If you’re managing symptoms of diabetes, you’re likely familiar with these two words. Even people who aren’t managing rampant blood sugar are probably familiar with the terms because blood sugar levels affect all of us. Simply put, eating too much or too little can impact your blood sugar levels, and so can certain medications. Today we’re unpacking what these two words mean and how to recognize if your levels are off-balance and when it’s time to check your blood sugar.

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, otherwise known as high blood sugar, can be brought on by several factors. Certain medications, having an infection, or using expired insulin can all bring on symptoms of hyperglycemia, among other things. But if you’re experiencing things like increased thirst, headaches, fatigue, stomach discomfort, body aches, or shortness of breath, you may be hyperglycemic. You should check your blood sugar or check in with your care team.

To avoid high blood sugar, continue to prioritize a healthy diet and lifestyle. Look into low-glycemic foods and lower your stress levels if you can.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar, can be caused by out-of-routine meals, taking too much time between meals, exercising more than usual, and drinking alcohol without eating food. If you experience shakiness, dizziness, confusion, or a racing heart, you might be considered hypoglycemic and should check your sugars or consult your care team. On the other hand, some people don’t feel anything at all when their blood sugar is low. That can be very dangerous! If you’re already living with diabetes, it’s very important to use your glucometer to avoid your blood sugar being too low.

If your blood sugar is low, try drinking a small serving of juice or eating a few candies to give yourself a boost. If it’s critically low, seek emergency medical attention. To avoid entering a hypoglycemic state in the future, make sure you eat meals around the same time every day and snack on protein-packed foods to keep your blood sugar on a more regimented routine.

If you have more questions regarding hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, talk with your Health Advisor!

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