What a "high" feels like

Jaylee

Oracle
Retired Moderator
Messages
18,305
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Hi,

If I skooch up to those figures. In the short term till I pull it back in line. My legs can feel tired (heavy even.)
A little breathless too.
Then there is the thirst & the more frequent passing of “water.”
Lol, even for a guy my age. Once a day with the porcelain shrine does it for me.

I’m fortunate that a correction dose with Novorapid can turn things around in an hour. (At least, stop any further climb in it’s tracks.)

I’m personally more uncomfortable with the feeling of high than opposed to the low.
But the I cut my teeth as a kid on porcine insulin. Those symptoms were far closer to the generic “stereotype” one gets asked regarding hypo awareness on a DIAB1 form.. I can be back in the “zone” in 20 minutes.
Where as with a “HI” it could be 2 or 3 hours…?
 

Grant_Vicat

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,184
Type of diabetes
Don't have diabetes
Treatment type
I do not have diabetes
Dislikes
Intolerance, selfishness, rice pudding
For what it's worth:
I would always know when I was in ketoacidosis, because my breathing became very laboured, all my muscles felt as though I had run ten miles and performed fifty press-ups, I would have an overwhelming feeling of nausea, drink vast amounts of water without slaking my thirst, shun social contact, and my family would notice the all too familiar reek of nail polish remover or pear drops. In later years I realised that it would cloud my vision. Until 2010 I was the only member of the family not to need glasses or lenses, but when I was standing on Shoreham Station platform, aged 13, I was unable to read the nameplate on the opposite platform. Panic set in. Was I already going blind? Or was I suffering from cataracts? My mother took me to an optician that weekend, who could find little worth discussion.
High blood sugar regularly brought on bouts of diarrhoea (for some reason never listed in symptoms, but as soon as I acquired a meter in 1978 I could see a correlation) and an uncontrollable temper. Even with moderately high levels such as 10.5mmol/L, I would lose my natural patience and become irritated by what are normally trifles. I also noticed that my nose would run whenever I was high. Is this because the brain is trying to use this system to get rid of excess sugar, as it does colds?
Probably (other than long-term complications) the most damaging effect of hyperglycaemia is lethargy. Often an overwhelming tiredness would put me to sleep extraordinarily quickly, and after maybe three hours sleep there would be no sign of benefit. Abnormal urination was inevitable and even vomiting was common.
Like people have said, it is interesting how each individual reacts to hyperglycemia.
 

Grant_Vicat

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,184
Type of diabetes
Don't have diabetes
Treatment type
I do not have diabetes
Dislikes
Intolerance, selfishness, rice pudding
interestingly, with a bg of about 30 (and an off-scale glucometer) I feel only thirst, frequent urge to urinate (logically, due to the fact that I drink a lot) and also almost can't sleep, but there are no other symptoms, although it seems to me that my skin becomes very dry and as if there is no water even in the bones :hilarious:
it's so interesting that we all feel it differently!
That is incredible!
 
  • Like
Reactions: plantae

miahara

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,019
Type of diabetes
Type 3c
Treatment type
Insulin
I get a bit grumpy and irritable, but that's possibly due to the fact that I've tested and therefore know I'm high and am annoyed that I didn't manage my food and insulin better. I'm not sure that I'd know that I was hyper without testing, as it's quite possible I could be grumpy and irritable for non-diabetec reasons as my wife will attest!
 

EllieM

Moderator
Staff Member
Messages
9,547
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
Dislikes
hypos and forum bugs
To be honest @plantae, I'm not quite sure what you are trying to achieve here? (Though it is an interesting topic)

Hypo awareness is a big deal because, as you know all to well, if you go too low you can go unconscious, and it can also happen quite fast.

Highs tend not to lead to hospitalisation, or at least not fast, so if you are keeping track of your bg by glucometer and/or cgm you'd be pretty unlikely to go into DKA because it takes hours rather than minutes for it to take effect. I've never had a DKA in 53 years (was diagnosed early because my mother acted on my early symptoms of thirst because she almost died at her T1 diagnosis).

