Blood Sugar Level
The fluctuation of blood sugar (red) and the sugar-lowering hormone insulin (blue) in humans during the course of a day with three meals. One of the effects of a sugar-rich vs a starch-rich meal is highlighted. The blood sugar level, blood sugar concentration, or blood glucose level is the amount of glucose present in the blood of humans and other animals. Glucose is a simple sugar and approximately 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of humans at all times. The body tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose is stored in skeletal muscle and liver cells in the form of glycogen; in fasted individuals, blood glucose is maintained at a constant level at the expense of glycogen stores in the liver and skeletal muscle. In humans, glucose is the primary source of energy, and is critical for normal function, in a number of tissues, particularly the human brain which consumes approximately 60% of blood glucose in fasted, sedentary individuals. Glucose can be transported from the intestines or liver to other tissues in the body via the bloodstream. Cellular glucose uptake is primarily regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Glucose levels are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day, and rise after meals for an hour or two by a few millimoles. Blood sugar levels outside the normal range may be an indicator of a medical condition. A persistently high level is referred to as hyperglycemia; low levels are referred to as hypoglycemia. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, and is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation. There are different methods of testing and measuring blood sugar le Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Basics
What should your blood sugar levels be? Once diagnosed with diabetes, your health care team will review your "target" blood sugar levels with you. You will likely be told to start checking your blood sugars at home using a meter. Normal blood sugar levels (i.e., people who have not been diagnosed with diabetes) are usually between 4.0 mmol/L and 8.0 mmol/L. If your blood sugars are at levels recommended by your physician or primary health care provider, then it is said that your blood sugars are "in control." For people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the recommended target blood glucose levels are: 4.0 mmol/L to 7.0 mmol/L when measuring blood glucose fasting or before eating 5.0 mmol/L to 10.0 mmol/L when measuring blood glucose 2 hours after eating (your physician or primary health care provider may recommend a range of 5.0 mmol/L to 8.0 mmol/L if you are not at your A1C target - see below) These are general recommendations - your health care provider may suggest different targets for you. In addition, pregnant women, the elderly, and children 12 years old and younger may have different targets. What is urine testing? Before the advent of home blood glucose monitors, the only way to monitor or check for high sugar levels was by urine testing. When blood sugar levels get high enough, the kidneys excrete the excess glucose into the urine. This is important, because if your blood sugar levels are high enough that the sugar "spills" into the urine, they are very high. While urine testing is no longer used to monitor blood sugar levels, it is still used to measure ketone levels (high levels are a sign of poor diabetes control) and albumin levels (a protein that, if found to be at high levels in the urine, could be a sign of kidney damage). What is an A1c test? The Continue reading >>
What Is Normal Blood Sugar?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to your body's organs, muscles and nervous system. The body gets glucose from the food you eat, and the absorption, storage and production of glucose is regulated constantly by complex processes involving the small intestine, liver and pancreas. Normal blood sugar varies from person to person, but a normal range for fasting blood sugar (the amount of glucose in your blood six to eight hours after a meal) is between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter. For most individuals, the level of glucose in the blood rises after meals. A normal blood-sugar range after eating is between 135 and 140 milligrams per deciliter. These variations in blood-sugar levels, both before and after meals, are normal and reflect the way that glucose is absorbed and stored in the body. After you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in food into smaller parts, including glucose, which can be absorbed by the small intestine. As the small intestine absorbs glucose, the pancreas releases insulin, which stimulates body tissues and causes them to absorb this glucose and metabolize it (a process known as glycogenesis). This stored glucose (glycogen) is used to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels between meals. When glucose levels drop between meals, the body takes some much-needed sugar out of storage. The process is kicked off by the pancreas, which releases a hormone known as glucagon, which promotes the conversion of stored sugar (glycogen) in the liver back to glucose. The glucose is then released into the bloodstream. When there isn't enough glucose stored up to maintain normal blood-sugar levels, the body will even produce its own glucose from noncarbohydrate sources (such as amino acids and glycerol). This pro Continue reading >>
This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>
Is My Blood Sugar Normal?
