How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter:
- After washing your hands, insert a test strip into your meter.
- Use your lancing device on the side of your fingertip to get a drop of blood.
- Touch and hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood and wait for the result.
- Your blood glucose level will appear on the meter’s display.
Note: All meters are slightly different, so always refer to your user’s manual for specific instructions.
Lets Crunch Some Numbers
Ill give these numbers to you in a written, chart, and visual format because it will make sense to you depending how you read it.
Depending where you live in the world, numbers can vary slightly. And your numbers will either be mg/dl or mmol/l. Youll find the numbers for both of these readings below.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Fasting glucose 70-99 mg/dl or 4-6 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose Less than 140 mg/dl or less than 7.8 mmol/l
Pre-diabetes diagnostic ranges also called impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
Fasting glucose 100-125 mg/dl or 6.1-6.9 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose level 140-199 mg/ dl or 7.8-11 mmol/l
Type 2 Diabetes diagnostic ranges
Fasting glucose More than 126 mg/dl or more than 7.0 mmol/l
2 hours glucose level More than 200 mg/dl or more than 11.1 mmol/l
Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
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What Is Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycaemia is a condition wherein blood sugar levels are too low. This condition affects a number of diabetic people when their bodies do not have enough glucose to use as energy. Hypoglycaemia is commonly the result of taking too much of the medication/s prescribed to treat diabetes, eating less than expected, exercising more than normal or skipping meals.
Some of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia include:
Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
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A1c Levels Explanation And A1c Calculator
Your A1C test result can be a good general gauge of your diabetes control, because it provides an average blood glucose level over the past few months.
Unlike daily blood glucose test results, which are reported as mg/dL, A1C is reported as a percentage. This can make it difficult to understand the relationship between the two. For example, if you check blood glucose 100 times in a month, and your average result is 190 mg/dL this would lead to an A1C of approximately 8.2%, which is above the target of 7% or lower recommended by the American Diabetes Association for many adults who are not pregnant. For some people, a tighter goal of 6.5% may be appropriate, and for others, a less stringent goal such as 8% may be better.1 Talk to your doctor about the right goal for you.
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Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart For Adults
Modified: Mar 11, 2022 by John Coleman · This post may contain affiliate links ·
Glucose level determination in the blood is essential for people with suspected diabetes or diabetics and for completely healthy people. Normal blood sugar levels have been established by specialists based on many years of thorough research and clinical observations.
They allow the diagnosis of metabolic diseases and facilitate the application of appropriate therapy. Early detection of changes in the body and proper treatment and prevention is the key to success.
Sugar plays a vital role in the body. It is one of the primary sources of energy for the body belongs to the group of carbohydrates, which in the process of digestion are broken down into simple sugars
Blood glucose level should be more or less at the same level, but if it starts to decrease or exceed the level, your body will stop functioning correctly, which results in various disorders. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, maintains sugar levels.
The presence of sugar in the blood is so necessary that without it, our bodies may stop functioning correctly, the nervous system, the skeletal and muscular systems, the lymphatic system, and your organs.
Blood sugar testing is used primarily to diagnose diabetes, but healthy people should also monitor blood glucose levels.
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Alarming Facts About Diabetes
Random Blood Sugar Level Chart
Random blood sugar testing is done at any time of the day. This test is done outside the regular testing timetable. It confirms diabetes, during and after the treatment of diabetes. A level of 200 mg/dl or greater indicates diabetes mellitus.
The major objective of an RBS test is to check random blood sugar levels. An Random Blood Sugar range of 200mg/dl or above clearly shows the presence of diabetes. The test helps to timely treat the disease via monitoring during and after treatment. The random blood sugar level test is recommended if an individual complains of the following signs:
- Recurrent urination
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How Can I Pay For Tests And Diabetes Supplies
Medicareexternal icon, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and fasting blood sugar test as well as some diabetes supplies. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low-cost or free supplies, and see How to Save Money on Diabetes Care for more resources.
Consequences Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst most symptoms of low and high blood sugar levels are mild, they can worsen if left untreated and sometimes have long term consequences and/or complications. Overtime, a high blood sugar level is what can cause consequences. Lack of treatment can cause severe damage to the blood vessels and lead to complications such as:
- Damage to the eyes and/or loss of vision
- Nerve problems in the feet leading to infections
To avoid long term consequences and complications, it is advised to take all precautionary measures and treat your blood sugar level so that it can be maintained at your ideal reading. So do so, follow all treatment methods, stay on track with checking your level daily and seeking help if symptoms persist.
If you have any more questions, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions which may answer your concerns:
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Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
Diabetes Blood Sugar Level Goals
Upon waking before breakfast
Two hours after meals
- Under 180 mg/dl
- Under 10 mmol/l
As suggested earlier, there is some variation in the blood sugar levels goals set by different organizations. And additionally, your physician or healthcare team may set your goals at a more stringent level.
For instance, fasting levels:
- Between 70-100 mg/dL or 4-5.6 mmol/l
- 70-110 mg/dL or 4-6 mmol/l
- 70-130 mg/dL or 4-7.2 mmol/l
Once you have a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the overall goals you should aim for is to get your blood sugar levels as close to normaloptimal levels as you possibly can.
BUT, as suggested above, often goals are set with higher targets initially. For instance, if you have a high reading of 250 or 300 , your physician or health practitioner may recommend 200 be an initial goal, then 180 , before gradually working toward 140 and lower.
The reason this is often recommended is you can experience symptoms of hypoglycemia if you bring your levels down very quickly. So working toward tighter and tighter control does take some time.
You should work with your healthcare team on this. But overall the most optimal targets to work toward are a fasting glucose under 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. And an after-meal reading below 140 or 7.8.
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Average From A Glucose Meter
Although an A1C level gives you a sense of average glucose levels over the past few months, a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes needs a blood glucose meter to check blood sugar and make treatment decisions on a day-to-day basis.
If you test often during the day like before and after meals and other times that your blood sugar can vary and use anaccurate glucose meter, this can give you valuable information on daily variations in blood sugar levels. Many blood glucose meters are also equipped to provide 7, 14, 30, or 90-day averages. A 90-day average on your meter can be used in the calculator above to estimate how it may correlate to an A1C.
Glucose meter averages are based on the frequency that you have tested per day, so if you do not have many data points or are unable to test at certain times , it probably wont give you a full picture of your blood sugar levels and may skew lower than an A1C test result.
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What Is Blood Sugar
When you eat, the carbohydrate in your food is broken down into a usable form of energy called glucose. Glucose also known as sugar enters the bloodstream and a hormone called insulin helps move it into our cells.
This process lowers the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. When this process works efficiently, your muscles and organs have the fuel they need without there being too much glucose remaining in the blood.
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High Blood Sugar Symptoms
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesnt have enough insulin or when it cant use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine whats causing your high blood sugar levels and help you lower it to a healthy range.
Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia:
- Fruity-smelling breath
Your healthcare provider will give you a treatment plan that indicates when you should seek immediate medical attention.
When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma, says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.
Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.
If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar control over three months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so its always a good idea to check before your appointment. Your healthcare provider can create a diabetes treatment plan if you are prediabetic or have diabetes.
Be sure your treatment plan includes instructions on when you would need to seek emergency medical care. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.
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What Should I Aim For
Effective management of diabetes is all about aiming for a careful balance between the foods you eat, how active you are and the medication you take for your diabetes. Because this is a delicate balance, it can be quite difficult to achieve the best possible blood glucose management all the time.
The ranges will vary depending on the individual and an individuals circumstances. While it is important to keep your blood glucose levels as close to the target range of target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L as possible to prevent complications, it is equally important to check with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator for the range of blood glucose levels that are right and safe for you. Therefore the following information should be treated only as a general guide.
Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
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How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Levels
Refer to your blood glucose meters instructions on how to monitor your blood glucose levels.
Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. When and how often you should check your blood glucose levels varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Blood glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre of blood .
Keeping a record of your blood glucose levels can be very helpful for you and your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. You can keep a diary or use a mobile phone app or website to record your levels.
Symptoms Of Low Sugar Level
Low blood sugar condition or Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/DL.
Fluctuation in blood sugar levels may be due to the following factors:
It is possible to eliminate these symptoms with the right guidance from certified diabetes reversal coaches who understand your routine and current lifestyle and help you with diet and lifestyle changes that can be easily done by you. These small changes lead to a drastic impact on your blood sugar levels and help you reverse your diabetes.
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What Can You Do To Improve Your A1c Levels
People often wonder how long it will take to improve their A1C number. By following your diabetes self-care plan, you can improve your A1C by your next three-month check. Your A1C may continue to go down at each visit if you continue to partner with your healthcare provider and follow the tips above.
Its not helpful to test your A1C more frequently than every three months, and more frequent testing is not always covered by insurance. If you feel like you have followed your healthcare providers recommendations but your A1C level is high, dont take it personally. Again, there are many factors that make diabetes management difficult, and if you continue to work on it, your number will come down.
In summary, the A1C test gives you a picture of your overall glucose levels. There is no bad or good number, just information that helps you and your healthcare provider understand how well your diabetes management plan is working.
Using an A1C calculator can give you an idea of how your A1C translates into an EAG number that you can recognize, using the same unit of measurement as shown on a blood glucose meter. However, remember that A1C goals can be different for each person based on age, treatment goals, access to diabetes supplies, and other health issues present, so dont be afraid to talk with your healthcare professional about setting your unique goals to lead to better diabetes management.