What Are Blood Sugar Target Ranges? What Is Normal Blood Sugar Level?
Understanding blood sugar target ranges to better manage your diabetes As a person with diabetes, you may or may not know what your target ranges should be for your blood sugars first thing in the morning, before meals, after meals, or at bedtime. You may or may not understand what blood sugar ranges are for people without diabetes. You may or may not understand how your A1C correlates with your target ranges. How do you get a clear picture of what is going on with your blood sugar, and how it could be affecting your health? In this article, we will look at what recommended blood sugar target ranges are for people without diabetes. We will look at target ranges for different times of the day for people with diabetes. We will look at target ranges for Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes. Is there a difference? We will also look at what blood sugars should be during pregnancy for those with gestational diabetes. We will look at other factors when determining blood sugar targets, such as: Age Other health conditions How long you’ve had diabetes for Stress Illness Lifestyle habits and activity levels We will see how these factors impact target ranges for your blood sugars when you have diabetes. We will learn that target ranges can be individualized based on the factors above. We will learn how target ranges help to predict the A1C levels. We will see how if you are in your target range, you can be pretty sure that your A1C will also be in target. We will see how you can document your blood sugar patterns in a notebook or in an “app,” and manage your blood sugars to get them in your target ranges. First, let’s look at the units by which blood sugars are measured… How is blood sugar measured? In the United States, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter (by w Continue reading >>
Diabetes The Basics: Blood Sugars: The Nondiabetic Versus The Diabetic
BLOOD SUGARS: THE NONDIABETIC VERSUS THE DIABETIC Since high blood sugar is the hallmark of diabetes, and the cause of every long-term complication of the disease, it makes sense to discuss where blood sugar comes from and how it is used and not used. Our dietary sources of blood sugar are carbohydrates and proteins. One reason the taste of sugar—a simple form of carbohydrate—delights us is that it fosters production of neurotransmitters in the brain that relieve anxiety and can create a sense of well-being or even euphoria. This makes carbohydrate quite addictive to certain people whose brains may have inadequate levels of or sensitivity to these neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers with which the brain communicates with itself and the rest of the body. When blood sugar levels are low, the liver, kidneys, and intestines can, through a process we will discuss shortly, convert proteins into glucose, but very slowly and inefficiently. The body cannot convert glucose back into protein, nor can it convert fat into sugar. Fat cells, however, with the help of insulin, do transform glucose into fat. The taste of protein doesn’t excite us as much as that of carbohydrate— it would be the very unusual child who’d jump up and down in the grocery store and beg his mother for steak or fish instead of cookies. Dietary protein gives us a much slower and smaller blood sugar effect, which, as you will see, we diabetics can use to our advantage in normalizing blood sugars. The Nondiabetic In the fasting nondiabetic, and even in most type 2 diabetics, the pancreas constantly releases a steady, low level of insulin. This baseline, or basal, insulin level prevents the liver, kidneys, and intestines from inappropriately converting bodily proteins (muscle, vital organs) into g Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar After Meals And What To Do About It
I will admit to having a bit of a diabetes crush on Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, Type 1, and founder of Integrated Diabetes Services, LLC. And you know what? I’m not the only one. I recently saw Gary give a talk called “Strike the Spike” at the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ (AADE) 2013 conference to a room packed with diabetes educators. The point was to help CDEs understand why managing/avoiding post-meal blood glucose spikes is important – and to learn new techniques for how to do so. I was there because I am constantly struggling with post-meal spikes. I appear to digest food quickly and absorb insulin slowly — that’s why I’m on Symlin, which helps slow down the emptying of my stomach so I’ve got some chance of having my insulin start working by the time my food makes it to my blood. (I love my Symlin.) But I wanted to hear what other tips Gary might have, and what the responses might be. Gary started with a seemingly simple question: why should anyone care about post-prandial (i.e. post-meal) spikes? At first this question made me furrow my brow — I can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t care about post-meal blood glucose spikes — but I guess that in some cases, health care providers stress the A1c average more than they do the swings in between. Anyway, the audience slowly warmed up, and reasons started pouring in, mostly having to do with complications. Gary nodded along, affirming each one. I was still struggling with the whole concept of not caring, and so I was caught off guard — as was most of the audience — when he pointed out a very important reason that post-prandial spikes matter, one that none of the certified diabetes educators in the room had pointed out (and, oddly, which I myself hadn’t even thought of): because th Continue reading >>
Blood Sugar Chart
This blood sugar chart shows normal blood glucose levels before and after meals and recommended HbA1c levels for people with and without diabetes. BLOOD SUGAR CHART Fasting Normal for person without diabetes 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L) Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L) 2 hours after meals Normal for person without diabetes Less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L) Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes Less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L) HbA1c Normal for person without diabetes Less than 5.7% Official ADA recommendation for someone with diabetes 7.0% or less Interested in learning more? Read about normal blood glucose numbers, getting tested for Type 2 diabetes and using blood sugar monitoring to manage diabetes. Disclaimer Statements: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information. 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 >>
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?
