Hyperglycemia refers to high blood sugar levels. The following article provides information on the symptoms and contributing factors for elevated blood glucose levels in children.
High blood sugar, which is medically referred to as hyperglycemia, is a serious condition that demands immediate treatment. If left untreated, it could give rise to serious complications. It can affect people of all age groups. Children can also get affected. The risk of this condition might increase in case of a family history. Genetic factors might also play a role. Let’s first find out what causes the blood glucose levels to rise.
Why Does Blood Sugar Level Rise?
Our body converts the carbohydrates from the food we eat to glucose. Glucose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and enters the cells or the tissues with the help of insulin, which is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas. In case of healthy people, when the level of glucose shoots up, the pancreas is triggered to release insulin. This insulin, in turn, causes the cells to unlock and absorb the glucose so as to provide the body with energy. Whatever glucose is left, is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. This is the process which helps to keep the blood glucose levels under control.
In case of diabetics, either the pancreas produces little or no insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). This is why patients are either given insulin shots or other drugs to take lower the blood glucose levels. So contributing factors for elevated blood glucose levels in children or adults include:
- Improper administration of insulin
- Body’s inability to use insulin
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Not following a diabetic diet plan
- Medical conditions
- Prolonged use of certain drugs
Symptoms and Treatment
When there’s a slight increase in blood glucose levels, one may or may not experience any symptoms. Symptoms might be prominent when the glucose levels are significantly higher than normal. When symptoms do occur, the early ones may include increased thirst, frequent trips to bathroom for urination, blurred vision, fatigue, and headache. As the levels keep on increasing, the condition continues to progress to a severe stage gradually.
The symptoms which indicate that the condition has reached a critical stage include breath that smells like fruits, pain in the abdominal region, shortness of breath, weakness, and confusion. There also remains the risk of buildup of toxic ketones in the blood or urine. One might experience nausea or vomiting. Diabetic coma is a serious complication of hyperglycemia.
While the use of drugs can help in lowering the levels of blood glucose, it is equally important to make lifestyle-related changes. Diabetics are advised to resist the temptation of eating food items that are rich in sugar. It is extremely essential to monitor the blood sugar levels and take the required medication or insulin shots as per the prescribed dosage. The risk and effects of hyperglycemia in children or adults can also be reduced by following a proper diet and exercise regimen.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.