“Is my blood sugar normal?” seems like a simple question – but it’s not! The answer can vary dramatically based on your situation. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider. Please remember: you should figure out your personal goals in consultation with your doctor. Normal Blood Sugar in Diabetic vs. Non-Diabetic First, a quick note on how we measure blood sugar. In the USA, blood sugars are measured by weight in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dL. Most everyone else uses millimole per liter, abbreviated mmol. If you are in the USA, look at the big numbers, most everyone else look at the small numbers. In a person without diabetes, blood sugars tend to stay between 70 and 100 mg/dL (3.8 and 5.5 mmol). After a meal, blood sugars can rise up to 120 mg/dL or 6.7 mmol. It will typically fall back into the normal range within two hours. In a person with diabetes, the story is much more complex: Below 70 mg/dL Below 3.8 mmol Low Blood Sugars (Hypoglycemia). When blood sugars drop below this level, you may start feeling hunger, shakiness, or racing of the heart. Your body is starved for sugar (glucose). Read how to detect and treat low blood sugars. 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL 3.8 mmol to 7.7 mmol Normal Blood Sugar. In this range, the body is functioning normally. In someone without diabetes, the vast majority of the time is spent in the lower half of this range. 140 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL 7.7 mmol to 10 mmol Elevated Blood Sugars. In this range, the body can function relatively normally. However, extended periods of time in this zone put you at risk for long-term complications. Above 180 mg/dL Abovoe 10 mmol High Blood Sugars. At this range, the kidney is unable to reabsorb all of the glucose in your blood and you begin to spill glucose in your urine. Your bo Continue reading >>
Normal Range For Blood Sugar After Eating A Meal
When you have diabetes your blood sugar levels can be quite fragile. What are normal blood sugar levels? Blood sugar levels depend on what, when and how much you eat, as well as how effectively your body produces and uses insulin. Your blood sugar levels are an excellent indicator of your risk of developing diabetes; the higher your blood sugar, the greater your risk. Chronic high blood sugar can be a wake-up call, telling you that it’s time to lose weight and make healthier food choices. Normal Blood Glucose / Blood Sugar Level Ranges before Eating Target blood sugar levels depend on the time of day and if you already have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Before you eat, called a fasting or pre-prandial glucose level, a non-diabetic should have a glucose level between 3.88 and 5.3 mmol/L.. If your reading is higher than 5.33 mmol/L. but lower than 6.94mmol/L, you may have insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. Glucose readings above 7 mmol/L indicate you have diabetes. Ideally, if you have type 2 diabetes you should have a fasting glucose level between 3.88 mmol/L and 7.22 mmol/L, when your diabetes is under control due to a combination of diet, exercise and medication if needed. Normal Blood Sugar Ranges after Eating Your blood sugar or blood glucose levels starts to rise soon after you start to eat and is at its highest 1 to 2 hours after your meal. Normal postprandial, which means “after eating,” glucose levels are 6.67 mmol/L and below for non-diabetics, 8.83 mmol/L. and below for those with pre-diabetes and 10 mmol/L for diabetics. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease suggest that two hours after eating, diabetics should have a blood sugar reading of 10 mmol/L or less. If your blood sugar is higher than 18 mmol/L two hours after eating, Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Level Ranges
Tweet Understanding blood glucose level ranges can be a key part of diabetes self-management. This page states 'normal' blood sugar ranges and blood sugar ranges for adults and children with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and blood sugar ranges to determine people with diabetes. If a person with diabetes has a meter, test strips and is testing, it's important to know what the blood glucose level means. Recommended blood glucose levels have a degree of interpretation for every individual and you should discuss this with your healthcare team. In addition, women may be set target blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The following ranges are guidelines provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) but each individual’s target range should be agreed by their doctor or diabetic consultant. Recommended target blood glucose level ranges The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes. In addition, the International Diabetes Federation's target ranges for people without diabetes is stated.    The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for. NICE recommended target blood glucose level ranges Target Levels by Type Upon waking Before meals (pre prandial) At least 90 minutes after meals (post prandial) Non-diabetic* 4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L under 7.8 mmol/L Type 2 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L under 8.5 mmol/L Type 1 diabetes 5 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L Children w/ type 1 diabetes 4 to 7 mmol/L 4 to 7 mmol/L 5 to 9 mmol/L *The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines. Normal and diabetic blood sugar ranges For the majority of healthy ind Continue reading >>
