Our resource hub is home to a wealth of articles, stories and videos about managing and living with type 1 diabetes.
Place your order for our free information packs that support adults and children who have been recently diagnosed.
Our researchers are working on different ways to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes - from growing insulin-producing beta cells in labs to hacking the immune system.
Learn about the technologies that can deliver insulin automatically when needed. And discover the next generation of insulins that are currently being developed.
We have a wide range of fun and festive designs to choose from. Fund life changing research while spreading joy this Christmas!
This Christmas, your gift can bring us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes – and every pound you give to our Christmas Appeal will be doubled.
The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
This event is designed for anyone living with type 1 diabetes who would like to learn more about managing their wellbeing across a variety of contexts.
We provide a wealth of information and free resources to help you support and empower your patients or students.
Take our free course for schools to learn more about supporting pupils with type 1 diabetes in educational settings.
Home > Knowledge & support > Managing type 1 diabetes > Managing blood glucose levels > Managing a hyper
A hyper – short for hyperglycaemia – is where your blood glucose levels go above range, usually over 7 to 10mml/L.
Hypers happen when you don’t have enough insulin to process the glucose in your blood, so your blood glucose levels become high.
This might happen if you haven’t had enough insulin to match the carbohydrate you have eaten.
There are other factors that can make your blood glucose levels higher than usual, so hypers can also be triggered by things like stress, illness and even growth spurts.
Symptoms of hyperglycaemia usually develop over the course of a few days or weeks. They are similar to the symptoms most people have when they are first diagnosed, because in both cases there is not enough insulin to bring blood glucose levels down.
Symptoms of hyperglycaemia usually include:
Sometimes, there might not be any symptoms until blood glucose is very high, which is why regular blood glucose monitoring is important.
Like hypoglycaemia, ‘hypers’ are a fact of life for people with type 1 diabetes – it’s pretty difficult to keep your blood glucose within range all the time. A lot of the time, hypers happen when there isn’t enough insulin to match the amount of carbohydrate eaten, however they can also be triggered by stress, illness and even growth spurts.
A hyper doesn’t carry the same immediate risk as a hypo as it won’t make you immediately feel really unwell or to lose consciousness. However, frequent high blood glucose can increase the risks of developing complications of type 1 diabetes, so it’s important to minimise this as much as possible. It can also make you feel pretty unwell if you are hyper for too long.
A hyper doesn’t usually carry the same immediate risk as a hypo and won’t make you immediately feel unwell. However, over time they can cause complications and even be life-threatening.
When levels of blood glucose go too high too quickly, they can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is serious and can be life-threatening, but it is preventable by effectively managing hypers.
Having frequent high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of developing type 1 complications. For that reason, it’s good to manage your blood glucose levels so you spend as much time within the target blood glucose range as possible (known as time in range).
If you’re getting consistently high blood glucose levels, talk to your Diabetes Healthcare Team. It may be that you need to change your basal or bolus insulin doses.
There are things you can do to help prevent high blood glucose levels or help you and your Diabetes Healthcare Team see what’s going on and what you can do to manage it.
Regularly checking your glucose levels with a blood glucose meter, continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or flash glucose monitor will help you see if your levels are going too high.
Using technology like CGM or flash, gives you lots of data about what your blood glucose levels are doing over periods of time – information you can share with your Diabetes Healthcare Team.
Remember that your glucose levels can be affected by things aside from food, such as stress or illness. If there’s something going on that might be causing your levels to run high – like exam stress or a sickness bug – you will need to check your glucose levels more often.
When your body doesn’t have enough insulin to turn glucose into energy, it starts breaking down fat instead. This breakdown of fat creates ketones. Having ketones shows that you may be at risk of DKA. You can use a ketone monitor to check if you have any ketones in your blood.
Speak to your Diabetes Healthcare Team if you have concerns about ketones.
Working out how much insulin you need to cover the carbohydrate you’re eating can be difficult, and nobody gets it right every time. There are a range of tools that can help you with this:
There are free education courses you can attend to learn more about carb counting and dosing insulin. Read more about what courses are available and how to access them. You can also read about the DAFNE course on the dedicated NHS website for DAFNE.
If you use an insulin pump you tell it how many carbs you’re eating and it will calculate the insulin dosage for you which can help you dose more accurately.
There are apps that help you count carbs more accurately so that you can work out how much insulin you need to take. Find out more about what apps are available and how they can help.
Learn how to count carbs to dose your insulin more effectively
Get information on a range of type 1 management topics, including glucose levels, treating hypos and counting carbs
Find out more about the risk and types of complications and what you can do to help reduce your risk