So the hyper symptoms are relevant to folk who haven't been diagnosed diabetic and don't have any access to blood testing equipment, but if it's for you yourself then you'd hopefully realise you were high long before you got any extreme symptoms.

I suspect that symptoms of thirst , tiredness, UTIs etc are diabetic type independent, as they are caused by the high blood sugar, whereas symptoms like nauseas and bad breath may be more associated with high blood sugar and ketosis and lack of insulin? Those would be more likely in a T1/LADA/T3C than a T2. (Not saying T2s don't get DKA, but it's rarer for them).

However, I used to have a T1 friend who claimed he could feel symptoms when his bg went over 8 - his bg control was insanely good, and this was in the days of glucometers but not cgms. So awareness of mild hypers is possible for some people (though I've never really noticed it unless I'm well into the teens)

But life/hospital threatening highs are DKAs, and I expect you would notice these on your cgm or glucometer long before you noticed the symptoms.

Good luck with getting your DN to let you start adjusting your doses.
 

plantae

Well-Known Member
Messages
830
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
@EllieM I'm not sure what I'm trying to achieve either now. It occurred to me when I overcompensated the other night that I was feeling different even before checking the libre or contour (but not high enough to set off an alarm because I was still in the "acceptable" range my DN has given me. But thinking about it now perhaps I was feeling different mostly because I was not hypo anymore. The initial goal was a list of things to look out for if going high, because I couldn't find a lot of information when I searched, in case my alarms were not working, but: a) I don't treat highs anyway because I'm on fixed insulin doses (although I can call my DN 24/7 and she'd probably authorise it if necessary, or tell me to go to hospital); and b) as you say they generally don't cause hospitalisation (except in the circumstances you describe).

Maybe I'll just let the subject drop and let the thread go idle. That said, I've learned at least one thing (sleepiness) since it started but paradoxically, perhaps, I get agitated not sleepy. Although I do remember being fatigued all the time before my diagnosis. I think there's some useful and interesting things that people have brought up though.

The downside is that the list, as @In Response mentioned, is starting to look like a list of untreated diabetes symptoms and there's lots of info about that... Edit 2: then again, I'm new and learning and want to know as much as I can. So maybe that's the purpose of the thread.

Edit 2: My next in-person DN is on Monday. I've got a written list of questions so I don't go through my usual "go blank" and nod routine
 
Last edited:

Ushthetaff

Well-Known Member
Messages
947
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Dislikes
Mountain out of mole hill makers ,queues , crowds , shopping on a Saturday hmm just shopping I guess no matter what day it is
High bs makes me irritable as hell , plus terrible lethargy .
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: Garak and EllieM

Jaylee

Oracle
Retired Moderator
Messages
18,305
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
High bs makes me irritable as hell , plus terrible lethargy .
Emotionally, i wouldn’t say “irritable?” But I do wish to be left to myself till I’m back in the “zone.”
Even intimacy? “Nah, not now dear. Let me hear this tune out or watch the end of a movie…”
 
  • Agree
Reactions: EllieM

Clare9624

Newbie
Messages
3
Type of diabetes
Type 2
it's funny, but until about the age of 13, I thought that the descriptions of hypo and spikes in books were wrong, because I don't feel all the symptoms and I feel some symptoms that are not mentioned  , and then I realized that people just feel it differently. As a child, I thought that the authors of books were stupid, but it turned out that only I was stupid 



Not stupid, a child. Don't be too harsh on your younger self. At least you read the books and had the awareness to realise that your experience was different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zhnyaka and EllieM

Owenn01

Member
Messages
24
I think this thread just goes to prove how variable each person's physiology is when faced with hyperglycemia. I can relate to some, but not all, symptoms mentioned here and this varies as the blood glucose changes - I know when I am 'heading north' in the blood glucose range by how I generally feel within myself and that can be anything from just irritability through tiredness/fatigue or thirst and general feelings of being 'not right'. A glimpse at any blood test or Libre figures certainly helps the confirmation (and action to take) but, after 48 years as a Type 1, I am now very aware of how my body is changing almost before there are more obvious messages from it. Interestingly, some of the 'symptoms' mentioned should be treated with some caution - for example, if I have a rapid blood glucose 'dip' then I am made aware of it by feeling acutely nauseous. Not great if you then have to take carbs to correct. So - we are all different and experience our own specific reactions to the highs - and lows - of the condition (and can confirm that through my eldest who is also Type 1 - he has very different 'alerts' to mine).
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAT1

