Hyperglycemia is high blood sugar in the body, while hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. Because both cause health problems for people with diabetes, it is important to keep blood sugar within range. But high and low blood sugar doesn't just affect people with diabetes. This problem can occur even in people who do not have diabetes. In this article you will know the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

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  1. Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia
  2. Hypoglycemia
  3. Hyperglycemia
  4. How To Prevent Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia
  5. Complications Conditions Of Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia
  6. Summary

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

Symptoms of Hyperglycemia

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Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia sound similar, but these conditions occur under different circumstances – depending on whether you have diabetes or not.

How Does Hypoglycemia Occur Without Diabetes?
Hypoglycemia usually happens to people with diabetes, but it's possible to have low blood sugar even without diabetes. Blood sugar, or glucose, is what the body uses for energy. After eating food or drinking beverages, the hormone insulin allows sugar to enter your body's cells, where it is used for energy. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Hypoglycemia occurs when there is too much insulin in the bloodstream. This happens when you don't eat anything for 8 hours or more. A drop in blood sugar means there is not enough glucose in your bloodstream to fuel your brain and body.

Low blood sugar can happen even without sugar if you take a medicine that lowers your blood sugar. Some painkillers include:

  • Aspirin
  • Contraceptive Pills
  • Steroids
  • Blood Pressure Medicine
  • Antibiotics

Other causes of low blood sugar without diabetes include excessive drinking and increased physical activity. Also, some medical conditions can increase the amount of insulin produced by your pancreas. Which includes pancreatic tumor, adrenal gland disorders and hepatitis.

If you have prediabetes, or if you eat too many refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and pastries, you may experience low blood sugar.

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How Does Hypoglycemia Occur With Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications can cause hypoglycemia. Too much of the drug in the bloodstream causes your body's cells to absorb too much glucose. Hypoglycemia with diabetes can also occur if you eat less than usual or increase your level of physical activity.

How Does Hyperglycemia Occur Without Diabetes?
Similarly, hyperglycemia can occur in people with and without diabetes. Even if you don't have diabetes, blood sugar levels can become high for a variety of reasons. For example, some medical conditions increase blood sugar. These include polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing's syndrome.

Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can also cause high blood sugar when an infection occurs. Too much of these hormones prevents the body from using insulin properly. As a result, the glucose level in your blood increases. Other factors that can cause hyperglycemia without diabetes include obesity and lack of physical activity. If someone in your family already has diabetes, high blood sugar may also occur.

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How Does Hyperglycemia Occur With Diabetes?
The cause of hyperglycemia with diabetes depends on whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin and if you have type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to stabilize blood sugar. In both conditions, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream, resulting in hyperglycemia.

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Low blood sugar and high blood sugar can cause serious diabetes complications. Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and even death. Complications of untreated hyperglycemia include:

How To Prevent Hypoglycemia With And Without Diabetes
If you don't have diabetes, the best way to prevent low blood sugar is to keep eating. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. If you increase your level of physical activity, you may need extra calories during the day to maintain energy. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, and talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of low blood sugar.

It is important to monitor your glucose levels if you make any changes to your eating schedule or if you increase physical activity.

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How To Prevent Hyperglycemia With And Without Diabetes
If you don't have diabetes, you can prevent hyperglycemia with regular physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes at least 5 days per week. Maintaining a healthy weight also keeps blood sugar within range. This includes eating less refined carbohydrates, and more fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you have diabetes, always take your medicine as directed. You should also monitor your blood sugar regularly. If you're thinking about starting a new exercise routine, talk to your doctor first.

Mild hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia can usually be treated at home. If you have mild hypoglycemia, consuming small amounts of glucose can cause your blood sugar to rise quickly and have symptoms of mild hyperglycemia, taking insulin or diabetes medication may help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Emergency symptoms of hyperglycemia include –

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When To See A Doctor
If you keep your blood sugar levels normal but still experience hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, see a doctor. If your blood sugar level is consistently above 240 mg/dL, make an appointment.

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Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia may seem similar, but they are different conditions. Both low blood sugar and high blood sugar can lead to life-threatening complications. Therefore, it is important that you learn to recognize the symptoms of each. If you develop serious symptoms, or if you are unable to keep your blood sugar within the normal range – even if you have diabetes, see a doctor.

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