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Investigating high blood sugar

The occasional increase in blood sugar is nothing to be overly worried about. On the other hand, if the blood sugar level is consistently or repeatedly higher than the target range at a specific time of the day, it needs to be investigated.

Usually, high blood sugar is due to an unusually large amount of carbohydrates in a meal or, in the case of insulin therapy, an incorrectly estimated amount of carbohydrates or the mealtime insulin dose being too small.

However, if the blood sugar level is too high at a specific time of the day either repeatedly or as part of a trend, the reason should be investigated using intensified blood sugar checks or glucose sensor. The intensified monitoring involves making note not just of the blood sugar levels but also of the insulin or other medicine doses, carbohydrates, exercise and things that deviate from the usual daily routine.

If you use insulin and your blood sugar is repeatedly high or fluctuating, you should consider the following questions:

  • What is your own thought on the reasons of high blood sugar?

  • Are the insulin doses and the injection times suitable?

  • How often do you forget to take a dose?

  • Are the injection sites swollen or hardened?

  • Could the reason be an increase as a reaction to a low blood sugar?

  • Do you calculate the amount of carbohydrates in meals accurately or by a "rule of thumb"?

  • Is the insulin-to-carbohydrates ratio of different meals and at different times of the day correct?

  • Do you take mealtime insulin before or after a meal – does your blood sugar level have time to rise before enough insulin has been absorbed?

  • Are the rapid acting insulin doses for correction suitable?

  • Do you correct your blood sugar level between meals?

  • How do you sleep?

  • Are you experiencing stress?

  • Is the insulin product in use OK?

  • Are the blood sugar measurement strips or sensor OK?

Updated 30.9.2023