Hyperglycemia vs Diabetes: Difference and Comparison

Regulation of blood sugar levels in one’s body is quite crucial for the healthy and proper functioning of organs and various hormonal systems.

Both high or low blood sugar levels can lead to various complications and cause hindrance to the various functioning of the body.

Regulation of blood sugar or glucose is largely made through the endocrine hormones of the pancreas through a negative feedback loop.

Key Takeaways

  1. High blood sugar levels characterize Hyperglycemia, while diabetes is a chronic disease that causes elevated blood sugar levels over time.
  2. Diabetes is the primary cause of Hyperglycemia, but other factors like illness, stress, and certain medications can also contribute to high blood sugar levels.
  3. Diabetes management focuses on maintaining normal blood sugar levels, while hyperglycemia treatment aims to lower elevated blood sugar levels to prevent complications.

Hyperglycemia vs Diabetes

Hyperglycemia is caused by a variety of factors and can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin, leading to hyperglycemia, frequent urination, excessive thirst, and blurred vision.

Hyperglycemia vs Diabetes

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The hyperglycemic condition occurs when the blood glucose level is more than 125 ml/dL (milligrams per deciliter) when an individual is fasting.

Untreated Hyperglycemia for extensive periods can prompt harmed tissues, veins, organs, and nerves.

While diabetes mellitus, regularly called diabetes, is described by high glucose levels throughout delayed time frames.

Untreated diabetes can cause serious health problems like the blood becoming acidic, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state, or even death.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHyperglycemiaDiabetes
Cause Hyperglycemia or high blood glucose or sugar level is caused when there is an excess of glucose in the blood. Diabetes is caused when the body is not able to produce sufficient are the cells of the body are not being able to utilize the insulin produced properly.
Symptoms Increased blood sugar levels , increased thirst or hunger, fatigue and slow healing.Increased thirst along with frequent urination, blurry vision and unexplained weight loss
TypesHyperglycemia can be of two types – fasting hypoglycemia and after-meal hyperglycemia. Diabetes can be of three types – type – 1, Type – 2, and gestational diabetes.
Long term effectsLong term effects of hyperglycemia include nerve damage, kidney failure and cardiovascular diseases. Long term effects of diabetes include stroke, cardiac arrest, renal problems and can also cause eye damage.
Methods of treatmentHyperglycemia can be treated with regular monitoring of blood sugar level and going tests like A1C test and also maintaining proper diet and regular exercise. Type 1 diabetes can be treated with insulin injections. Type 2 can be treated with regular exercise and healthy diet. Gestational diabetes is cured after child birth.

What is Hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia is also known as high blood sugar. It is a medical condition that has the potential to become severe and lead to other complications if it is left untreated.

The complications can affect various parts of the body, like kidneys, eyes, heart, nerves, and several other parts.

The body breaks down the food and forms sugar molecules which in turn produce glucose. The glucose is absorbed in the bloodstream directly.

The extra glucose is stored in the liver and muscles of the body in glycogen form. People with diabetes face hyperglycemia.

Lifestyle habits and choices can also lead to the condition.

Other risk factors can also contribute to hyperglycemia, like not following the diet plan, using expired or not properly injecting insulin, not following the diabetes medication, an active lifestyle, and other illnesses, injuries, surgery, or infection.

Hyperglycemia can cause long-term complications like damage to kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels of the retina, cardiovascular diseases, ulceration, skin infection, cataract, problem with bones and joints, and infections in teeth or gums.

The medical condition can cause emergency complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, heart attack, and others. It can form toxic acids known as ketones and can build up in the blood or urine.

To keep their blood sugar under a controlled range, patients are advised to follow a strict meal plan with regular insulin or oral diabetes medication, monitor their blood sugar regularly and bring about physical activity in the body.


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is referred to as high blood glucose, also known as blood sugar. The health condition has no cure but can be managed and regulated.

Diabetes can be hereditary, lifestyle factors which are being sedentary and inactive, overweight or obese, or a combination of several other factors.

Food that contains highly processed carbohydrates, saturated and trans fats, and sugar-sweetened drinks are the main causes of triggering diabetes.

Diabetes can be of three main types type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes. The other less common types are monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin. The pancreas cells responsible for making insulin are attacked and destroyed by the body’s immune system containing type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind of diabetes. Here, the body does not produce or use insulin.

Any age group can be affected by type 2 diabetes. And the other type of diabetes is gestational diabetes which is developed in women during their pregnancy period.

Women with gestational diabetes develop a probability of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes can lead to other complications and diseases like kidney disease, heart disease, dental disease, damage of various nerves, problems in the eye or foot, or even stroke.

The disease can be a major cause of lower limb amputation or blindness. There has been a rapid increase in premature mortality from diabetes.


Main Differences Between Hyperglycemia and Diabetes

  1. Hyperglycemia can occur when diabetic patients have an excess of sugar in their bloodstream, whereas diabetes is caused due to lack of insulin or the body’s inability to utilize the insulin produced.
  2. Hyperglycemia can cause complications and problems like blurry vision, increased thirst, hunger, and tiredness, whereas diabetes can cause similar problems but are more serious, like the risk of stroke, cardiac arrest, and even death in extreme cases.
  3. Hyperglycemia is of two types – fasting and after-meal whereas diabetes is of three types – type 1, type 2, and gestational.
  4. Hyperglycemia can sometimes be not harmful and can go undetected without any symptoms, whereas diabetes can cause symptoms like frequent thirst and urination and even renal damage if left untreated.
  5. Hyperglycemia can be cured with proper maintenance of diet plans and proper exercise, whereas diabetes needs proper medication in the form of insulin injections for the patient.
Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Diabetes
  1. https://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/54/1/1.short

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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