The two primary causes of hyperglycemia are diabetes mellitus and hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HNKS). Other conditions that can lead to hyperglycemia include glucocorticoid imbalances (Cushing's syndrome), increased epinephrine levels during times of extreme stress (multiple trauma, surgery), excess growth hormone secretion, excessive ingestion or administration of glucose by total parenteral nutrition or enteral feedings, and pregnancy. In patients with extreme physiological stress, such as thermal injuries, multiple trauma, or shock, a serum glucose of approximately 200 to 250 mg/dL is expected, considering the release of epinephrine that accompanies the stress response.

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