Difference between diabetes and high blood sugar

[Related Blood Test: Diabetes Screening]

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition of high blood sugar levels and affects the huge number of the population today. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose or sugar content present in the blood. The glucose reaches from the intestine or liver to the cells of the body through the bloodstream. Further cell absorption of glucose is done by the insulin hormone which is produced in the pancreas.

There are mainly two reasons behind the cause of diabetes which includes either the pancreas is not producing sufficient amount of insulin to combat the blood glucose levels or the body cells are insensitive to the insulin and hence absorption of glucose does not take place leading to high levels. Diabetes symptoms mainly include frequent urination than normal, increase in thirst and hunger, skin infections, slow healing of wounds, and vision impairments etc.

Following are the three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes

    In this, the body fails to produce insulin completely. This is also known as juvenile diabetes and occurs mainly in the children. The patient requires insulin dose regularly through injections or via an insulin pump.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

    In this cells become insensitive to insulin and a resistance develops against insulin. This occurs mainly in adults.



  • Gestational Diabetes

    This happens in a pregnant woman and is usually a temporary state. A female with no previous diabetes diagnosis suddenly develops high blood glucose levels during her pregnancy. It further might develop into type 2 diabetes however in most of the cases high blood sugar levels eventually gets back to normal.

Few other forms of diabetes also exist like congenital diabetes, which occurs because of some genetic defects in the genes which regulate insulin secretion, diabetes induces by high dose steroids like glucocorticoids, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, and different forms of monogenic diabetes.

An ideal recommended blood glucose range for a diabetic patient is between 70–130 mg/dL before meals, and < 180 mg/dL after meals.

What is hyperglycemia?

The high blood sugar level is known as hyperglycemia scientifically. It occurs mainly in diabetic patients when they possess too much sugar in the bloodstream. On the contrary of this, a low level of sugar in the blood is known as hypoglycemia.

As per the World Health Organization, following are the hyperglycemia blood sugar levels:

  • Fasting blood glucose levels > 7 mmol/L or 126 mg/dl
  • 2 Hours after meals blood glucose levels > 11 mmol/L or 200mg/dl

If the blood sugar levels increase more than 7 mmol/L for longer durations. Than it damages various internal organs which might not appear as symptoms until the severe damage occurs and till then level of sugar might reach 11 mmol/L. Reversal of damage becomes difficult by then. So it is important to keep checking the sugar levels especially if you are aware that you are prone to frequent high levels of sugar or hyperglycemia.

Its main symptoms include:

  • Frequent or above average urination urge
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness with low energy levels
  • Increase in thirst and hunger
  • Vision impairments

The main underlying cause of hyperglycemia appears to be the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas or else resistance development against the insulin.

Other reason for hyperglycemic condition might include:

  • Missing a dose of diabetes medication like insulin or prescribed tablets
  • Eating a diet rich in carbohydrates which causes a spike in blood sugar level
  • Stress levels caused by any injury, anxiety or surgery


  • Infection can also lead to high sugar levels

How serious can a hyperglycemia be?

If hyperglycemia happens occasionally and is controlled on the moment then it might not lead to any big issues.

However, sometimes it can turn out to be a serious condition and might lead to fatal outcomes like:

  • If the high blood sugar levels stay like that for a longer duration then it might lead to long-term complications of damaging other organs internally without even giving symptoms until major damage happens. The kidney damage is one of the common complications suffered by the diabetic patients with persistent hyperglycemia. It might even cause an acute, chronic or complete renal failure. This leads to nearly permanent damage which cannot be reversed.
  • Sudden sugar spikes of extreme levels might cause short-term complications keto-acidosis and non-ketotic syndrome (hyper-osmolar hyperglycemic). These get reversed with the treatment and are temporary in existence.

How are diabetes and hyperglycemia connected?

High Blood Sugar is a condition in which sugar levels spike in the blood in a person at some point of time in life. The blood sugar concentration also known as blood glucose level is the actual amount of glucose or sugar present in the blood. In case sugar levels in the blood go beyond normal range consistently then it might indicate the presence of a medical condition, like Diabetes. So to clear up your confusion regarding sugar numbers get a Diabetes Test done as soon as possible.


High blood sugar levels need an immediate attention to further avoid any disease condition like diabetes. You must ensure a regular blood sugar testing since diabetes spare none. Also, if any particularly related symptoms are found in children of change in sugar level and diabetes then they must also get a blood sugar test done to get an early diagnosis to receive the treatment on time. There is no certain cure for diabetes available as of now. However, few medications and lifestyle changes of diet, exercise, and care can help in its reversal and reach a stable stage.

Leave a Reply