Hyperglycaemia management


April 3rd, 2023

Hyperglycaemia management

1. What is hyperglycaemia?

Hyperglycaemia occurs when the blood glucose level is too high and gets over 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dl).
Hyperglycaemia is common and nearly all people with Type 1 Diabetes experience it. If it is treated properly, the blood glucose level will fall back to normal range after few hours.
If it is not treated, hyperglycaemia can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as a diabetes-induced comas.
Too much glucose in the blood for long periods of time can damage nerves, blood vessels and vital organs, which can lead to problems like heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, non-healing wounds and leg amputation.

2. How to recognize hyperglycaemia?

The signs and symptoms of high blood glucose can vary depending on the person.
These are some of the symptoms a diabetic can experience:

  • Thirsty all the time
  • Need to urinate a lot especially at night time
  • Blurred vision
  • Very tired all the time
  • Dry mouth

If it’s a serious case of high blood glucose people with diabetes may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Breath that smells like alcohol

Hyperglycaemia can become very serious and those with diabetes may faint or lose consciousness. If anyone with Type 1 Diabetes has any of these signs you should go to the hospital/clinic.

3. What can cause hyperglycaemia?

Hyperglycaemia can happen for many reasons. This includes:

  • Taken too much carbohydrate foods/sugary drinks
  • Eating meals or snacking too frequently
  • Less exercise than usual
  • Sometimes during or just after intense physical exercise (stress effect)
  • Measuring the blood glucose too soon after a meal – usually wait two hours after eating
  • The insulin dose may be too low or may have been forgotten
  • The insulin was expired or not stored properly
  • Lipohypertrophy – a lump under the skin at the insulin injection site if insulin is repeatedly injected into the same site
  • Emotion, such as excitement or stress
  • Infection, fever or other illness

4. Checking for high blood glucose levels

As part of the diabetes management plan, you’ll need to check the person with diabetes blood glucose levels multiple times a day with the glucometer. This helps you identify when there is high blood glucose levels, which don’t always show symptoms. Someone who isn’t testing regularly might have blood glucose levels high enough to damage the body without even realizing it.
If you find that the person you are caring for has high blood sugar levels, their doctor/nurse may suggest changing the insulin dose or meal plan to bring the levels back into a healthy range.

5. How to treat high blood glucose (hyperglycaemia)?

If the person with diabete’s blood glucose is over 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dl), you have to take action quickly.

Here are the steps you have to follow:

  • Check blood glucose levels and take a short acting insulin shot
  • Contact a doctor/nurse to ask how much extra insulin is need or if you are not sure what to do
  • Encourage a lot of water drinking (at least 1 glass of water per hour)
  • Avoid strenuous exercise
  • After 2 hours check blood glucose levels
    If blood glucose is still over 14 mmol/L (250 mg/dl), immediately contact a doctor/nurse.
    If blood glucose is over 22 mmol/L (400mg/dl) the diabetic has severe hyperglycaemia. Take short acting insulin immediately (10% of total daily dose). Contact your doctor/hospital immediately.


HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.

HelloType1 content is curated for the topics using information only taken from accredited sources such as the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

This content is then reviewed and adapted by a panel consisting of healthcare experts (e.g. endocrinologist, nutritionist, diabetes nurse, psychologist) and members of the South-East Asia T1D communities, helping ensure the information is appropriate in a local context.

Writers of HelloType1 content:
Anne-Charlotte Ficheroulle, Pharmacist, Digital Innovation Manager at A4D
Charlotte O’Brian Gore, Research assistant ImmunoEngineering, King’s College. UK

Content Reviewers – healthcare professionals:
Dr. May Ng, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Chief Medical Advisor A4D, UK
Dr. Yeow Toh Peng, Endocrinologist, Malaysia
Dr Jaturat Petchkul, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Thailand
Dianna Culbertson, Physician Assistant T1D care, US
Prof Dr Malene Iv, Endocrinologist, Kantha Bopha Hospital, Cambodia
Steffen Tange, Consultant Psychology, Denmark
Soe Nyi Nyi, Nutritionist, Myanmar
Lucas Lim, Dietician, Malaysia

Content Reviewers – people with Type 1 Diabetes:
Jerry Gore, Co-Founder A4D, Mountaineer, UK
Diana Maynard, T1D advocate, UK
Emelyne Carmen Ho, College Student, Malaysia
Molly Seal, College Student, UK

Content Reviewers – parents with T1D child:
Samantha Seal, Teacher, Thailand
Kim Than, Deputy Country Director – Plan International, Cambodia

how to treat hypo-hyper-Khmer.pptx


Caring for diabetes in Children and Adolescent. Third edition. Copyright Children’s Diabetes Services


Read more

Diabetes management when people living with Type 1 Diabetes are sick

Diabetes management when people living with Type 1 Diabetes are sick

Hypoglycaemia management

Hypoglycaemia management


Hyperglycaemia management

Hyperglycaemia management


Take the Quizz

Take the quizz on hyperglycaemia now!


UK Registered Charity: 1166447
9, Parkfield Road, Taunton, Somerset
TA1 4RL, United Kingdom