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October 13, 2003

Hyperglycemia and DKA

Question from Nebraska, USA:

Are there short-term consequences for not treating high blood sugars?


From: DTeam Staff

There may be short-term consequences for not treating hyperglycemia. In someone with type 1 diabetes, this can lead to a serious complication called DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. DKA is less common in someone with type 2 diabetes and even less so for individuals with elevated glucose for other reasons. However, the excess in glucose typically leads to increased excretion of the glucose by the kidneys into the urine. This can lead to increased body fluid losses and risk of dehydration and associated issues.

Elevated glucoses can predispose to some infections (germs love sugar!) — especially fungal infections. In teenage and adult women, this not uncommonly manifests as recurrent vaginal yeast infections and/or urinary tract infections.