What Is The Normal Range For Blood Sugar
In general, the American Diabetes Association’s recommended blood sugar levels are9:
- Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL after meals
Your range is yours alonebased on your health, age, level of activity and other factors. And remember that your target is a range you’d like to stay within, not a single number.
What Is The A1c Number
There is another number that your doctor might mention. It is called your A1c . It is the average percent of your blood over the last two to three months that has sugar attached to it. Usually, the goal is;7% or less. If the percent is higher than that, your;doctor will want to work with you to lower it so you can avoid long term harm to your body. Your doctor can help you better understand how the A1ccan be used to manage diabetes.
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Levels For Non
Diabetes, often referred to as Diabetes Mellitus,has become a worldwide epidemic, and for people predisposed to diabetes, it is very important to maintain normal blood sugar levels for non-diabetic individuals that are recommended by doctors.The main culprits for the increase in the prevalence of the disease are considered to be population growth, the increase in the proportion of people aged above 65 across global population, urbanization, the rise in obesity among people, and lifestyles that suppress physical activity among the urban populace.
Since diabetes is largely a lifestyle-dependent disease, and long-standing diabetes may lead to several complications such as blindness, kidney failure, circulatory disorders and heart disease, the onus is on people to take steps to prevent the disease or to follow proper medical advice and make lifestyle changes if theyve already been diagnosed with diabetes, and do not want the disease to progress.
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What Might Affect My Results
Timing is one of the most important factors when measuring blood sugar.
Do not measure your blood sugar immediately after eating or after exercise to avoid obtaining unreliable results. For instance, if you consume starchy foods rich in carbohydrates, this will cause your;blood sugar to rise higher;than your normal levels. After exercise, your blood glucose levels may be lower than normal, which may not yield accurate results.;
Other factors;that might affect your blood sugar levels include illness, hormonal changes , stress, and changes in lifestyle .;
What To Expect From Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
After an overnight fast, a normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter , according to the American Diabetes Association . But, according to Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, not everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to shoot for “normal” levels.
“If you’re young, the goal may be to get your fasting blood sugar levels to less than 120 mg/dL,” Dr. Spratt says. But if you’re older and have other health conditions, that number may be higher, she says.
The ADA points out that not everyone will have the same blood sugar level goals. Instead, your endocrinologist or doctor will calculate your target number based on your age, how long you’ve had diabetes, whether you have health conditions like heart disease and other factors.
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How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar
The number of times that you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes that you have and the type of medicine you take to treat your diabetes. For example, people who take insulin may need to check more often than people who do not take insulin. Talk with your health care team about how often to check your blood sugar.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up , before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime. Talk with your health care team about what times are best for you to check your blood sugar.
Commonly Asked Questions About Blood Sugar Levels
What is the difference between blood sugar and A1c?
Blood sugar is a daily reading while A1c is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar from the previous 3 month period.
You can read more about the difference between the two over here.
Will weight loss help with my diabetes management?
Yes, by default weight loss helps because it reduces inflammation in your body and improves overall metabolic function. However, weight loss alone wont lower blood sugar levels. You often have to make several diet and lifestyle changes to bring your levels within normal range.
Ive been prescribed Metformin, will that help with my blood glucose levels?
Yes, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed diabetes medications worldwide. It belongs to a class of medications known as Biguanides, which lower blood glucose by decreasing the amount of sugar put out by the liver. And it is one of the medications that does not increase weight gain.
Why does high blood sugar cause complications like neuropathy?
The body is designed to have a blood sugar level within a certain range, with a maximum of 140 after meals. Levels above normal for extended periods promote inflammation in the blood vessels throughout the body, along with damage to cells simply because the body isnt designed to operate with levels above normal.
What type of diet helps to lower blood sugar levels?
Is there a different blood sugar levels chart by age?
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Before And After Exercise
Regular physical activity is a key part of managing diabetes. This is especially true for people with type 2 diabetes, as losing weight could make an enormous difference in overall health. For those with type 1 diabetes, exercise can help increase sensitivity to insulin and control blood sugar.
However, because physical activity uses energy, it depletes cells of glucose, drawing glucose from the bloodstream and potentially leading to hypoglycemia .
Checking your blood sugar levels before being active and immediately afterward can tell you if you have enough glucose to fuel your workout and the degree to which you’ve depleted it while exercising.
Target glucose ranges vary from person to person, but in general, it is ideal for blood sugar levels to be between 126 mg/dL and 180 mg/dL before starting exercise.
If you test your blood glucose and it’s lower than 126 mg/dL, here are the steps to take depending on the exact reading you get.
After you work out, test your blood glucose right away and again two to four hours afterward to check for a delayed drop in your level. If your blood sugar is lower at this point, continue checking it every two to four hours or until it’s no longer low and you’re sure your glycogen has been restored to normal.
What Are Normal Blood Glucose Levels In Healthy Individuals
Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Normal blood glucose levels can be measured when someone fasts, eats, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating is 90 to 110 mg/dL.;;;
Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:
- Type of food consumed, how much, and when
- Physical activity
- Menstrual periods;
An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.;;;
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A1c Blood Sugar Tests
The A1C test measures the percentage of glucose bound hemoglobin in a persons blood.
According to The National Institutes of Health , this gives a general picture of a persons blood glucose levels over the past 23 months.
Abnormal A1C test results do not necessarily mean a person has diabetes. A doctor will confirm these findings with another blood glucose test.
The doctor may recommend running more tests, such as blood work, to rule out other conditions that can affect blood sugar levels.
When Testing My Blood Sugar What Should I Be Aware Of
- Always follow the manufacturers instructions for your blood glucose metre. Not every blood glucose metres are the same.
- Check the expiry date on all diabetes testing supplies.;
- Wash and dry hands to get rid of any contaminants before glucose testing.;
- Use the sides of your fingers, as these are less sensitive than the fingertips. Avoid the thumb and index finger, and vary the testing points on your fingers to avoid the risk of infection or callus build up.
- If you struggle to obtain enough blood, place your hand facing downwards to allow gravity help the blood flow to the fingers.
- Change the lancet in the finger-pricking testing device each time you perform a blood glucose test. This will reduce discomfort, the risk of infection and ensure that enough blood is obtained.;
- Do NOT share needles with anyone else to eliminate the;risk of HIV.
- Record the results, click here to get access to;our free Vital Signs Track Sheet.;
Achieve noticeable reductions in blood sugar levels with food. Download our diabetes diet guide below !
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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.
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:
- A pale face
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Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
If your test results show you have prediabetes, ask your doctor or nurse if there is a lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in your community. You can also search for an online or in-person program. Having prediabetes puts you at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but participating in the program can lower your risk by as much as 58% .
Fasting Glucose Goal: 72
Why? Previously we discussed that the ADA considers normal fasting glucose as anything <100 mg/dl. However, multiple research studies show that as fasting glucose increases, there is an increased risk of health problems like diabetes and heart disease even if it stays within the normal range. The highlights of some of the study results include:
- Men whose fasting blood glucose was greater than 85 mg/dl had a significantly higher mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases than men with blood sugars less than 85 mg/dl.
- People with fasting glucose levels in the high normal range had significantly increased cardiovascular disease risk than people whose levels remained below 80 mg/dl.
- Children with fasting glucose levels 86-99 mg/dl had more than double the risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes as adults when compared with children whose levels were less than 86 mg/dl.
- People with fasting glucose levels between 91-99 mg/dl had a 3-fold increase in type 2 diabetes risk compared to those with levels less than 83 mg/dl.
- Among young, healthy men, higher fasting plasma glucose levels within the normal range constitute an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This means that as fasting glucose increases, even if the level is still considered normal, it could indicate a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes, and this is particularly pronounced if BMI is greater than 30. .
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Do You Have To Fast For An A1c Blood Test
Unlike the fasting plasma glucose and the OGTT tests, there is no need to fast before having the A1C test. If A1C test results indicate a person has or might have diabetes, a healthcare provider might suggest one of these tests to confirm the results. Another test, the random plasma glucose test, which does not require fasting, can also be used. If the results are borderline or if the results of the different tests do not match, a doctor might suggest repeating the test in several weeks or months.;
Low Blood Sugar Chart And Action Plan
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia. The numbers below represent values in the hypoglycemic range and require action to bring blood sugar levels up into a normal range.
|Alert Level and Treatment Plan|
|50 mg/dL or under||Red Flag: Blood sugar is critically low and requires immediate treatment.
If a person is unable to speak and/or is not alert, treat with glucagon via injection or nasal spray. Call emergency medical response if necessary. Do not place food or drink into the mouth.
If a person is alert and able to speak clearly, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate such as glucose gel, 4 oz regular soda, or fruit juice. Re-test blood sugar in 15 minutes and repeat as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|51-70 mg/dL||Red Flag: Blood sugar is below normal levels and requires immediate treatment.
Treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes. Repeat treatment as needed to bring blood sugar within range.
|71-90 mg/dL||Yellow Flag: Blood sugar levels should be watched and treated as needed.
If youre having symptoms of low blood sugar, treat with 15 grams of rapid-acting carbohydrate and re-test in 15 minutes.
Repeat treatment or follow with a meal. If it is meal time, move forward with eating the meal. People often fall into this range when they are late for a meal or have been especially active.
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Blood Sugar Levels And Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you may be wondering what your blood glucose should be. Hopefully your doctor, nurse practitioner, physicians assistant or whoever diagnosed you has given you answers to that question. Unfortunately, though, not everyone is given glucose goals. Or in some cases, it may have been a long time ago, and theyve since been forgotten. No worries well go over all that!
When To See A Doctor
If a persons blood sugar levels are high more than three times in a 2-week period without an apparent reason, the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommend that they seek medical help.
Any significant change in blood sugar patterns warrants a visit to a doctor. People with diabetes and those at risk of diabetes should also consult a doctor if:
- blood sugar levels become unusually high or low
- well-managed blood sugar levels are suddenly start fluctuating
- people have new or worsening symptoms of diabetes
- they change their medication or stop using it
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Why Check Blood Sugar Levels
If you take certain medication, like insulin or sulphonylureas, checking your blood sugars is a vital part of living with diabetes. It can help you work out when you need to take more medication, when you need to eat something or for when you want to get up and move around more.
Routine checks can help you know when you might be starting to go too low; or too high . Its a way of getting to know your body and how it works. It can help you and your healthcare team spot patterns too. Do you write your results down? You might find that helpful.
But importantly, it will help you stay healthy and prevent serious diabetes complications now and in the future. By complications, we mean serious problems in places like your feet and your eyes. This happens because too much sugar in the blood damages your blood vessels, making it harder for blood to flow around your body. This can lead to very serious problems like sight loss and needing an amputation.
The higher your blood sugar levels are and the longer theyre high for, the more at risk you are.
Diabetes Tracking And Treatment
- Follow your diabetes treatment plan: Understand the treatment plan before leaving the healthcare providers office and discuss barriers that could prevent you from following the program. Attend all follow-up visits.;
- Consistently take prescribed medications: If a healthcare provider has prescribed medications to reduce blood sugar levels, take them regularly. Some people only take medication when they arent feeling well, but these medications dont work unless taken consistently.
- Monitor and track blood sugar: Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important step in diabetes management, according to the CDC. Healthcare providers can inform patients of different types of meters and help patients find the best one for them. Providers can also tell patients how often to check their blood sugar and what their target blood sugar range is.Keep a log of your blood sugar levels to look for patterns and triggers for blood sugar spikes and lows. If you wear a continuous glucose monitor, you can use the data. Learning what causes blood sugar to rise or decrease can help you create a plan to keep it consistent. ;
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