Hyperglycemia occurs when your blood glucose levels become too high, indicating the body's inability to use the sugar that is present in the bloodstream. This occurs either because insulin is not available (Type 1 diabetes) or because the cells are resistant to the present insulin (Type 2 diabetes). Hyperglycemia is a sign that the body's tissues are, to one degree or another, starving for glucose. In extreme and untreated cases, hyperglycemia can be very serious, leading to ketoacidosis, coma and even death.
For all the danger that can be associated with hyperglycemia, it is to some extent, a difficult-to-avoid experience ...view middle of the document...
Ketoacidosis is a situation that can occur when individuals with diabetes become severely hyper- or hypoglycemic. It occurs most commonly in people dealing with Type 1 diabetes, but anyone with severe hyper- or hypoglycemia is at risk. Unable to gain access to blood sugar to feed itself the body turns to a secondary mechanism for obtaining fuel; it starts to metabolize stored fats instead. Ketones are an acid byproduct of the fat-burning process. Prolonged fat-burning creates many ketones which can build up to toxic levels in the blood and poison the body.
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels become dangerously low, generally because there is too much insulin in the blood compared to available glucose. Several circumstances can cause hypoglycemia: it can be brought on as a side effect of some medicines, as a result of kidney failure (where the kidneys cannot remove insulin from the blood fast enough), as a result of an insulin injection error (where too much insulin is injected into the blood), or as a side effect of eating a high-sugar meal (causing sugar levels to surge and excess insulin to enter the blood in compensation). The later example is known as reactive hypoglycemia. However it is caused, hypoglycemia can be a deadly condition in that without glucose to draw on, body tissues and organs, especially the brain, begin to starve to death. People who are hypoglycemic for extended periods run the risk of permanent brain damage, coma and death.