Type 1 Diabetes

Hyperglycaemia and Hypoglycaemia

What is Hyperglycaemia?
It can be difficult to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood for individuals living with diabetes. Glucose levels are forever changing, and additionally more so, as a response to food, exercise or activity, health and wellbeing, environmental and behavioural factors and more. 

Diabetes Australia defines hyperglycaemia as blood glucose levels which are 15 mmol/L or higher.1

Some of the common symptoms of Hyperglycaemia include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Infections (e.g. thrush, cystitis, wound infections) 
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain

Diabetes Australia recommend if you feel unwell, you should check your blood glucose levels every two hours. Consistently very high blood glucose levels can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetes, which can become life threatening. If your levels remain high for more than 24 hours, you should seek advice from your doctor, diabetes team, or hospital emergency department as required.1

What is Hypoglycaemia?
When glucose levels are low, this is known as a hypoglycaemia. Diabetes Australia define hypoglycaemia as a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose level has dropped too low, below 4 mmol/L.2 

Diabetes Australia states it is important to recognise that if glucose levels are too low, some activities may not be safe to do such as driving and operating heavy machinery.2

Some of the common symptoms of Hyperglycaemia include:

  • Shaking, trembling or weakness
  • Sweating
  • Paleness
  • Hunger
  • Light headedness

If left untreated, more severe symptoms may include:

  • Lack of concentration/behaviour change
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Unable to follow instructions, or treat own hypo
  • Loss of consciousness

It is important to note that if you, or someone you care for, are experiencing any of these symptoms above, you should not hesitate to contact 000 or your local hospital emergency department if you need immediate assistance.

1. https://diabetesnsw.com.au/living-with-diabetes/hyperglycaemia/ 
2. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/living-with-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/hypoglycaemia/ 

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. Read the warnings available on amsldiabetes.com.au/resources before purchasing. Consult your healthcare professional to see which product is right for you.

Last Updated: 6th April 2022

Back to top