Is a High Blood Glucose Level Specific to Diabetes?

January 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Diabetes Information

Diabetes is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by relative or complete deficiency of insulin leading to hyperglycemia and in long term many end organ complications like retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy and cardiovascular complications.

Type 1 diabetics are more prone for ketoacidosis with high blood glucose levels. They basically depend on insulin treatment when compared to type 2 diabetics. So any stressful conditions and insulin is not adequately adjusted, they are susceptible to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Type 2 diabetics on other hand are more prone for Hyperosmolar nonketotic coma (HONK) than ketoacidosis. This is severe hyperglycemia in the absence of significant ketosis. Precipitating factors are noncompliance with treatment and inability to drink sufficient water to keep up with urinary loss.

Gestational diabetes is glucose intolerance developed in pregnancy. Close monitoring from early weeks of pregnancy is advised for the improved outcome of mother and baby. Fortunately this condition resolves once baby was delivered.

Of course, most known cause of high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) is Diabetes. But there are some other clinical conditions that cause hyperglycemia though they are not common like diabetes .

All these needs special investigations, doctors attention and timely treatment. So it is advised to approach your doctor as soon as you are in doubt of something about your health .

1. Cushing’s syndrome : Caused by persistent and inappropriate increase in glucocorticoid hormones. Patients are obese, plethoric face, thin skin that bruises easily, pathological fractures due to osteoporosis.

2. Pheochromocytoma : Excess production of catecholamines by tumors of sympathetic nervous system. Patients have headache, anxiety, palpitations, sweating, hypertension, hyperglycemia.

3. Glucagonoma : They are tumors of pancreas and produces lots of glucagon a hormone that counteracts the actions of insulin. Patients have hypoglycemia with skin rash.

4. Pancreatic conditions like pancreatitis, hemosiderosis etc also cause hyperglycemia due to damage of insulin producing cells in pancreas.

5. Liver diseases like cirrhosis, hemochromatosis.

6. Medications like diuretics, niacin, phenytoin (taken in epilepsy) are also induce hyperglycemia. Discontinuing these drugs bring back normal glucose status.

7. Acute stress : In people with mild carbohydrate intolerance, stressful conditions like infections, myocardial infarction and surgery may cause marked hyperglycemia. Some of these patients will not need therapy once the stressful condition has resolved.

Doctor can differentiate these conditions by running some tests apart from identifying blood glucose levels. For example, there are tests that detect high levels of glucose, cortisol in blood. Investigations like abdominal CT scans, ultrasound can be used to find out any tumors, pancreatic pathology, liver pathology.[tags]diabetes, diabetic,

[tags]diabetes, diabetic, high blood glucose level, insulin deficiency[/tags]


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