Is a Blood Sugar Level of 500 Dangerous?

Understanding blood sugar levels is crucial for managing diabetes, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. One question that often arises is whether a blood sugar level of 500 is dangerous. The short answer is yes, it is. However, to fully comprehend why it’s dangerous, it’s essential to delve into the specifics of blood sugar levels, the risks associated with high levels, and the steps to take if your blood sugar reaches 500.

What is a Normal Blood Sugar Level?

Before we discuss the dangers of a blood sugar level of 500, it’s important to understand what a normal blood sugar level is. According to the American Diabetes Association, a normal fasting blood sugar level for someone without diabetes is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). For someone with diabetes, a target fasting blood sugar level is typically between 80 and 130 mg/dL.

What Does a Blood Sugar Level of 500 Mean?

A blood sugar level of 500 mg/dL is significantly higher than the normal range. This condition is known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia can occur when the body has too little insulin, the hormone that helps glucose enter cells for use as energy, or when the body can’t use insulin properly.

Why is a Blood Sugar Level of 500 Dangerous?

A blood sugar level of 500 is dangerous because it can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to allow glucose to enter cells, so it starts to break down fat for energy. This process produces ketones, which build up in the blood and can lead to DKA if not treated promptly.

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Sugar?

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweet-smelling breath

What Should You Do If Your Blood Sugar Level is 500?

If your blood sugar level is 500, seek immediate medical attention. This is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment to prevent DKA and other serious complications. Treatment typically involves insulin therapy to lower blood sugar levels, fluid and electrolyte replacement to treat dehydration, and close monitoring of blood sugar and ketone levels.


In conclusion, a blood sugar level of 500 is indeed dangerous and requires immediate medical attention. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, adhering to prescribed medication regimens, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are crucial for managing diabetes and preventing serious complications.