Signs & Symptoms of Hyperglycemia & Hypoglycemia


Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, may be caused by stress, illness or not following your prescribed diet. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, may be caused by diabetic medications, increased physical activity and waiting too long before eating meals or not eating enough of your meals.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, frequent urination, high blood glucose and high levels of sugar in the urine. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, sweating, hunger, headache, pale skin color, mood changes, confusion and jerky movements.


Diagnosis of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia depend on the presence of symptoms and your blood sugar readings. According to, normal blood sugar readings before meals are between 70 and 130 mg/dL and after meals are less than 180 mg/dL.

Critical Levels

According to the ninth edition of Mosby’s Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference, critical blood sugar results for a man are less than 50 mg/dL or greater than 400 mg/dL. Critical blood-sugar results for a woman are less than 40 mg/dL or greater than 400 mg/dL.


Treatment of hyperglycemia involves following physician orders that may include exercising daily, eating a diabetic diet, taking diabetic medications or administering insulin. Treatment of hypoglycemia involves ingesting a form of sugar such as a half cup of orange juice and, in 15 minutes, checking your blood sugar for improvement.


Preventing hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia involves controlling your diabetes, checking your blood sugar as ordered by your physician and monitoring yourself for signs and symptoms of these conditions.

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