Having either low blood sugar levels or too high is known as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia accordingly. Blood sugar levels below 70 mg/dL and over 130 mg/dL are both referred to as hypoglycemia, while the term “hyperglycemia” is reserved for those levels exceeding 130 mg/dL.
Changes in blood sugar, whether they are low or high, can result in symptoms and potentially life-threatening problems. Many of these diseases can be caused by other sources, even in persons who do not have diabetes.
What causes low blood sugar and high blood sugar?
However, if you don’t have diabetes, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia can occur in the same person, which may make them seem identical.
What causes hypoglycemia in people who do not have diabetes?
People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from hypoglycemia; however, it is possible to have low blood sugar without the disease.
Glucose, the chemical name for blood sugar, is the primary source of energy in your body. When you eat or drink anything sugary, the insulin hormone permits it to enter your cells and be used as energy. When you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin.
When insulin levels in the blood are too high, it can lead to hypoglycemia. After a long period of not eating, you may experience this. A dip in blood sugar implies that your brain and body are unable to get the energy they need from the glucose in your circulation.
If you take a prescription that reduces your blood sugar, you may have low blood sugar even if you don’t have diabetes. There are anti-inflammatories such as:
- Pills for birth control.
- Medication for high blood pressure
- A few antibacterials
If you don’t have diabetes, binge-drinking and excessive physical activity can still induce a low blood sugar reading.
In addition, several medical problems might cause your pancreas to generate more insulin. In addition to pancreatic tumor and adrenal gland abnormalities, hepatitis is also a possibility.
If you have pre-diabetes or eat many refined carbs like white bread, spaghetti, and pastries, you may also have low blood sugar.
How can hypoglycemia occur with diabetes?
Insulin or another diabetic medicine might cause hypoglycemia if you take too much of it. The cells in your body absorb an excessive amount of glucose when you have too much medicine in your circulation.
Having diabetes, hypoglycemia can also occur when you eat less than normal or increase your level of exercise.
Without diabetes, how is hyperglycemia possible?
Both diabetics and non-diabetics can suffer from hyperglycemia.
High blood sugar can occur quickly or over time if you do not have diabetes. Blood sugar levels might rise as a result of certain medical problems. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and Cushing’s syndrome are examples of these conditions.
Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol may also be released by your body if you have an illness. These hormones can interfere with your body’s capacity to appropriately utilize insulin. Your blood sugar levels rise as a result.
Weight gain and lack of exercise are other risk factors for developing hyperglycemia without diabetes. If you have a family history of diabetes, you may also have higher blood sugar levels.
What causes diabetes-induced hyperglycemia?
Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes have different causes of hyperglycemia.
Because your pancreas cannot manufacture insulin in people with type 1 diabetes, you must rely on insulin injections. Insulin production in your pancreas is impaired in those with type 2 diabetes, so your blood sugar levels remain unbalanced. A buildup of glucose in your circulation might come from either of these disorders.
Diabetic medicine helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Your blood sugar might rise if you don’t take your medicine as prescribed, Poor dietary habits, inactivity, or an illness can all contribute to this problem.
- Perspective shifts
- Uncontrollable need for water
- Fruity breath.
- Increase in appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Swift heartbeat
Symptoms of Hyperglycemia
While hyperglycemia symptoms might start little and insignificantly, the worse they can develop the longer your blood sugar is elevated. In most cases, the symptoms of hyperglycemia include weariness and headaches, as well as increased thirst and urine. Shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and coma are all possible symptoms that might develop over time.
Treating high blood sugar as soon as you notice the signs is essential to preventing major problems.
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar
Even while hypoglycemia symptoms begin slowly and may go undetected at first, they tend to get worse without treatment.
When you have low blood sugar, you may have symptoms such as shakiness, hunger, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), and excessive perspiration. Irritability and difficulty concentrating are also possible side effects.
A dangerously low blood sugar level (below 54 mg/dL) can cause a wide range of symptoms. Confusion, behavioral changes, slurred speech, awkward movements, impaired vision, seizures, and loss of consciousness are all possible signs.
- Damage to the eyes
- Damage to the renal system.
- Peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy
- Consciousness has been lost.
- Mishaps or falls
Complications of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can cause a wide range of symptoms, from blurry vision to nerve damage. In addition, excessive blood sugar can contribute to heart disease and peripheral artery disease. 6
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a patient’s treatment or attitude. During pregnancy, hyperglycemia is considered dangerous since it can harm both the fetus and the mother.
When a kid has high blood sugar, their parents should work closely with their doctor. One of the first signs of developing or worsening diabetes is consistently elevated blood sugar, especially if it is long-term.
Complications of Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar levels, on the other hand, might have life-threatening consequences. Shock, unconsciousness, and death are the most typical consequences of extreme hypoglycemia. 3 If you’re feeling shakiness and dizziness because of low blood sugar, it’s important to know you might fall or get into an accident.
- Insulin that is quickly absorbed
- A regular workout regimen is recommended.
- At the same time as shedding pounds
- Moderate consumption of carbs
- Carbohydrate content of 15 grams
- Glucose pills
- Changing one’s eating habits
Treatments for hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia that does not require immediate medical attention can be treated with fast-acting insulin. In addition to diet and medication, regular physical activity can help drop blood sugar levels quickly as well.
To avoid blood sugar rises in the first place, focus on prevention. Maintaining a regular exercise routine and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet will help keep blood sugar levels in check and prevent it from becoming too high. It is possible to prevent future bouts of hyperglycemia by eating a balanced diet, stopping smoking, and drinking in moderation.
Treatments for Hypoglycemia
If you’re suffering from hypoglycemia, you may typically treat it with whatever food or beverage you have on hand. The 15-15 rule indicates that you should first eat 15 grams of carbohydrate, wait 15 minutes, and then check your blood sugar level. Make sure to repeat the instructions if your blood sugar levels are not improving.
It is possible to treat hypoglycemia using glucagon and emergency therapy.
Prefilled syringes or an auto-injector device can be used to administer the medication directly under the skin. It is also available as a powder that may be injected into the skin, muscle, or vein with a supplied liquid.
To avoid choking on vomit after glucagon injection, the patient should be put onto their side. Make sure you follow the instructions for the glucagon injection. Do not inject it more frequently or use more or less of it than suggested by your doctor.
Discuss any changes or concerns with your healthcare professional to avoid low blood sugar symptoms and problems. You can prevent low blood sugar by keeping emergency medication or glucose tablets on hand, explaining your situation with loved ones, and giving them the authority to help if necessary. You may also carry a medical ID card in case of an emergency.