Pat50D

Member
Messages
11
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
I've been type 2 for several years relying on meds and diet to control bloods. I was told I didn't need to have a glucose meter, so I didn't! Last year in June my levels were raised and by November they were sky high. Then I understood why I had been feeling so tired and lethargic, weeing more and drinking more. It was nearly Xmas before I got appointment to see my nurse. She had to speak to specialist nurse and there were no available appointments until January 4. Glucose meter etc was prescribed and she said to regularly monitor glucose levels. Then I got covid! Highest recorded sugar level was 27 !! I soon realised the value of a low carb diet. I've been given a Toujeo solostar, a once a day insulin injection. My sugar levels are much better but still swing between 6 - 11. I've lost 1.5 stones and feeling g much better.
 

farmerk

Member
Messages
7
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Diet only
A symptom I have that I haven't seen others mention is that of Stinging, watery eyes similar to getting sun cream in the eyes. I had this prior to diagnoses and now have it only rarely but every time it is due to higher than my normal blood sugars.
 

ANGEBABES

Member
Messages
13
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Pity I had to go to THREE hospitals to get diagnosed. I mean even without the other symptoms the BSL should have been a clue. But, no.
Lol, the mind boggles. Hey I’ve presented to A&E twice before with dehydration but stable BSL at around 5.2 and twice the A&E docs have sent me into DKA by giving me fluids but no sliding scale - hellooooo. Took the nurses and myself to get some insulin going. One time I had to discharge myself from ARU because I’d been there for hours and no one checked my BSL and no insulin. They asked why I wanted to discharge myself “eh to look after my diabetes duhhhh”
 

chloetaylored

Newbie
Messages
1
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Hi type1 here of over 17 years
My high blood sugar experiences seem to be extreme thirst… body is trying to flush all the surplus sugar in the body with no let up as since we don’t have the insulin to convert the blood glucose to energy there’s no where for the bulk to go and naturally we also need background insulin to keep our blood glucose stable at this point so the body’s flushing effects tend to just slow how quickly our sugars are rising in the blood stream without the correct amount of insulin.
My other symptoms are tiredness, a sort of weird pear drop/sugar puff smell on breath and urine … I also get laboured breathing if I’m extremely high as body won’t have correct levels of energy to perform basic tasks.
you will be tired as the body is no longer making energy without the correct amount of insulin on board, imagine insulin is the key to allowing glucose to enter the cells of our body where it’s then used in each individual cell as energy to do they’re various functions..
few mentions that you didn’t bring up also include symptoms of brain fog, confusion, blurred vision, dry mouth, lack of concentration and co-ordination
 
  • Like
Reactions: plantae

plantae

Well-Known Member
Messages
830
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Hi type1 here of over 17 years
My high blood sugar experiences seem to be extreme thirst… body is trying to flush all the surplus sugar in the body with no let up as since we don’t have the insulin to convert the blood glucose to energy there’s no where for the bulk to go and naturally we also need background insulin to keep our blood glucose stable at this point so the body’s flushing effects tend to just slow how quickly our sugars are rising in the blood stream without the correct amount of insulin.
My other symptoms are tiredness, a sort of weird pear drop/sugar puff smell on breath and urine … I also get laboured breathing if I’m extremely high as body won’t have correct levels of energy to perform basic tasks.
you will be tired as the body is no longer making energy without the correct amount of insulin on board, imagine insulin is the key to allowing glucose to enter the cells of our body where it’s then used in each individual cell as energy to do they’re various functions..
few mentions that you didn’t bring up also include symptoms of brain fog, confusion, blurred vision, dry mouth, lack of concentration and co-ordination
Thank you! I've added your additions