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Hyperglycaemia, or high blood glucose levels, occurs when there is an excessive amount of glucose in the bloodstream.  If your blood glucose levels are running high you may feel tired, thirsty and need to pass urine more frequently.

Causes of high blood glucose levels: when you have Type 1 Diabetes it is almost impossible not to have a high blood glucose reading at some point as there are a number of potential causes: -

1. Increased insulin requirements

  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Inflammation at insertion site
  • Reduced exercise
  • Hormonal (pregnancy / menstruation)
  • Steriods

2. Infusion Set

  • Insertion into hardened area
  • Infusion set left in too long
  • Infusion set dislodged
  • Infusion set blocked
  • Blood in infusion set
  • Empty cartridge
  • Large air bubble in tubing
  • Infusion set leaking
  • Pump failure

3. Insufficient insulin delivery

  • Is pump connected?
  • Basal rate too low
  • Forgot to give Bolus
  • Check if last bolus was delivered
  • Bolus too small for amount of carbohydrates / under calculated carbohydrate content of food
  • Excessive carbohydrates after Hppoglycaemia
  • Rebound following hypoglycaemia
  • Pump stopped

If blood glucose readings are persistently high over three consecutive days and this is not due to any of the reasons above, you may need to consider increasing your insulin dose.  Speak to your diabetes team for advice.

If your blood glucose levels are high because you are unwell, it is very important that you take action quickly and follow the ‘Sick Day Rules’ that your diabetes team has provided you with.  If you are unsure at any time, please contact your diabetes team.

Sick Day Rules

Need More Help?

The CHOICE diabetes education programme is available in NI and the border counties of Republic of Ireland, ask your Diabetes Team

Choice Programme