You know it’s bad, but HOW bad is a glucose reading in the 400’s?

This can be “a very unhealthy place and could be a medical emergency,” says Alison Massey, MS, RD, LDN, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with over 10 years of experience in various community and clinical settings.

“The American Diabetes Association blood glucose target for healthy blood glucose management is 80-130 mg/dL before meals and less than 180 mg/dL 2-hours after eating,” says Massey.

“If blood glucose levels are in the 400’s mg/dL and won’t go down, an individual with diabetes may need to go to the emergency room.

“It is important for individuals to know how to handle elevated blood glucose levels, and if levels are elevated daily above the recommended ADA targets, they should discuss this with their healthcare provider.”

The Danger of Blood Sugar Readings in the 400’s

Over 400 is considered extremely high. There’s no such thing as “400 is as bad as 250.”

A glucose reading of 400 means there’s a heck of a lot of sugar in the bloodstream.

It poses two dangers:

• Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome. The body will try to saddle the urine with the excess sugar.

The dehydration that results from this can cause seizures, coma or death.

Symptoms of HHNS: extreme thirst, high fever, vision loss, sleepiness, hallucinations, one-sided weakness.

• Diabetic ketoacidosis. Excessively high glucose levels cause acid buildup in the blood.

This, like HHNS, is a medical emergency and can cause coma or death.

Symptoms include frequent urination, sleepiness, nausea, trouble with breathing and confusion.

So these two conditions can occur with a one-time incident of a blood sugar reading in the 400’s. But what if this recurs?

You might be facing retinopathy, which could result in blindness.

If that doesn’t scare you, what about kidney failure? How about loss of limbs?

Shutterstock/Tridsanu Thopet

These complications occur to many diabetics. Why? Because they do not properly manage their disease.

This includes failure to maintain regular glucose checks.

Diabetics need to do everything that their doctor and nurse tells them to do —everything to a T.

Diabetes doesn’t HAVE to shorten lifespan.

Blood sugar doesn’t jump into the 400’s for no good reason.

Alison Massey has been working in the field of nutrition since 2010 helping individuals make sustainable changes to improve their health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/donskarpo

Does Fasting Glucose Reading of 106 Mean Insulin Resistance?

How High Must Blood Sugar Be for Emergency Room Visit?

Can Diabetes Cause Toenails to Turn Black?

How Dangerous Is Blood Sugar in the 200’s?

Why Does Blood Sugar in Diabetes Go Up without Eating?

Should You Go to ER if Your Blood Sugar Is in the 300’s?

Why Does Diabetes Cause Shiny Skin on the Lower Legs?

All the Smells Associated with Uncontrolled Diabetes

Fasting Glucose Always in the 90’s: Why You Should Worry

How a Diabetic Should Treat a Sprained Ankle

Is Peeling Skin on the Feet a Sign of Diabetes?