Average blood glucose and the A1C test Your A1C test result (also known as HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin) 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 (ADA) 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. GET YOURS FREE The calculation below is provided to illustrate the relationship between A1C and average blood glucose levels. This calculation is not meant to replace an actual lab A1C result, but to help you better understand the relationship between your test results and your A1C. Use this information to become more familiar with the relationship between average blood glucose levels and A1C—never as a basis for changing your disease management. See how average daily blood sugar may correlate to A1C levels.2 Enter your average blood sugar reading and click Calculate. *Please discuss this additional information with your healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of your overall diabetes management plan. The calculation should not be used to make therapy decisions or changes. What is A1C? Performed by your doctor during your regular visits, your A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels by taking a Continue reading >>
Goals For Blood Glucose Control
Discuss blood glucose (sugar) targets with your healthcare team when creating your diabetes management plan. People who have diabetes should be testing their blood glucose regularly at home. Regular blood glucose testing helps you determine how well your diabetes management program of meal planning, exercising and medication (if necessary) is doing to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible. The results of the nationwide Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) show that the closer you keep your blood glucose to normal, the more likely you are to prevent diabetes complications such as eye disease, nerve damage, and other problems. For some people, other medical conditions, age, or other issues may cause your physician to establish somewhat higher blood glucose targets for you. The following chart outlines the usual blood glucose ranges for a person who does and does not have diabetes. Use this as a guide to work with your physician and your healthcare team to determine what your target goals should be, and to develop a program of regular blood glucose monitoring to manage your condition. Time of Check Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people without diabetes Goal plasma blood glucose ranges for people with diabetes Before breakfast (fasting) < 100 70 - 130 Before lunch, supper and snack < 110 70 - 130 Two hours after meals < 140 < 180 Bedtime < 120 90- 150 A1C (also called glycosylated hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin A1c) < 6% < 7% < = less than > = greater than > = greater than or equal to < = less than or equal to Information obtained from Joslin Diabetes Center's Guidelines for Pharmacological Management of Type 2 Diabetes. Continue reading >>
What Are The Ideal Levels Of Blood Sugar?
A blood sugar or blood glucose chart identifies ideal blood sugar levels throughout the day, including before and after meals. Doctors use blood sugar charts to set target goals and monitor diabetes treatment plans. Blood sugar charts also help those with diabetes assess and self-monitor blood sugar test results. What is a blood sugar chart? Blood sugar charts act as a reference guide for blood sugar test results. As such, blood sugar charts are important tools for diabetes management. Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare to target levels. To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes. In the United States, blood sugar charts typically report sugar levels in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). In the United Kingdom and many other countries, blood sugar is reported in millimoles per liter (mmol/L). A1C blood sugar recommendations are frequently included in blood sugar charts. A1C results are often described as both a percentage and an average blood sugar level in mg/dL. An A1C test measures the average sugar levels over a 3-month period, which gives a wider insight into a person's overall management of their blood sugar levels. Blood sugar chart guidelines Appropriate blood sugar levels vary throughout the day and from person to person. Blood sugars are often lowest before breakfast and in the lead up to meals. Blood sugars are often highest in the hours following meals. People with diabetes will often have higher blood sugar targets or acceptable ranges than those without the condition. These Continue reading >>
Are My Blood Glucose Levels Normal?
I recently had a blood test for sugar content after fasting. The glucose level was 6.3, but I am not sure what this means. Am I right in assuming that a normal level after fasting for 12 hours is between 4.2 and 6.2, (which presumably means I am on the diabetes borderline)? Advice would be greatly appreciated. I wonder why you decided to check your fasting glucose level . Do you have a family history of diabetes? Perhaps you are taking medication, such as a steroid, that can bring on diabetes? We diagnose diabetes mellitus on the criteria of fasting blood glucose level in excess of 7.7 mmol/litre or non-fasting levels above 11.1mmol/litre. However, the body may develop a reduced ability to handle glucose some for time before diabetes manifests. This probably occurs as people become obese and thereby become resistant to the effects of their own insulin which lowers blood glucose. A fasting glucose between 6.0 to 7.7mmol/L falls within the range that doctors would suspect 'impaired glucose tolerance'. We would follow-up your case to discuss your full medical and family history, then arrange for a repeat test called a modified glucose tolerance test. We would also discuss lifestyle and diet since I note that you are a bit heavier than the ideal for your height. Almost all 'maturity-onset' non-insulin diabetes (Type 2 diabetes non-insulin dependent diabetes) is related to increasing obesity. Yours sincerely The NetDoctor Medical Team Other Qs & As Last updated 03.04.2011 Continue reading >>
