What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level With Type 2 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association¹ recommends the following blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes:
Between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals
Less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals
Your doctor, however, may recommend goals more tailored to your unique situation. If you have other medical conditions, such as heart disease, or are above 60 years old, your blood sugar goals may be higher than those outlined above.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Causes Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst the liver and muscles produce some glucose, most comes from the foods we eat. Food and drinks that are high in carbohydrates are most impactful on blood sugar level. What we eat provides us most of the nutrients our body needs and sometimes, does not need. That is not to say that food is a major cause of blood sugar level increasing or decreasing too dramatically.
Typically, if a person has health conditions or poor nutrition, this will lead to a spike or decline in blood sugar level. The causes differ from high to low blood sugar levels and are as follows:
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How Does Blood Sugar Level Work
With a lack of nutrients and food that contain glucose, the blood sugar level will begin to decline. This is known as hypoglycemia.
After blood sugar becomes low, the pancreas releases a peptide hormone called glucagon. When this happens, the glucose that is stored in the body for energy is instructed to release due to the liver. This causes the glucose to turn into glycogen, known as the glycogenesis process. This is what can help a body to regain energy as the readily stored glycogen, in the liver and muscles, will release into the body.
On the other hand, the blood sugar can also rise and become too high which is known as hyperglycemia.
When the body does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, blood sugar levels begin to increase. This is because glucose relies on the insulin hormone to help it absorb into the bloodstream. Usually, this occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin, known as type 1 diabetes, or does not respond to insulin correctly, known as type 2 diabetes.
Eating too many processed foods can also cause your blood sugar level to rise. If there is not enough insulin present in the body, too much bad food can cause your blood sugar level to build up.
For those with a normal blood sugar level, this will be due to eating the right foods and your body being able to produce and respond to insulin.
You may be wondering what exactly causes an imbalance in blood sugar levels, so here is a roundup:
How To Do A Finger
Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
- Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
- Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
- Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
- Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
- Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
- You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.
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Symptoms Of High Sugar Level
When blood sugar levels are high above the normal > 180mg/dL, it can be again dangerous and requires medical attention. This condition, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when the body has insulin deficiency or cannot use it properly.
Some of the common symptoms of high blood sugar levels are:
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening disease. Moreover, it can also cause heart complications, kidney-related problems, and liver disorders.
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Common Sources Of Added Sugars
There’s lots of added sugar in cookies, sodas, jams, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Yet plenty of “healthy” foods have sugar, too. They may even contain more sugar.
Here are a few examples:
- Flavored yogurt: 26 grams per 6 ounces
- Granola bars: 7 to 12 grams per 70-gram bar
- Jarred spaghetti sauce: 11 grams per half-cup
- Peanut butter: 5 grams per tablespoon
- Protein bars: 23 to 30 grams per 80-gram bar
- Russian salad dressing: 3 grams per tablespoon
- Sweetened apple juice: 39 grams per 12 ounces
- Vanilla almond milk: 14 grams per cup
Luckily, many of these foods have sugar-free versions so you can enjoy them without worry. But don’t confuse the terms “low fat” with “low sugar” or “no sugar added.” Low-fat foods and natural ingredients can still have added sugars.
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Children And Adolescents With Diabetes
Age 6-12 Bedtime 100-180
Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over the course of a day. Blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal because the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then distributed throughout the bloodstream. Other macronutrientsprotein and fatturn into glucose as well, but at a slower rate. Many people learn how to use these factors to their advantage. For example, if a childs sugar is trending low, a bedtime snack that includes something with protein and fat, like chocolate milk or peanut butter, will help raise blood sugar levels and help keep blood sugar levels steady through the night.
When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar is generally at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. However, many people experience an increase in blood sugar levels in the early morning hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. For example, according to this chart, blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. .
Is Diabetes Diagnosed The Same Way In Every Country
There are four methods of diagnosing diabetes, which are used around the world. They are:
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How Gestational Diabetes Can Affect Your Pregnancy
Most women with gestational diabetes have otherwise normal pregnancies with healthy babies.
However, gestational diabetes can cause problems such as:
- your baby growing larger than usual this may lead to difficulties during the delivery and increases the likelihood of needing induced labour or a caesarean section
- polyhydramnios too much amniotic fluid in the womb, which can cause premature labour or problems at delivery
- premature birth giving birth before the 37th week of pregnancy
- pre-eclampsia a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and can lead to pregnancy complications if not treated
- your baby developing low blood sugar or yellowing of the skin and eyes after he or she is born, which may require treatment in hospital
- the loss of your baby though this is rare
Having gestational diabetes also means youre at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
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What Is Blood Glucose
Blood glucose is the main sugar content in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and it’s your body’s main source of energy. Blood glucose levels are a measure of how much sugar is in your blood. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate during the day and night because of various reasons. What we eat, how active we are, and even stress can all affect our blood sugar levels.
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level
The answer to the question what is a normal blood sugar level is as follows:
Fasting normal blood sugarNormal for person without diabetes: 7099 mg/dl Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: 80130 mg/dl
Normal blood sugar 2 hours after mealsNormal for person without diabetes: Less than 140 mg/dl Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: Less than 180 mg/dl
HbA1cNormal for person without diabetes: Less than 5.7%Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes: Less than 7.0%
Carb Counting And Diabetes
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are naturally found in certain foods. For example, grains, sweets, starches, legumes and dairy all contain different amounts of carbs. Get up to speed on the three types of carbs, and what foods have them.
When foods and drinks with carbs are digested, the carbs break down into glucose to fuel our cells, and the body’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, level rises. In people without diabetes, blood sugar levels rise after eating but the body’s insulin response keeps levels from rising too high.
If you have diabetes, the process doesn’t work as designed. How carb counting can help your blood glucose control depends on your treatment regimen and whether or not your body makes insulin.
- Type 1: If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas no longer makes insulin, so you need to take background insulin as well as offset the carbs in your food with mealtime insulin doses. To do this, you have to know exactly how many carbohydrate grams are in your mealcue carb counting!
- Type 2: Because people with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin and may not produce enough of it, its important that you be mindful of your carb intake. To avoid blood sugar spikes, it helps to eat a consistent amount of carbs at meals throughout the day, rather than all at once. People taking oral medications may use a more basic form of carb counting than those on insulin.
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How To Diagnose Blood Sugar Level
Its possible to check your glucose level without a glucose meter by pricking your finger with a clean needle and putting the drop of blood on a strip that has been dipped in a special liquid. The strip will show your blood sugar level in both mg/dL and mmol/L.
A fasting blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in a persons blood after they have not eaten for about 8 hours. The level is usually around 100 milligrams per deciliter . Its possible to measure it using a glucose meter. 80-99 mg/dL is the right amount of sugar to be present in the blood.
Ways To Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
Ways individuals with diabetes can balance their blood sugar include keeping their weight in check, exercising regularly, following their medication and diet plans, and checking their blood sugar levels regularly. For some individuals, taking insulin shots may be necessary to keep glucose levels in check. Sticking to a schedule is important for individuals with diabetes. As it can help them regulate their blood sugar level.
However, just eating healthy and exercising regularly can help to a great extent. High fiber food, green vegetables, low GI fruits are all good food choices for people with diabetes. And exercises like Zumba, yoga, or just walking for 30 minutes every day can be very beneficial for bringing the blood sugar level back to normal.
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Normal Sugar Level In Healthy Individuals
Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be normal, high, or low. The sugar levels are generally measured after 8 hours of eating.
A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult after 8 hours of fasting is > 70 mg/dL. and < 100 mg/dL.
While a normal sugar level in a healthy person after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. Major factors affecting such change in the blood glucose levels are as follows:
When Does A Person Need To Have Their Blood Glucose Measured With This Test
Prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes often have no symptoms at first. A person can have the condition and not know it. Healthcare providers usually order a fasting blood sugar test:
- As part of a standard annual physical examination to monitor a persons blood glucose over time.
- For pregnant women to ensure that pregnancy hormones are not causing diabetes.
- When a person has symptoms of diabetes, a family history of diabetes or risk factors for diabetes .
- When a person has had a previous blood glucose level that was higher than normal.
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High Blood Sugar Levels Symptoms
High blood sugar levels or also known as hyperglycemia can occur if you don’t take enough insulin, you miss a meal, or you exercise too little. High blood sugar levels can also be caused by stress, illness, or some medications.
Signs and symptoms that your blood sugar might be on the high side include:
- Increased urination
It’s important to treat high blood sugar levels quickly to avoid more serious problems. You can treat high blood sugar levels by drinking water and taking your diabetes medication or insulin.
It’s important to check your blood sugar levels right away and keep doing that every hour until your sugar levels are back in the normal blood sugar range.
What Is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective, a condition referred to as insulin resistance. Gestational diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery.
Approximately 3 to 8 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
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Are High Levels Of Blood Sugar Dangerous
Low blood sugar levels begin at 70 mg/dL or less.
- People with diabetes who take too much medication or take their usual amount but then eat less or exercise more than usual can develop hypoglycemia. Although much rarer, hypoglycemia may develop in some people without diabetes when they take someone elses medication, have excessive alcohol consumption, or have hepatitis or a rare tumor of the pancreas .
- The treatment for hypoglycemia is oral glucose intake (15.0 grams of sugar, for example, 1 tablespoon of sugar, honey, corn syrup, or IV fluids containing glucose. Rechecking your blood sugar levels in about 15 minutes after the treatment is advised.