Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia: What’s The Distinction?

When you stay with diabetes, you recognize that managing your blood sugars inside a good vary could be troublesome. 

Particularly should you’re struggling to decipher between what hyperglycemia (excessive) and hypoglycemia (low) blood sugars really feel like. 

Much more confusingly, the signs of each situations could be very related.

So how do you inform the distinction between excessive and low blood sugars? 

This text will describe each hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, their signs, and easy methods to inform the distinction between the 2 when it issues most. 

Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia: What’s The Distinction?

What’s hyperglycemia? 

Hyperglycemia is also called excessive blood sugar, and that signifies that one’s blood glucose is increased than regular. This could occur in individuals each with and with out diabetes. 

Regular blood sugar ranges can range, however the blood sugar ranges in somebody with out diabetes after fasting (no meals for a minimum of 2 hours) is often 99 mg/dL or decrease.

100-125 mg/dL signifies prediabetes, and something over 125 mg/dL whereas fasting signifies diabetes. 

For individuals with out diabetes, hyperglycemic episodes are short-lived. 

Nevertheless, individuals with diabetes sometimes must both train or take a prescribed remedy to carry their blood sugar ranges down. 

Individuals with diabetes can have blood sugar ranges go extraordinarily excessive, and when this occurs, it might flip into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which may turn into life-threatening if not handled. 

What are the causes of hyperglycemia?

For individuals with out diabetes, a blood sugar increased than regular is normally brought on by consuming one thing sugary or from medicines like steroids. 

For individuals with diabetes, excessive blood sugar is the direct results of too little or no endogenous insulin (the insulin the pancreas makes) within the bloodstream. 

Having diabetes signifies that your default blood sugar will all the time be excessive with out correct medicines to carry it down. 

Acute hyperglycemic episodes could be brought on by: 

  • Consuming too many grams of sugar or carbohydrates with too little insulin or remedy 
  • Not getting sufficient train 
  • Being sick or affected by an an infection
  • Experiencing insulin resistance
  • Being careworn
  • Getting too little sleep
  • Sure medicines
  • Dehydration 

In actual fact, over 42 completely different variables may cause blood sugar modifications in individuals with diabetes. 

What are the signs of hyperglycemia? 

The signs of hyperglycemia are the exact same that many individuals expertise upon being identified with diabetes they usually embrace however are usually not restricted to:

  • Excessive thirst 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Frequent urination
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Bodyache 
  • Blurry imaginative and prescient 
  • In excessive instances, weight reduction 
  • In excessive and extended instances, the shortcoming to heal from infections 
  • In excessive instances, DKA

When you’re experiencing any of those signs and have current diabetes, examine for ketones instantly and search medical consideration. 

When you’re experiencing any of those signs and haven’t been identified with diabetes, name your physician straight away to be examined for diabetes. 

What’s hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia is also called low blood sugar. 

This occurs when there may be too little glucose within the bloodstream for the physique to correctly operate. 

This could occur in individuals each with and with out diabetes. 

Low blood sugar ranges can range. Nevertheless, something decrease than 70 mg/dL is taken into account low in individuals each with and with out diabetes. 

People who find themselves experiencing low blood sugar would require any type of glucose (sugar) to carry their blood sugars again into a traditional vary. 

For a low blood sugar stage that’s not extreme, consuming between 15-20 grams of carbohydrates will carry somebody again into a traditional vary, however that varies by particular person. 

Test together with your physician should you’re uncertain of what number of carbohydrates you’ll require to deal with a typical low blood sugar stage. 

It’s extra widespread to expertise extreme low blood sugar should you take exogenous insulin(insulin injected or taken by way of an insulin pump.) 

Your liver will sometimes dump glucose into the bloodstream to forestall a catastrophic low. 

If somebody with diabetes is experiencing severely low blood sugar and their liver fails to do that, they may require an injection of the hormone glucagon (accessible in a pen or inhaler.) 

This may set off their liver to launch glucose into the bloodstream and could be life-saving. 

Sadly, as many as 25% of individuals with sort 1 diabetes (and plenty of with sort 2 diabetes) have hypo unawareness the place they can’t detect their low blood sugars. 

What are the causes of hypoglycemia? 

In individuals with out diabetes, hypoglycemia could be the results of fasting, consuming too few carbohydrates, strenuous train, or being on sure medicines. 

In individuals with diabetes, hypoglycemia is the results of:

  • Taking an excessive amount of insulin or different diabetes medicines
  • Consuming too few carbohydrates
  • Consuming alcohol 
  • Adjustments in insulin routine or medicines 
  • Surprising modifications to your schedule 
  • Sizzling and humid climate 

Even should you’re capable of detect your low blood sugar stage, it’s vital to have the ability to acknowledge signs of a low blood sugar stage earlier than it turns into critical. 

