The differences between these extremesPressmaster /Shutterstock
Either one of these conditions could be part of silent diabetes symptoms you might be missing—they both involve difficulty regulating blood sugar, or glucose. But even non-diabetics can be susceptible to blood sugar extremes, called hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. “Hyperglycemia is defined as abnormally high blood sugar levels,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, a New York City-based dietitian, bestselling author, and founder of The F-Factor Diet. “It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin to bring glucose into the cells for energy.” In other words, you have an overload of sugar, more than your body can handle. On the other hand, “hypoglycemia is defined as abnormally low blood sugar levels,” she says. “When blood sugar begins to fall, a hormone called glucagon signals the liver to release stored glucose to raise blood sugar back to normal. If this does not occur you experience hypoglycemia.”
Warning signs for hyperglycemiaAndrey Popov /Shutterstock
One of the good things that happen to your body when you stop eating sugar is avoiding hyperglycemia. How can you know if you may be experiencing this sugar overload? “Hyperglycemia symptoms can include thirst, urination, blurry vision, and depending on the severity, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, or reduced concentration and awareness,” says Kathleen Dungan, MD, an endocrinologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It is important to note that depending upon the severity, hyperglycemia may not cause any symptoms at all.” This is why people with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar, and take insulin to help the body absorb it.