Under certain conditions, a blood sugar reading in the 200’s can damage the body’s organs.

The longer that your glucose (blood sugar) remains very high, the more likely it will cause a lot of problems – and this includes blindness. 200

“Blood sugar in the 200’s isn’t dangerous in the short term, and for most people has no real symptoms, but in the long term causes damage, as the body’s organs can’t properly use the energy they need to function,” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Besser continues, “It takes longer with lower ‘high’ sugars [e.g., a blood sugar in the 200’s] because if the numbers are lower, it means the body is still able to use ingested sugar as fuel, at least to some degree.

“The higher the glucose, the less the body is able to use the ingested sugar as energy.

“The higher the sugar in the blood, the more likely there will be symptoms of diabetes such as thirst (the blood is thicker and the body is trying to dilute it).”

Another immediate symptom of abnormally high blood sugar is increased urination. But this is not from drinking more water from the excessive thirst.

It’s from the body attempting to get rid of all the sugar in the circulating blood. The thirst is actually from all the urination. 200

Unexplained weight loss is another outcome of persistent very elevated glucose. Dr. Besser explains that “the body is in essence eating itself for energy because it can’t get energy for food.” 200

The sugar in the blood is supposed to fuel muscle cells, but they never get to the muscle cells either because there’s no insulin to shuttle them there, or the insulin receptor sites on the muscle cells don’t work. Sometimes there’s also not enough of these receptor sites.

Sugar builds up in the blood. Meanwhile, muscle cells become starved of energy. This causes hunger. The person is eating more but losing weight.

Rather than initially rejoice in this if you’ve been trying to lose weight, you may want to get your fasting glucose checked. Better yet, have an A1C test done.

Since the muscle cells aren’t getting their fuel source, this will cause fatigue.

Dr. Besser also says that blood sugar in the 200’s can cause blurred vision due to “the extra sugar floating around in the blood gets deposited to other places like the lens of the eye, making vision cloudy.”

Blood Sugar in the 200’s Over Longer Time
The above problems will occur in the short term of blood sugar being in the 200’s.

“Over time, high uncontrolled blood sugar leads to heart disease, neuropathy (malfunctioning nerves which cause numbness/pain in the extremities), retinopathy (long-term vision changes),” says Dr. Besser.

“It’s not just the number at one blood test; it’s how long the number has been elevated that leads to the problems.”

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.