Lows & Highs: Blood Sugar Levels
Keeping blood glucose (sugar) levels in a healthy range can be challenging. Knowing and understanding the symptoms of high and low blood sugar is very important for people living with diabetes, as well as their friends and family members. What is low blood glucose (sugar)? When the amount of blood glucose (sugar in your blood) has dropped below your target range (less than four mmol/L), it is called low blood glucose (sugar) or hypoglycemia. What are the signs of a low blood glucose (sugar) level? You may feel: Shaky, light-headed, nauseated Nervous, irritable, anxious Confused, unable to concentrate Hungry Your heart rate is faster Sweaty, headachy Weak, drowsy A numbness or tingling in your tongue or lips Very low blood glucose can make you: Confused and disoriented Lose consciousness Have a seizure Make sure you always wear your MedicAlert® identification, and talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about prevention and emergency treatment for severe low blood glucose (sugar). What causes a low blood glucose (sugar) level (hypoglycemia)? Low blood glucose (sugar) may be caused by: More physical activity than usual Not eating on time Eating less than you should have Taking too much medication The effects of drinking alcohol How do I treat low blood glucose (sugar)? If you are experiencing the signs of a low blood glucose (sugar) level, check your blood glucose (sugar) immediately. If you don’t have your meter with you, treat the symptoms anyway. It is better to be safe. Step one: Low blood glucose (sugar) can happen quickly, so it is important to treat it right away. If your blood glucose (sugar) drops very low, you may need help from another person. Eat or drink a fast-acting carbohydrate (15 grams): 15 grams of glucose in the form of glucose tablets (preferred c Continue reading >>
All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test
People with diabetes used to depend only on urine tests or daily finger sticks to measure their blood sugars. These tests are accurate, but only in the moment. As an overall measurement of blood sugar control, they’re very limited. This is because blood sugar can vary wildly depending on the time of day, activity levels, and even hormone changes. Some people may have high blood sugars at 3 a.m. and be totally unaware of it. Once A1C tests became available in the 1980s, they became an important tool in controlling diabetes. A1C tests measure average blood glucose over the past two to three months. So even if you have a high fasting blood sugar, your overall blood sugars may be normal, or vice versa. A normal fasting blood sugar may not eliminate the possibility of type 2 diabetes. This is why A1C tests are now being used for diagnosis and screening of prediabetes. Because it doesn’t require fasting, the test can be given as part of an overall blood screening. The A1C test is also known as the hemoglobin A1C test or HbA1C test. Other alternate names include the glycosylated hemoglobin test, glycohemoglobin test, and glycated hemoglobin test. A1C measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body. Hemoglobin cells are constantly dying and regenerating, but they have a lifespan of approximately three months. Glucose attaches, or glycates, to hemoglobin, so the record of how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobin also lasts for about three months. If there’s too much glucose attached to the hemoglobin cells, you’ll have a high A1C. If the amount of glucose is normal, your A1C will be normal. The test is effective because of the lifespan of the hemogl Continue reading >>
Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes
Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Guidelines
Absolute numbers vary between pets, and with meter calibrations. The numbers below are as shown on a typical home glucometer while hometesting blood glucose, not necessarily the more accurate numbers a vet would see (though many vets use meters similar to those used in hometesting). For general guidelines only, the levels to watch are approximately: mmol/L mg/dL(US) <2.2 <40 Readings below this level are usually considered hypoglycemic when giving insulin, even if you see no symptoms of it. Treat immediately 2.7-7.5 50-130 Non-diabetic range (usually unsafe to aim for when on insulin, unless your control is very good). These numbers, when not giving insulin, are very good news. 3.2-4.4 57-79 This is an average non-diabetic cat's level, but leaves little margin of safety for a diabetic on insulin. Don't aim for this range, but don't panic if you see it, either. If the number is not falling, it's healthy. 5 90 A commonly cited minimum safe value for the lowest target blood sugar of the day when insulin-controlled. 7.8 140 According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), threshold above which organ and pancreatic dysfunction may begin in hospitalized humans and the maximum target for post-meal blood glucose in humans. 5.5-10 100-180 Commonly used target range for diabetics, for as much of the time as possible. <10-15 <180-270 "Renal threshold" (varies between individuals, see below), when excess glucose from the kidneys spills into the urine and roughly when the pet begins to show diabetic symptoms. See Hyperglycemia for long-term effects of high blood glucose. 14 250 Approximate maximum safe value for the highest blood sugar of the day, in dogs, who are more sensitive to high blood sugar. Dogs can go blind at this level. Cats Continue reading >>