The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood sugar (“glucose”) as close to normal as possible. What is a normal blood sugar level? And how can you achieve normal blood sugar? First, what is the difference between “sugar” and “glucose”? Sugar is the general name for sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. “Carbohydrate” means a food made only of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are various different kinds of sugars. The one our body uses most is called “glucose.” Other sugars we eat, like fructose from fruit or lactose from milk, are converted into glucose in our bodies. Then we can use them for energy. Our bodies also break down starches, which are sugars stuck together, into glucose. When people talk about “blood sugar,” they mean “blood glucose.” The two terms mean the same thing. In the U.S., blood sugar is normally measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dl). A milligram is very little, about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces. In Canada and the United Kingdom, blood sugar is reported in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert Canadian or British glucose levels to American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you’re reading comments or studies from England or Canada. If someone reports that their fasting blood glucose was 7, you can multiply that by 18 and get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dl. What are normal glucose numbers? They vary throughout the day. (Click here for a blood sugar chart.) For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl. Those are the normal numbers for someone w Continue reading >>
* What Is A Normal Blood Sugar?
Normal blood sugars after a high carbohydrate breakfast eaten at 7:30 AM. The blue line is the average for the group. The brown lines show the range within which most readings fell (2 standard deviations). Bottom lines show Insulin and C-peptide levels at the same time. Click HERE if you don't see the graph. Graph is a screen shot from Dr. Christiansen's presentation cited below. The term "blood sugar" refers to the concentration of glucose, a simple, sugar, that is found in a set volume of blood. In the U.S. it is measured in milligrams per deciliter, abbreviated as mg/dl. In most of the rest of the world it is measured in millimoles per liter, abbreviated as mmol/L. The concentration of glucose in our blood changes continually throughout the day. It can even vary significantly from minute to minute. When you eat, it can rise dramatically. When you exercise it will often drop. The blood sugar measures that doctors are most interested in is the A1c, discussed below. When you are given a routine blood test doctors usually order a fasting glucose test. The most informative blood sugar reading is the post-meal blood sugar measured one and two hours after eating. Doctors rarely test this important blood sugar measurement as it is time consuming and hence expensive. Rarely doctors will order a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which tests your response to a huge dose of pure glucose, which hits your blood stream within minutes and produces results quite different from the blood sugars you will experience after each meal. Below you will find the normal readings for these various tests. Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Fasting blood sugar is usually measured first thing in the morning before you have eaten any food. A truly normal fasting blood sugar (which is also the blood sugar a norm Continue reading >>
A1c Tip: Look At Your Blood Sugar After You Eat
Frustrated with your latest A1C test results? Your blood sugar levels within the 1-3 hours after you eat are just as important as your blood sugar right before you eat, especially when it comes to your A1C. For example, if your blood sugar is regularly rising to 240 mg/dL (13 mmol) after a meal, that means that you could be spending 2-3 hours after every meal with your blood sugar in that range…which adds up to at least 9 hours of the day! That’s a good chunk of the day spent with high blood sugars, and possibly the source of your A1C results. What can you do to prevent that blood sugar spike after a meal? Here are 5 tips: 1. Take your insulin or oral medication sooner before you eat. Today’s fast-acting insulin’s are designed to reach your bloodstream and start working within 10 to 30 minutes. That means that if you eat your meal and then take your insulin, you’re giving the carbohydrates in that food 10 to 30 minutes to start spiking your blood sugar, easily enough time to work its way up to 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) or higher by the time the insulin really gets going. 2. Talk to your doctor about a medication like Symlin. Symlin is an injectable medication designed to replace the hormone “amylin.” Amylin is a hormone in the human body that works to prevent food from digesting as quickly and it helps prevent high blood sugars after eating. People with type 1 diabetes make zero amylin and people with type 2 diabetes make some, but often not enough. While you can certainly live a healthy life with diabetes without Symlin (or amylin), it can be very helpful for those with insulin resistance or difficulty with high blood sugar after meals. 3. Fine-tune your insulin doses for meals. If you’re taking insulin with your meals, it’s vital that you test your insulin Continue reading >>
A High Sugar Level After A Meal
It's normal for your blood sugar level to rise after you eat, especially if you eat a meal high in refined carbohydrates. But if your blood sugar rises more than most people's, you might have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition that indicates a strong risk for developing diabetes in the future. If you already have diabetes, you doctor will recommend keeping your blood sugar within a prescribed range. A glucose tolerance test, done one to three hours after you eat a high-carbohydrate meal, can check your blood sugar levels. Why Does Your Blood Sugar Rise? When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks down the sugars they contain into glucose. Your body can't absorb most sugars without breaking them down first. Simple sugars such as refined sugar break down very quickly; you absorb them rapidly into your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar. In healthy people, the levels don't rise very high and they drop back to normal quickly. If you have diabetes, your levels after a meal will rise higher and stay high longer than levels in other people. This occurs because your pancreas either don't release enough insulin, the hormone that helps cells absorb glucose, or because the cells don't respond properly to insulin release. Normal Levels If your doctor suspects that you have abnormal glucose levels, he might suggest doing a glucose tolerance test. You are given around 75 grams of carbohydrate after fasting for 12 hours. At one- to three-hour intervals, your doctor draws blood and analyzes your glucose levels. A normal fasting glucose is 60 to 100 milligrams per deciliter; your levels should rise no higher than 200 mg/dl one hour after eating and no more than 140 mg/dl two hours after finishing the snack. Most healthy people without diabetes have two-hour readings below 12 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 >>
The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal
Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal? A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal. Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring (and record-keeping) is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems. Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio. Continue reading >>
Prediabetes (impaired Glucose Tolerance)
Wed, 11/17/2010 - 13:55 -- Richard Morris Pre-diabetes (previously called Impaired Glucose Tolerance IGT) was first named in 2003 and is designed to foster attention and action in people who receive this diagnosis. It is defined as having a blood glucose level that is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. The cutoff for pre-diabetes is a fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dl. Fasting levels between 100 and 126 mg/dl are diagnosed as pre-diabetes and a fasting level of 126 mg/dl and up is diabetes. The other determiner of pre-diabetes is a blood sugar level two hours after eating carbs of 140 to 199 mg/dl. A blood sugar under 140 mg/dl is considered normal and one 200mg/dl and over is considered diabetes. Early diagnosis is important. In the early years of pre-diabetes or diabetes, the beta cells are progressively damaged by high blood sugars.Usually by the time diabetes is diagnosed, half of the beta cells are nonfunctional. This can not be reversed so that the beta cells can go back to insulin production. When an early diagnosis of pre-diabetes is made, almost 100 percent of beta cells are functional. If lifestyle changes are made and some diabetes medications are used right away, many beta cells will stay healthy and make blood sugar control easier Criteria for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes An estimated 20 million people have pre-diabetes in the U.S. and this number is growing rapidly. 50 percent of the people who have pre-diabetes are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, however diet, exercise and glucose monitoring can greatly reduce the onset of diabetes altogether. People who have a higher risk of developing pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes are: those overweight, especially in the abdominal area. people with steroid induced hyperglyc Continue reading >>
Managing Your Blood Sugar
Know the basic steps for managing your diabetes. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to many health problems. Know how to: Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) Find, buy, and store diabetes supplies If you take insulin, you should also know how to: Give yourself insulin Adjust your insulin doses and the foods you eat to manage your blood sugar during exercise and on sick days You should also live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Do muscle strengthening exercises 2 or more days a week. Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time. Try speed walking, swimming, or dancing. Pick an activity you enjoy. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plans. Follow your meal plan. Take your medicines the way your health care provider recommends. Checking your blood sugar levels often and writing down the results will tell you how well you are managing your diabetes. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about how often you should check your blood sugar. Not everyone with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar every day. But some people may need to check it many times a day. If you have type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least 4 times a day. Usually, you will test your blood sugar before meals and at bedtime. You may also check your blood sugar: After you eat out, especially if you have eaten foods you don't normally eat If you feel sick Before and after you exercise If you have a lot of stress If you eat too much If you are taking new medicines Keep a record for yourself and your provider. This will be a big help if you are having problems managing your diabetes. It will also tell you what works and what doesn't work, to keep your blood sugar under control. Write down: The time of day Your blood sugar level Th Continue reading >>
7 Blood Sugar Testing Mistakes To Avoid
1 / 8 Understand Diabetes Testing If you have diabetes, it's imperative that you learn to effectively self-test your blood sugar to keep your glucose levels in check. For example, results from a study of more than 5,000 people living with diabetes showed that even those people who don't take medication for diabetes have better blood sugar control if they test regularly. The study participants' risk of early kidney damage, strokes, and death from diabetes-related causes was also reduced by one-third. Of course, the accuracy of your results is tied to the accuracy of your checking — and to your understanding of what all the numbers mean. "The most important point to me is that people are learning something from checking their blood sugar," says Sacha Uelmen, RDN, CDE, director of nutrition for the American Diabetes Association. "Don't just look at those numbers, write them down, and move on. If you have diabetes, take an active role in your health." To get the most useful readings, learn these common blood sugar testing mistakes and how to avoid them. Continue reading >>
Common Questions About Blood Sugar
How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>