What Men Should Know about Hyperglycemia

Plus the Highest Blood Sugar Ever Recorded

Doctor having discussion with patient
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High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is a condition that happens when there is too much glucose circulating in the blood. In men, having high blood sugar can contribute to a number of health problems, including diabetes and sexual dysfunction. Learn about the causes and symptoms of hyperglycemia.

Symptoms of High Blood Sugar

According to the 2004 Guinness book of World Records, Michael Dougherty, at 12 years old in November 1995, was found to have a blood sugar level of 2,350 and was still conscious.

The normal blood sugar range is between 80 and 120.

If you have hyperglycemia, your symptoms may include: having blurry vision, being very thirsty or having a dry mouth, feeling weak or tired, or needing to urinate more frequently than usual. Talk to your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as hyperglycemia can cause problems if left untreated.

Causes of High Blood Sugar

While you have likely heard of high blood sugar as a side effect of diabetes. However, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are not the only reasons high blood sugar can occur. If you ate more than usual or exercised less than usual, your blood sugar may be high. Experiencing a lot of stress or having a surge of hormones can also change your blood sugar levels.

Sexual Problems Associated with High Blood Sugar

When hyperglycemia progresses to diabetes, certain sexual problems can occur in men:

  • Erectile Dysfunction: Men with diabetes are two to three times more likely than men who do no have diabetes to struggle with erectile dysfunction, which is the inability to have and sustain an erection. In addition, men with diabetes can experience the problem anywhere from 10 to 15 years earlier than other men, and having erectile dysfunction can be an early marker of diabetes for men who are not yet diagnosed.
  • Retrograde Ejaculation: Nerve damage as a result of poor blood sugar control can cause a problem called retrograde ejaculation, in which part or all of a man's semen is ejaculated into the bladder instead of out of the tip of the penis. It's not a problem that men will typically feel, although they may notice that very little semen is being discharged during ejaculation. Medication can help the condition.

    Treating High Blood Sugar

    Taking steps to lower your blood sugar can help you avoid complications. Exercising and cutting down on the amount of food you eat are two great ways to start. If these things don't help and you are on insulin for diabetes, your doctor may change the amount of medication you are receiving or tell you to take it at a different time of day.

    More Hyperglycemia Resources

    Glucose Monitoring: Getting Started

    High and Low Blood Sugar: Managing The Ups and Downs

    High Morning Blood Sugar: Dawn Phenomenon versus Somogyi Effect

    Hyperglycemia: High Blood Sugar Treatment and Prevention

    Treatment for Hypoglycemia, a Diabetes Emergency

    What Is the Somogyi Effect? The Surprising Cause of High Morning Blood Sugars


    American Diabetes Association. (2013, June 7). Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose). Retrieved March 06, 2016.

    U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2014, October 25). High blood sugar: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 06, 2016.

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