7 Clear Signs You Could Have High Blood Sugar

Updated: Apr. 12, 2017

Untreated hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can lead to kidney damage over time, so if you’re diabetic and experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor STAT for a blood sugar check.


You’ve got cotton mouth

When your kidneys can no longer filter out glucose, the body becomes dehydrated. And while a little thirst may seem like a minor inconvenience, over time dehydration damages the body and leads to other symptoms, including a spike in blood sugar levels as the body revs up adrenaline, a natural insulin blocker. Not sure if you’re dehydrated? Check these unexpected signs of dehydration.


You’re hitting the bathroom—a lot

Although it seems illogical, increased thirst is related to frequent urination. When blood sugar is high, the body directs excess fluid to the kidneys, causing them to work overtime to filter the blood and produce extra urine output. Since increased thirst may lead to increased drinking, you might not notice at first, but if urine output seems to be more than what you’d expect based on what you’re drinking, it may point to high blood sugar.


You’ve got brain fog

Much like cars need gas, the human body requires fuel in order to operate optimally. Glucose is the fuel that powers the body, and when there isn’t enough insulin to move that fuel through the body properly, the body doesn’t get the power it needs. That often leads to general fatigue and trouble concentrating. Check out these tips for regaining your focus.


Everything’s blurry

When blood sugar levels are too high, the lens of the eye swells, making vision blurry. Lowering the blood sugar should return vision to normal. (Here are 14 foods with way more sugar than you thought.) Diabetics are recommended to receive regular eye exams for this reason, as extended and severe high blood sugar can cause permanent damage, even blindness. Don’t miss these expert tips for taking good care of your eyes.


Scrapes and bruises are sticking around

Having high blood sugar can slow the natural healing processes of the body. When blood sugar is high, arteries stiffen, causing a narrowing of blood vessels and decreased blood flow throughout the body. In turn, blood does not reach wounds as quickly, so they get less oxygen and nutrients to help fight infection and promote healing. Wound ulcers are common when blood sugar is too high. Try these 10 herbs and spices to speed healing ASAP.


Your pants are looser

Although it might seem like a positive side effect, weight loss caused by high blood sugar is extremely unhealthy. When weight loss results from high blood sugar, it’s because the body turns to burning fat instead of using glucose for energy, and because large amounts of glucose leave the body through urine. If you’re losing weight without changing your diet or exercise habits, it could be a sign of high blood sugar. Check out these sneaky things that can spike your blood sugar levels.


You could use a nap

Because high blood sugar causes the body to waste glucose, the fuel that normally powers the body, you may feel tired. It’s even worse if you’re also waking up multiple times during the night to pee. If you start reaching for high-carbohydrate snacks to boost your flagging energy, you’ll only further hike your blood sugar levels in a vicious cycle. Instead of reaching for pizza and pasta, try these quick-hit tips to beat fatigue in just minutes.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest