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%
Measuring Your Average Blood Sugar With A1c
Your A1c is a good measure of your average blood glucose control over the past two to three months. The lower your A1c, the better your blood sugar control. An A1c of less than seven percent is normal for people without diabetes. For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1c below eight percent.
The ADA provides is with a clear range of blood sugar levels next to the A1c percentages.
How Do I Check My Blood Glucose
Picture 1: Poke the side of the finger with the lancet
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Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For
Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:
- Take too much medication or insulin
- Are late eating a meal or snack
- Have increased physical activity
- Drink too much alcohol
Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.
Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.
It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.
Understanding Why Are Fasting Glucose Levels High
Fasting glucose levels are your blood sugar levels on an empty stomach. It is usually measured early in the morning when the person wakes up. It is because your body digests the last meal , and the released glucose is either absorbed or stored in the morning. A fasting blood sugar test can diagnose if a person has diabetes or not. For example, it is normal if your fasting blood sugar levels are less than 100mg/dL . However, if the fasting blood sugar level is between 100mg/dL to 125mg/dL, you are in the prediabetic stage. In addition, fasting blood sugar levels above 125mg/dL indicate diabetes.
The readings mentioned above suggest that you should be cautious if your fasting blood sugar levels are above 100mg/dL. High fasting blood sugar levels indicate the stage of diabetes you are at. However, it is possible to manage it. And the results are rewarding. If you are prediabetic, maintaining healthy fasting blood sugar levels can help reverse the condition. Further, it can help prevent the development of diabetes in the future.
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What Is Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1C is a lab test. It indicates an average blood glucose reading for the last 90 days. It is done when you find out you have diabetes, and every 3 months after that at clinic visits. A person without diabetes has a Hemoglobin A1C of less than 5.6%.
Target Hgb A1C is 7.5% for all children and adults with diabetes.
The chart below shows the Hemoglobin A1C result compared with the blood glucose number.
Is A1c Better Than Fasting Glucose
Summary: Measurements of hemoglobin A1c more accurately identify persons at risk for clinical outcomes than the commonly used measurement of fasting glucose, according to a new study. HbA1c levels accurately predict future diabetes, and they better predict stroke, heart disease and all-cause mortality as well.
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Nighttime Low Blood Sugars
You may experience a low blood sugar night. The low blood sugar might wake you up and your symptoms might be similar to those you have during the day. However, the symptoms may be different. You might have nightmares, sleep poorly, perspire, or feel hot and cold. In the morning you may have a headache, feel nauseated, or feel confused. Notify your doctor if this happens. Check your blood sugar at the time you have the symptoms.
Treatment for a low blood sugar that occurs at night is the same as described earlier.
Your doctor may request that you check a 3:00 a.m. blood sugar 1 to 2 times per week in order to detect any low blood sugars during the night.
Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level For Diabetics
A normal blood sugar level for diabetics is more difficult to define because it can vary greatly from person to person and is measured differently per age.
What’s important is that you work with your doctor to set goals that are achievable for you and that you maintain good blood sugar control as much as possible.
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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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Are There Different Recommendations For Blood Sugar Levels In Other Countries
The recommended blood sugar level ranges in countries around the world are very similar. However, there are two different units of measurement that are used when referring to blood sugars, depending on where you live: millimoles per litre and milligrams per decilitre .
The mmol/L measurement is used here in Canada, as well as England, Australia and China, while mg/dL is used in such countries as the United States, France, Japan, Israel and India.
To convert mmol/L to mg/dl, simply multiply by 18. For example, a blood sugar level of 5.0 mmol/L would mean a level of 90 mg/dL .
Here are blood sugar recommendations from some countries other than Canada:
|Less than 180 mg/dL
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Low Fasting Glucose And Stroke
In articles using fasting glucose < 4.6mmol/L as cut-off, the random effects summary estimate did not show increased risks of total stroke , ischaemic stroke or haemorrhagic stroke .
In articles using fasting glucose < 4.0mmol/L as cut-off, the random effects summary estimate showed increased risks of total stroke and ischaemic stroke . Risk of haemorrhagic stroke was not significantly increased .
Association of baseline low fasting glucose and risk of stroke, ischaemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke.
Heterogeneity was difficult to assess for this pooled analysis involving three or fewer studies.
The Other Two Tests For Blood Glucose Level
While the HbA1C and the FPG tests are the two major blood sugar tests, two more blood sugar tests help point out diabetes as well. These two tests complete the four major sugar tests that people with diabetes or at risk of the condition can go for, and they include the oral glucose tolerance test and random plasma glucose test. The following sections examine them in more detail.
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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. .
How To Lower Fasting Blood Glucose Levels
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Interested In Learning More Read About Normal Blood Glucose Numbers Getting Tested For Type 2 Diabetes And Using Blood Sugar Monitoring To Manage Diabetes
Want to keep track of your blood glucose readings to help you better manage your condition? With our free printable diabetes logbook sheets, youll be able to monitor the effects of food, exercise, medicines and more. One sheet tracks levels for a week. Download your free blood sugar logbook today to start analyzing your patterns!
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Blood Sugar Level Chart
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = 7099 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 80130 mg/dl
Two hours after a meal
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 140 mg/dl
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = Below 180 mg/dl
- Normal reading for nondiabetic person = Below 5.7%
- The recommendation for someone who is diabetic = 7% or less
**My Med Memo The measurement mmol is the abbreviation for millimole.
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People With Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy. Often, it is a temporary condition, but it can lead to pregnancy complications.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with a diagnosis of gestational diabetes aim for blood sugar levels similar to those for people without diabetes, although individual targets may vary.
The ADA offers the following as a guideline:
|Blood sugar level
- blood vessels
A wide range of complications can also result, such as slow wound healing and frequent infections. Other possible complications include:
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.
How To Raise Your Blood Sugar
When blood sugar drops < 70, accompanied by symptoms, eat 15 grams of quickly absorbing carbs , then wait 15 minutes for your glucose to rise.
Once your glucose returns to normal levels, it can help to eat a protein or fiber-focused meal to prevent future dips. McKinney suggests unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries or one to two hard-boiled eggs with sliced avocado on a slice of whole-wheat toast.
If you eat a low carbohydrate diet, seeing your glucose dip < 70 may not be a cause for concern. Itâs because your body may already be accustomed to lower baseline glucose. In this case, itâs essential to monitor for symptoms and make sure glycemic variability is even during the day.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
If you had a fasting blood glucose test:
- A level of 100 to 125 mg/dL means you have impaired fasting glucose, a type of prediabetes. This increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- A level of 126 mg/dL or higher usually means you have diabetes.
If you had a random blood glucose test:
- A level of 200 mg/dL or higher often means you have diabetes.
- Your provider will order a fasting blood glucose, A1C test, or glucose tolerance test, depending on your random blood glucose test result.
- In someone who has diabetes, an abnormal result on the random blood glucose test may mean that the diabetes is not well controlled. Talk with your provider about your blood glucose goals if you have diabetes.
Other medical problems can also cause a higher-than-normal blood glucose level, including:
- Weight loss after weight loss surgery
- Vigorous exercise
Some medicines can raise or lower your blood glucose level. Before having the test, tell your provider about all the medicines you are taking.
For some thin young women, a fasting blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL may be normal.