Both low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can lead to weight gain. To maintain a moderate weight, it may be helpful to monitor your blood sugar levels.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37.3 million Americans have diabetes. One of the major concerns for those with diabetes is keeping their blood sugar within a normal range. Serious health consequences can result from imbalanced insulin and glucose levels.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, might sound like it could lead to weight loss, but the truth is individuals may gain weight when their blood sugar dips too low. It can also put individuals at risk for serious health issues.

High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can also cause weight gain and increase one’s health risks. So, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that can impact your blood sugar, it’s important to make a treatment plan with your doctor.

When food is eaten, your body breaks it down into glucose. This is the fuel that powers your muscles, organs, and brain. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, must be present for glucose to enter the body’s cells.

When insufficient insulin is present, glucose can build up in the bloodstream, and blood sugar levels can rise. Alternatively, when too much insulin is present, individuals may experience low blood sugar.

Hypoglycemia means that an individual has low blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that fall below 70 mg/dL are considered low, and individuals need to take actions to help them rise back up.

Hypoglycemia can lead to weight gain because individuals may use additional food to raise their blood sugar levels.

Hunger is one of the common symptoms of hypoglycemia, and it’s the body’s way of requesting additional energy. But experiencing hunger pains can cause individuals to eat even more food than is necessary to help with reregulating their blood sugar and cause them to consume additional calories they don’t need.

Some individuals may find that they lose some weight when they’re hypoglycemic, but there’s a reason for this: a decreased intake of food may cause hypoglycemia. The body responds by burning fat and energy.

Hyperglycemia means that an individual has high blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia can be defined as when blood sugar levels go above 125 mg/dL when fasting.

High blood sugar can cause you to gain or lose weight. Extra insulin and blood sugar in an individual’s blood can trigger the body to start to store the excess glucose. Some can be stored in the liver or muscles, but the rest is stored as fat. This leads to weight gain.

With weight loss, on the other hand, glucose isn’t entering the cells for use as energy. The body instead creates energy by burning fat and muscle, resulting in weight loss.

Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. An individual’s basal metabolic rate refers to how many calories an individual’s body burns. The faster an individual’s metabolic rate, the more calories they burn throughout the day.

When an individual’s blood sugar is out of balance, it can negatively affect their metabolic rate, hindering their ability to lose weight. At least one study has defined healthy metabolic levels as including a fasting blood sugar level below 100 mg/dL.

One study found that, in individuals with type 2 diabetes, body mass index (BMI) is inversely related to severe hypoglycemia. This means that individuals with a lower BMI may be more likely to experience severe hypoglycemia.

Severe hypoglycemia can be defined as a blood sugar level below 54 mg/dL. When an individual’s blood sugar has dropped this low, they may experience more serious symptoms like seizures and require the assistance of others to treat their low blood sugar.

Low blood sugar can lead to feelings of hunger and extra calorie consumption. On the other hand, high blood sugar can lead to excess glucose being stored as fat. If you’re looking to maintain a moderate weight, it’s a good idea to monitor your blood sugar levels and eat a nutritious diet.

If you have diabetes or another condition that can impact your blood sugar (and weight), it’s important to talk with your doctor. They can help you to determine a treatment plan to keep your blood sugar levels steady.