If you have diabetes, your doctor will give you blood sugar goals and recommendations for treating high blood sugar. Here are some general guidelines.
Mild to moderately high blood sugar
Follow these steps if blood sugar is over the target range set by your doctor, for example, over 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for two or more readings a few hours apart.
If the usual dose of
diabetes medicine was missed, give the missed
If the doctor has prescribed a dose of fast-acting insulin
based on the blood sugar level (sliding scale), give the appropriate
dose. If not, call the doctor for advice.
Test for ketones, if the doctor has advised you to do so. If
the results of the ketone test show a moderate-to-large
amount of ketones, call the doctor for
Wait 30 minutes after giving the extra insulin
or the missed medicine.
Check the blood sugar
Extra liquids are needed to replace the fluids lost through the urine. Water and sugar-free drinks are best.
If symptoms of high
blood sugar become more noticeable or if the blood sugar level continues
to rise, call the doctor.
If your child's blood sugar continues to rise, for example, above 240 mg/dL, and if he or she starts to feel
drowsy or loses consciousness, take your child to an emergency room or call 911 or other emergency services immediately. Stay with your child until emergency
For adults, if you start to feel drowsy or disoriented or if your blood sugar continues to rise, for example, above 350 mg/dL, call 911 or other emergency services immediately. It's best to have someone with you if your blood sugar is this elevated so that the person can call for you.
Extremely high blood sugar
Follow these steps if blood sugar is extremely high, for example, over 400 mg/dL in a child or over 600 mg/dL in an adult. Some blood
sugar meters read only levels up to about 400 mg/dL.
Wash the finger carefully before checking again. Sometimes sugar on the skin will cause a high reading.
If the meter
reads high, test the accuracy of the meter, and then recheck the blood sugar.
If the meter reads high again, call
the doctor for advice or seek emergency care.
After a high blood sugar episode
After the blood sugar level has returned to a target range, continue medicine as prescribed by the doctor and check blood sugar
levels as directed. Report the episode to the doctor.
Drink extra liquids to replace the fluids lost through the urine. Water and sugar-free drinks are best. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Also avoid regular soda pop, fruit juice, and other liquids that contain a lot of sugar.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.