Most people have heard of the term “hypoglycemia.”
Low blood sugar is common for many people, resulting in dizziness, headaches, and irritability.
What they might not be familiar with is the term “hyperglycemia.”
What is this condition and how can you tell if you have it?
We’ll explain what this condition is, how you could end up with it, and what can be done to normalize your blood sugar levels.
Hyperglycemia vs. Hypoglycemia – How They Differ
The simple answer to what’s the difference between hyper- and hypoglycemia is that hypo means low and hyper means high. In other words, you have low blood sugar if you have hypoglycemia, and high blood sugar levels if you have hyperglycemia.
But what does this really mean?
Blood sugar levels refer to the amount of sugar in your blood at any given time. This is also referred to as blood glucose (sugar) levels.
High blood sugar is an indicator that you have diabetes.
Having those levels in balance is vital to your health, especially if you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels in balance can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. And if you already have it, that balance can reduce the damaging effects of diabetes on your body.
Do You Have These Symptoms of High Blood Sugar?
Hyperglycemia is a sign that you might have diabetes or that your blood glucose levels are out of control if you already have diabetes.
But what if you don’t have access to a blood glucose monitor? How will you know if you have a normal blood sugar level or not?
Take note of these symptoms of high blood sugar so that you can take action to balance those levels immediately.
- Increased thirst
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss
Individually, these hyperglycemia symptoms might not mean anything. You could be overly tired, have a tension headache, or it could be an especially hot day and you’re unusually thirsty.
The issue arises, though, when you experience multiple symptoms at once and frequently. It’s vital in this case to make an appointment with your doctor to evaluate your glucose levels and discuss ways to balance those levels.
Is It Possible to Achieve a Normal Blood Sugar Level?
Thankfully, if you do develop hyperglycemia symptoms there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and get your health back on track.
The most important thing you can do is control your blood sugar. And the best way to do this is with diet.
Start by limiting the amount of carbs you eat. The most important carbs to eradicate from your diet are those with simple sugars. These are the overly sugary foods, like cake, candy, white bread, soda, and ice cream.
But these aren’t the only foods you have to be careful of – even foods that don’t taste particularly sweet can have added sugars. Therefore, it’s important to read the labels of all the pre-packaged food you purchase, especially if it’s labeled “fat free” or “low fat.” Oftentimes, sugar and salt are used to replace the flavor that’s missing now that the fat has been removed.
Stick to balanced levels of complex carbohydrates – whole grains and starchy vegetables. These aren’t evil foods, nor are they replacement foods for the simple sugars. Because these foods are broken down into sugar in the body, they need to be consumed with care.
Another step you can take to balance blood glucose is to exercise regularly. Working out can help you lose weight and increase your body’s insulin sensitivity. This means that the sugar in your bloodstream won’t accumulate. Your cells are able to use the sugars to keep your muscles contracting properly, your brain functioning, and your energy up.
You don’t need to kill yourself working out to accomplish this either. A daily, thirty-minute, moderate-intensity workout can do wonders, as can a short, brisk walk after each meal.
Staying Healthy Is All About Balance
Taking care of your health is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. But many people overcomplicate what needs to be done to live a healthy life. They say the only way to stay healthy is with a strict, joyless diet.
Your life – including your diet –doesn’t have to be boring in order to be healthy.
The key is balance.
You don’t need to eat only raw green vegetables for the rest of your life, nor do you have to do high intensity workouts for hours a day.
Instead of trying to punish your body into submission, work with your body. It was made to thrive on tasty, healthy foods and moderate exercise.
Make small adjustments here and there. You don’t have to change everything overnight. And if you fall on the bandwagon – don’t beat yourself up.
Be kind to your body when you make lifestyle changes and you’ll be rewarded with good health for years to come.