Advice & Guidance

Book Case

High or low blood sugar levels

Unusually high or low blood sugar (glucose) levels can be dangerous.
The medical term for high blood glucose is hyperglycaemia and that for low blood sugar is hypoglycaemia.

High blood sugar levels

Hyperglycaemia is common in people with diabetes but can also affect other people – usually those who are seriously ill eg suffering from a severe infection, heart attack or stroke

The symptoms of hyperglycaemia include feeling very thirsty, needing to pass urine a lot and feeling more tired than usual.

Very high blood sugar levels can be serious, even life threatening. Over time, hyperglycaemia also increases the risk of eye, nerve, kidney and cardiovascular disease.

This NHS information explains when to get urgent medical attention for hyperglycaemia.

Low blood sugar levels

The symptoms of a hypo include feeling dizzy (or even losing consciousness), feeling tired, feeling hungry, shaking and sweating.

Hypoglycaemia mainly affects people with diabetes, especially those using insulin.
A low blood sugar can be dangerous and cause a fit or a collapse if it's not treated promptly.

This NHS information explains more about the symptoms of hypoglycaemia and how to treat them

Help to shape our content

July 2020

Did you find this information helpful? Pleas email any feedback to [email protected] 

View all Advice & Guidance