Accessed March 7, 2014.