What are the signs of hypoglycemia? 

Signs of low blood sugar can range, however it sometimes contains:

  • Shakiness
  • Sweating 
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Quick heartbeat 
  • Dizziness
  • Starvation 
  • Anxiousness
  • In excessive instances, diabetic coma
  • If excessive instances, demise 

How can I inform the distinction between excessive and low blood sugar ranges?

In some instances, the signs of excessive and low blood sugar ranges can mimic one another, particularly if it happens in a single day while you’re not as alert and awake. 

Emotions of confusion and fatigue have an effect on individuals when their blood sugar ranges are each excessive and low. 

Nevertheless, feeling torpid and experiencing muscle aches are traditional excessive blood sugar signs. 

Feeling jittery and nervous with a fast heartbeat and sweats are traditional low blood sugar signs. 

When you’re having hassle deciphering between the 2, sporting a steady glucose monitor (CGM) could be useful, particularly for in a single day blood sugar ranges. 

When you select (or can’t) to not put on a CGM, testing your blood sugar continuously can verify the signs you’re experiencing. 

Moreover, should you battle with hypo unawareness, getting a diabetes alert canine (DAD) that’s educated to detect each excessive and low blood sugar ranges may help you detect and deal with these episodes earlier than they turn into medical emergencies. 

Many individuals are unable to detect the distinction between low, regular, and excessive blood sugar ranges if their diabetes administration has turn into free, or they don’t have very tight management of their blood sugar ranges. 

By holding a better watch on blood sugar ranges, and treating increased blood sugars extra aggressively, you’ll begin to really feel the signs of hyperglycemia earlier. 

The identical recommendation applies to low blood sugar ranges.

When you begin treating your hypoglycemic episodes when your blood sugar hits 80 mg/dL as a substitute of 70 mg/dL, you might begin to really feel when your blood sugar is nearing 80 mg/dL as a substitute of not experiencing any signs in any respect till your blood sugar stage is at a way more harmful 60 mg/dL. 

Speak together with your physician should you’re involved that you could be not be feeling your highs and lows, and see what suggestions they might have for you. 


It’s best to forestall each excessive and low blood sugars as a lot as potential. Maintain an in depth watch in your blood sugar ranges, and deal with each highs and lows earlier than they turn into problematic. 

Take all of your diabetes medicines as prescribed, and attempt to handle sleep, bodily exercise, eating regimen, and stress in a wholesome means. 

Maintain a meals journal, particularly should you’re having hassle with excessive or low blood sugar ranges after meals, and make notes of the way you’re feeling after you eat sure meals or do sure actions. 

Try to do what works finest for you and your diabetes administration. 

Keep consistency on the subject of the timing of your train and actions, meals, and medicines. 

Search help from household and buddies, and be vocal together with your physician about what’s working (and what’s not) on the subject of your diabetes administration. 

Bear in mind, it’s your life, and if one thing isn’t working, you’re all the time allowed (and inspired) to alter it!


Individuals each with and with out diabetes can expertise hyperglycemia (excessive) and hypoglycemia (low) blood sugar ranges. 

Fasting excessive blood sugar ranges for somebody with out diabetes is something over 99 mg/dL and excessive fasting blood sugar ranges for somebody with diabetes is something over 125 mg/dL. 

Low blood sugar ranges for somebody each with and with out diabetes is something below 70 mg/dL. 

There are numerous completely different causes for prime and low blood sugar ranges, however for individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes, it’s normally a matter of taking an excessive amount of insulin (low blood sugar) or too little insulin (excessive blood sugar). 

Each ranges could be harmful to at least one’s well being, so it’s vital to note the signs of every and act accordingly.

Signs of excessive blood sugar embrace thirst, frequent urination, muscle aches, and fatigue. 

Whereas signs of low blood sugar embrace shakiness, nervousness, sweating, and fatigue. 

A number of of the signs of high and low blood sugars overlap, so it’s vital to manually examine your blood sugar ranges usually to verify any signs you’re experiencing. 

Moreover, you might discover it useful to make use of a steady glucose monitor (CGM). When you battle with hypo unawareness, use a diabetes alert canine (DAD) who can sense excessive and low blood sugar ranges. 

Taking preventive measures to keep away from dangerously excessive and low blood sugar ranges is vital. 

At all times take your medicines as prescribed, carry snacks to deal with low blood sugar, preserve to a schedule, and attempt to create a wholesome sleep, stress administration, and train routine. 

Speak together with your physician about any issues you will have about frequent high and low blood sugar ranges and easy methods to assist deal with and forestall them. 

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