Blood Sugar Levels: Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia

Medical Condition


Published on: 13-Apr-2023


10 min read


Updated on : 28-Nov-2023




Kajal Tharwani


Blood Sugar Levels: Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia

Blood Sugar Levels: Hyperglycemia And Hypoglycemia

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Blood sugar is the glucose in your blood. Your body's primary energy source is derived from what you eat. Everyone's body reacts differently to food, the environment, medications, and even blood sugar levels. Being diagnosed with a medical condition like diabetes  can be stressful because the disease requires multiple lifestyle changes to be managed. 

Healthy blood sugar levels are important for avoiding deadly heart and kidney diseases, helping you focus better at work, increasing your energy, and promoting healthy weight loss.

Diabetes can be reduced by regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels. This is because having high or low blood sugar levels indicates that your health requires immediate medical attention.

Table Of Contents

1. What Is Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)?

2. What Is Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)?

3. Blood Sugar Levels According To Age

4. Dietitian’s Recommendation

5. The Final Say

6. FAQs

What Is Hyperglycemia (High Blood Sugar)?

Hyperglycemia happens when your blood sugar level is consistently higher than normal. Diabetes patients frequently experience this problem. i.e., when the sugar level in your blood exceeds your target range, you have high blood sugar. Your blood sugar can rise when you consume too many calories or fail to take your medications. It can also increase if you have an infection or illness, are injured, or have surgery. Even emotional stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

High blood sugar usually develops gradually over hours or days. However, missing an insulin dose can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which is why insulin management is essential to maintaining your diabetes. Blood sugar levels even above your target range can cause fatigue and thirst. If your blood sugar remains elevated for several weeks, your body will automatically adjust to that level. You may not be experiencing any symptoms of high blood sugar.

The condition can also affect pregnant women with gestational diabetes and the critically ill (i.e., those who have suffered a stroke, heart attack, or severe infection). 

Hyperglycemia Symptoms Include The Following

Hyperglycemia symptoms include the following:

  • Thirst increased hunger
  • Often urinating
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vision distortion
  • Concentration and/or thinking problems

If severe hyperglycemia is not treated, it can cause organ and tissue damage because the excess glucose in the body makes it difficult for organs and cells to function properly. The disorder can also impair the immune system's wound response and cut healing.

Three things can help you avoid having high blood sugar levels:

  • Check your blood sugar levels frequently. This is especially important if you are ill or not following your normal routine. When your blood sugar is above the target range, you can see it. This is true even if you aren't experiencing symptoms like increased thirst, urination, or fatigue. Then you can treat it early and avoid an emergency.
  • If your blood sugar level consistently exceeds your target range, consult your doctor. Your medication may require to be changed or adjusted.
  • Drink plenty of water or non-caffeinated, non-sugared drinks to avoid dehydration. If your blood sugar levels rise, your kidneys will produce more urine. 

What Is Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)?

Hypoglycemia is a condition that causes blood sugar levels to be abnormally low. Several diabetics suffer from this condition when there is insufficient glucose to produce energy in the body. Hypoglycemia is frequently caused by taking too much diabetes medication/s, eating less than expected, exercising more than usual, or skipping meals.

It can also occur if you frequently take medicines (insulin or pills), exercise more than usual, or take certain blood sugar-lowering medications. If you have difficulty detecting the early signs of low blood sugar, avoid drinking alcohol.

People who lose weight or have kidney problems may require less insulin or other medications than before they lost weight or developed kidney problems. As a result, their blood sugar levels may fall dangerously low. When your body goes through changes, check your blood sugar frequently.

When your blood sugar level decreases below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), you will typically experience low blood sugar symptoms. This can occur in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.

If your blood sugar level falls slightly below your target range, you may experience fatigue, anxiety, weakness, shakiness, or sweating. You may also have an increased heart rate. If you eat something with sugar, these symptoms may only last a short time. You might not always notice mild low blood sugar symptoms if you have diabetes. This is referred to as hypoglycemia unawareness. Your risk increases if your blood sugar is well-controlled and does not fluctuate significantly throughout the day.

Blood Sugar Levels According To Age

Blood Sugar Levels According To Age

Here are the approximate blood sugar levels according to age. 

1. Blood Glucose Levels In Children

Blood glucose levels in children under six should be between 80 and 200 mg/dL daily. However, children aged 6 to 12 should have blood glucose levels ranging from 80 to 180 mg/dL daily. This range can range from 70 to 150 mg/dL in teenagers.

2. Blood Glucose Levels In Adults

A normal glucose level ranges below 200 mg/dL daily. When they wake up after fasting for about 7-8 hours, the sugar level in their blood is usually at its lowest. A normal fasting blood glucose level is 70 - 99 mg/dL. Blood glucose levels range less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.

3. Blood Glucose Levels In Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women are at risk of developing diabetes. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Fasting blood sugar levels in pregnant women with pre-existing or gestational diabetes are less than 95mg/dL. The normal sugar level for females after 2 hours of eating is less than 120mg/dL.

Factors Affecting Blood Sugar Levels 

Diabetes affects over 33% of adults worldwide. Various factors have contributed to the rise in the number of diabetes patients. Some of the most common causes of the rise in blood sugar levels are

  • Insufficient physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Insulin over or production
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Stress 
  • Eating fewer meals
  • Inadequate sleep 
  • Inadequate diet
  • Both high and low carbohydrate intake

Dietitian’s  Recommendation

To keep your blood sugar levels normal or reverse your diabetes, you must change your lifestyle. You must plan your day wisely to devote time to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle and maintain your glucose levels, which will help you manage your health.                                                                                                                                                                         - Dietitian Lavina Chauhan

The Final Say

Managing blood sugar levels is important in preventing diabetes complications. If blood sugar levels remain normal, it may indicate that treatment is effective.

Individual needs vary, and a doctor will establish goals at the start of treatment. They may change these goals as the treatment progresses. Anyone concerned about their blood sugar levels should see a doctor.


1. Can walking help reduce blood sugar levels?

Walking is highly beneficial in bringing down blood glucose levels.

2. Which foods help in lowering the blood sugar level?

Foods like whole grains and cereals, oatmeal, oats bran, legumes, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables and garlic can help lower blood sugar levels.

3. What blood sugar level requires insulin?

Insulin requirements are according to the patient's condition. Conditions like type 2 diabetes are progressive; most individuals eventually need insulin therapy. 

4. What is the unsafe blood sugar level?

Blood sugar levels above 250 mg/dL or below 50 mg/dL are dangerous. The ideal blood sugar level is between 70 and 130 mg/dL.

5. Does lemon water help to reduce blood sugar levels?

Lemon water does not directly helps in lowering blood sugar levels, but it can help prevent any sudden spikes in blood sugar.

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