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Hyperglycemia Vs. Hypoglycemia

Hyperglycemia Vs. Hypoglycemia

Hyperglycemia refers to elevated blood sugar levels whereas hypoglycemia means a drop in blood sugar levels. To know about the differences between these two medical conditions, read on...
HealthHearty Staff
Be it hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia, both indicate a condition that causes abnormal blood sugar levels. Sugar (glucose) is an important constituent of blood and its presence in normal amounts is very essential for optimal health. However, when blood sugar deviates from normal range, quite a few bothersome health issues erupt. When blood sugar dips below normal level and remains persistently low, the condition is referred to as hypoglycemia. On the contrary, in hyperglycemia, the person suffers from abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Hyperglycemia vs Hypoglycemia

Hyperglycemia Symptoms
As aforementioned, hyperglycemia that occurs in diabetes, causes a rise in blood sugar that is well above normal range. With too much sugar in blood, the person is likely to urinate frequently. The urge to urinate frequently is one of the most common high blood sugar symptoms. Frequent visits to the toilet for urination is commonly associated with diabetic patients. Frequent urination is accompanied by excessive thirst. This happens because the body loses a lot of water from frequent urine. This abnormally high amount of fluid loss, triggers an unreasonable thirst. With no treatment, the person may develop dry mouth, poor eyesight and breathing problems.

In hyperglycemia patients, fatigue comes every now and then. The person appears lethargic and gets easily tired. Besides fatigue, hyperglycemia symptoms appear in the form of headache and dry skin. The skin becomes itchy and the itchiness is stronger in the groin area. Increased food cravings is yet another sign of hyperglycemia. Frequent hunger pangs leads to drastic increase in appetite.

Hypoglycemia Symptoms
In this condition, the body cells do not get enough sugar to carry out their routine tasks. As cells of the body are deprived of their main energy source (sugar), it can lead to the onset of quite a few health problems. Hypoglycemia signs and symptoms are typically marked by extreme tiredness, headache and difficulty in sleeping. Apart from these symptoms, the person may suffer from seizures and blurred vision. Low blood sugar levels can also cause heart palpitations (abnormal heartbeat), excessive sweating and anxiety.

It is observed that headache, fatigue, vision problems and hunger, seem to occur in both the conditions. However, it is clear that too much thirst or frequent urination is something that is not connected with hypoglycemia patients. A point to note that although there are dissimilarities between symptoms of both the conditions, one simply cannot diagnose hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia on the basis of these symptoms. This is because the symptoms mentioned above have strongly been associated with other diseases. So, considering this fact, one should undergo a blood test, which is the most reliable method to confirm low or high blood sugar.

Difference Between Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia

A blood test can help to analyze the difference between these two conditions. It is observed that people with hypoglycemia have high blood insulin levels. On the contrary, hyperglycemia patients show low blood insulin levels. As we all know, the pancreas manufacture insulin (a hormone) to regulate sugar levels. However, in hypoglycemia, the pancreas do not function properly, causing over production of insulin. Abnormally high insulin prevents sugar from dissolving in blood, leading to a sharp drop in blood sugar level.

On the other hand, in hyperglycemia, the insulin in blood is abnormally low. The pancreas are not in a position to produce insulin in adequate amounts. As a result, the person shows high blood sugar levels. With insufficient amount of insulin being produced by the pancreas, it becomes very difficult to maintain normal blood sugar levels. So, with pancreas releasing less insulin, it eventually gives rise to elevated blood sugar levels.

Keep in mind that abnormal blood sugar levels for long periods of time can trigger serious health issues. So, the onset of symptoms should not be taken lightly and consulting a doctor at the earliest is essential to know about the necessary treatment. This will prevent any complications and allow the person to lead a normal life despite having abnormal blood sugar levels.