What is the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia?

Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are conditions that involve abnormal levels of sugar in the blood. In the case of hypoglycemia, the blood sugar level is too low, while a patient with hyperglycemia has a blood sugar level that is too high. In general, levels greater than 180 milligrams/decaliter are considered hyperglycemic, while a patient with a blood glucose measurement less than 70 milligrams/decaliter is in the early stages of hypoglycemia. Variations in blood sugar levels can lead to a cascading series of complications for the patient.

In both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, as soon as the condition is identified, treatment focuses on stabilizing the blood sugar level. Once levels are normal, exploration for the causes of abnormal blood sugar levels can begin, with the goal of preventing future episodes. Patients with conditions that put them at risk for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia may be monitored especially closely for early signs of blood sugar abnormalities.

One of the most notorious causes of high blood sugar is diabetes, although patients can also experience hyperglycemia as a result of certain medications, high stress, or illness. Hypoglycemia is most commonly caused by dietary factors such as inadequate nutrition, and can also be related to various diseases and metabolic disorders. Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia tend to cause symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, and confusion, and patients can collapse if their blood sugar levels are too high or too low.

A simple blood test can be used to check blood glucose levels in a patient with a suspected problem. Corrective measures may be taken to slowly adjust blood glucose, with the goal of preventing a see-saw effect, where the patient's blood sugar falls abnormally low or rises abnormally high after treatment. The stabilized patient can be further evaluated if the underlying cause of the hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia is not apparent.

Patients with chronic conditions known to cause abnormalities in blood sugar levels are generally advised to closely monitor their conditions and take steps to correct their blood sugar if levels begin to become distorted. If a patient experiences repeated episodes of blood sugar problems, it may be a sign that the disease is poorly controlled and the patient needs to see a doctor to adjust the treatment plan to address blood sugar problems. Poorly controlled diseases like diabetes not only cause changes in blood glucose levels; They can also lead to a number of complications throughout the body, including organ damage, circulation problems, and eye damage. It is important to receive proper treatment for the causes of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, since changes in blood sugar are only a symptom of the disease.

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