What Is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?

What Is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?

Looking at the health concerns in the recent years, you can notice that advancements in medicine have successfully left behind many of the diseases which were considered deadly and were on the top of the list of causes of death in the twentieth century.

For example, many of the diseases such as tuberculosis are rarely seen in comparison with the previous centuries. Even if anyone gets exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria, then there are effective treatments available for the management of the disease.

However, upon taking an even closer look, you can notice that such health concerns might have been no longer a threat but they have been replaced by different diseases now.

According to the World Health Organization, the highest numbers of deaths around the world as well as the United States are caused by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Coronary Heart Disease in the people.

These disorders are not only the leading fatal diseases of the world but are also spreading at an alarming rate. A very interesting thing to note about them is they are, at many times, linked to one another. One of them can also be the cause of the development of the other.

How Common Is Diabetes?

Another health concern that is prevalent throughout the world with 50 million cases in the United States alone is diabetes. Over the past few years, millions of people have developed pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes – both type 1 and 2.

All of these are caused by fluctuating blood-glucose level in people, which can be blamed on the modern day diets loaded with sugary carbohydrates, sugar addiction, stressful lifestyles or just plain and poor diet majority of the people have today.

Maintaining blood-sugar can be particularly challenging given that sugar is found in most of the foods in daily diets. High levels of sugar can push anyone into symptoms of pre-diabetes and a person having pre-diabetes into fully developed diabetes.

In accordance with the statistics, one in every three adults now has symptoms of pre-diabetes which means not only are they experiencing spikes in blood-sugar levels but are already experiencing potential kidney or heart damage without even having diabetes.

Contrary to popular belief, sugar obtained from different types of food is not the only cause of imbalanced levels in the blood. There are many other factors such as stress which can affect your blood sugar.

People with extremely stressful lives are at a higher risk of having problem-sugar problems due to high cortisol levels which can affect how insulin is used in the body. In addition, stress also leads to binge eating and sugar cravings in many of the cases.

What Are The Signs Of High/Low Blood Sugar?

A common complaint by people who are unable to keep a check on their blood sugar is that they are not able to constantly monitor the levels the way a diabetes patient is supposed to. Furthermore, most of the people would not even bother checking levels unless the symptoms are very clear.

In addition to getting your blood sugar directly checked, there are many other ways to tell if you are having low or high blood sugar levels as they tend to have effects on your body as well as your health that can be easily spotted.

The signs that indicate your blood sugar is not normal to include:

  • Infections (which are often returning)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tension headaches
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Carb Cravings
  • Low energy levels
  • Trouble exercising
  • Heavy breathing (and often shortness of breath)
  • Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Increase in urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Mood swings and nervousness
  • Slow healing of cuts, injuries, and bruises
  • Increased heart rates
  • Sudden chills
  • Numbness in certain parts of the body

What Is Normal Blood Sugar?

The common question that is raised upon a topic regarding controlling blood sugar levels is what exactly is considered normal. There is no single answer that can be implied on everyone since specific factors are taken into account when checking blood sugar levels.

Often, your doctor will inquire about your medical history, current health, age, diet, how your body reacts to sugar, and various other things to diagnose blood sugar level fluctuations. Blood sugar is measured in milligrams of sugar per deciliter of blood.

There are different tests for checking blood sugar levels and symptoms of pre-diabetes. Most of them are held early in the morning after you have been without food for a while or are done before and after having a sugary food/drink to check your body’s reaction to it.

The American Diabetes Association and other leading organizations deem the following observations and blood sugar measurements healthy upon being diagnosed in a person:

  • If a person is in good health and shape generally and the level of sugar in the blood is anywhere around 70-99 milligram per deciliter after a period of fasting (at least 8-9 hours).
  • If a person is healthy and has had a meal or any snack in the past two hours and the blood sugar is anywhere less than 140 milligrams per deciliter.
  • If a person has diabetes and has a blood sugar level between 70-130 milligram per deciliter or 100 milligrams per deciliter after a period of fasting (possibly with the use of insulin)
  • If the person has diabetes and the blood sugar after two hours of the meal is not anywhere above 180 milligram per deciliter
  • If a person with diabetes maintains a blood sugar level of 100-140 milligram per deciliter before sleeping as well as 100 milligrams per deciliter before doing any kind of vigorous physical activity including exercise.

How To Keep Normal Blood Sugar

If you are having symptoms of pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome or have any types of diabetes, maintaining blood sugar is important. In addition to the basic prevention steps, there are many other things that can affect your blood sugar.

Though it might seem hard at first, making small changes in diets, habits, and overall lifestyle can help you in getting rid of pre-diabetes symptoms as well as maintain your blood sugar levels and prevent any complications if you have diabetes.

Consider doing the following for controlling blood sugar levels:

Anti-inflammatory Diet

Controlling diet is the hardest and the most needed step when it comes to maintaining blood sugar. However, eating in diabetes does not mean you cut all the sugar out from your diet. It means balancing different nutrients and consuming foods that can help with the absorption of sugar in the blood.

Healthy fats, high fiber foods, and proteins can suppress sugar cravings and slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood and control inflammation. In addition, some drinks like teas may help with other effects of sugar such as renal problems.

Artificial sweeteners

Many people buy into the myth of artificial sweeteners which are considered and consumed worldwide as a healthy alternative to refined sugar. According to recent studies, these alternatives are even more harmful than you think and raise blood sugar equally.

Avoid buying any supposed alternative to sugar from the stores. Instead, try natural sweeteners such as honey or pure maple syrup that are much healthier than normal refined sugars.

Stress And Exercise

You are probably already aware of the many benefits of exercise. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes patients are recommended around 30-60 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week for better management of blood sugar.

Another benefit of exercise is releasing stress which plays a big role in how insulin is released in your body due to high cortisol levels. Try combining yoga with exercise for added advantages.


In accordance with the recent researchers, circadian rhythms which affect the blood sugar levels can be triggered by lack of sleep. Other effects of sleep deprivation are imbalanced hormones, increased stress, and possible sugar cravings.

Try getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep at night to avoid consuming sugar or getting stressed almost instantly on the next day.



Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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