Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia: How to Stay Away From Them

Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia: How to Stay Away From Them

Surely a lot of us hear the terms hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, and it’s time to stop mistaking them for shampoo brands. We often need to keep blood sugar levels under control, as otherwise, we can become prone to serious health problems, such as diabetes, infections, loss of consciousness, delayed wound healing, kidney damage, and more.

Although hyperglycemia (aka high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (aka low blood sugar) are both conditions related to blood sugar levels, they differ in terms of the direction and severity of the imbalance. However, there are a few commonalities between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. We can remind about, for instance, commonalities such as the impact on diabetes, glucose imbalance, and more.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia

Differentiating between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can sometimes be challenging due to overlapping symptoms such as confusion and headaches. It’s important to be mindful of any symptoms you can face to help distinguish between the two conditions. Consulting with your healthcare professional about the potential benefits of a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) can also be helpful. CGM serves as a valuable tool for recognizing high or low blood sugar levels.

Here are the potential symptoms associated with hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, so feel free to grab a pencil and a piece of paper:

Hyperglycemia Symptoms:
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent and excessive urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
Hypoglycemia Symptoms:
  • Confusion
  • Shaking
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
Severe Hypoglycemia Symptoms:
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Combativeness

How to treat hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia?

Treating either hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can be relatively easy once you know what you’re doing. To effectively address the two conditions, specific treatments are required for each of them.

How to treat hyperglycemia:
  • Insulin Correction: If you use insulin, you need to follow your healthcare team’s advice on taking a correction dose to lower high blood sugar levels.
  • Medication Adherence: you have to take your prescribed diabetes medications consistently to prevent high blood sugar episodes.
  • Hydration: Stay properly hydrated by consuming enough water, which can help dilute excess sugar in the bloodstream.
  • Physical Activity: engage in regular exercise as much as you can, such as walking, after checking the glucose level. You must keep in mind that you need to avoid exercising if your blood sugar exceeds 240 mg/dL and you have ketones in your urine.
  • Medication Review: Don’t forget to discuss your medication regimen with your healthcare professional if it isn’t effectively managing your blood sugar levels. Adjustments may be necessary.
How to treat hypoglycemia:
  • Fast-Acting Glucose Source: Don’t forget to consume a quick-acting glucose source such as glucose tablets or fruit juice to raise your blood sugar as fast as you can.
  • Blood Sugar Monitoring: Check your blood sugar level after 15 minutes to ensure it has increased to a safe range. Be sure to repeat glucose intake if necessary.
  • Severe Symptoms: Demand immediate medical assistance if you go through severe symptoms or can’t consume oral glucose. Glucagon injections or intravenous glucose may be necessary in such cases.
  • Medication Adjustments: Collaborate with your healthcare team to review and adjust your diabetes medication dosages, meal timing, or even the exercise routine to prevent future hypoglycemic episodes.

Remember to pay attention to your body’s cues and seek medical guidance to properly identify and manage your blood sugar levels.

Hyperglycemia occurs due to the body not having enough insulin or insulin resistance. As for hypoglycemia, it triggers as a result of the release of other hormones in our bodies.

Maintaining regular communication with your healthcare provider is very important for personalized guidance and the development of a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
You should consistently monitor your blood sugar levels, adhere to prescribed medications, and adopt a healthy lifestyle to effectively manage hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.





Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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