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 >>
8 Numbers You Need To Know For Diabetes
How to Manage Diabetes With Numbers Diabetes self-management is a numbers game. But it's not just about your blood sugar. There are at least eight different numbers you should be familiar with to lower your risk for complications from diabetes symptoms. "Diabetes self-management is absolutely essential," says Enrico Cagliero, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center. "Although managing these numbers may not improve diabetes symptoms, it can help decrease the risk of serious complications such as blindness or kidney failure down the road." 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 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 >>
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 >>
Diabetes: Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers
To control your diabetes, you must know your blood sugar numbers. Testing your blood sugar is the only way to know whether your blood sugar is too high, too low, or just right. 1. The hemoglobin A1c test (pronounced he-me-glo-bin A-one-C) measures your blood sugar control over the last 3 months. It is the best way to know if your blood sugar is under control. 2. A finger-stick test you do yourself using a blood glucose meter measures your blood sugar at the time you test. You need both tests to get a complete picture of your blood sugar control. The hemoglobin A1c test is a simple lab test that shows the average amount of sugar that has been in your blood over the last 3 months. Your health care provider does the test by taking a small sample of your blood and sending it to a lab. The hemoglobin A1c test shows if your blood sugar is close to normal or too high. It is the best test for your health care provider to tell if your blood sugar is under control. A finger-stick test is a simple test you can do using a blood glucose meter to check changes in your own blood sugar. The finger-stick test tells you what your blood sugar is at the time you test. Finger-stick testing using a blood glucose meter helps you see how food, physical activity, and diabetes medicine affect your blood sugar. The readings you get from these tests can help you manage your diabetes day by day or even hour by hour. Keep a record of your test results and review it with your health care provider. Ideal goals for most people with diabetes when finger-stick testing using a blood glucose meter are: Your blood sugar goals may be different from these ideal goals. Ask your health care provider what goals are best for you. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Blood Sugar Levels For Adults With Diabetes
Each time you test your blood sugar, log it in a notebook or online tool or with an app. Note the date, time, results, and any recent activities: What medication and dosage you took What you ate How much and what kind of exercise you were doing That will help you and your doctor see how your treatment is working. Well-managed diabetes can delay or prevent complications that affect your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes doubles your risk for heart disease and stroke, too. Fortunately, controlling your blood sugar will also make these problems less likely. Tight blood sugar control, however, means a greater chance of low blood sugar levels, so your doctor may suggest higher targets. Continue reading >>
What Is A Good Score On The A1c Diabetes Test?
Normal A1C level can range from 4.5 to 6 percent. Someone who's had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time can have an A1C level above 9 percent. A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, an A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate dates indicates diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which is high risk of developing diabetes. For most people who have previously diagnosed diabetes, an A1C level of 7 percent or less is a common treatment target. Higher targets may be chosen in some individuals. If your A1C level is above your target, your doctor may recommend a change in your diabetes treatment plan. Remember, the higher your A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications. A good score on the A1C test depends on whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. For those who do not have diabetes, a score of less than 5.7% is considered normal, while 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes and 6.5% or higher means you have diabetes. If you already have diabetes, a score of 7% or lower is desired. You and your doctor can decide what score is best for you. The A1C diabetes test is a way to get an average of how well your blood sugar has been controlled for the past three months. The standard A1C goal for most people with diabetes is less than 7%. However, the goal may be individualized or may be different for some people, especially older adults, people with heart disease or those who are prone to frequent low blood glucose. It's a good idea to find out what your A1C goal should be from your healthcare provider and then use that as a benchmark for your A1C results. No one quite agrees on where your A1C score should be, but we all agree on where it shouldn’t be. The scale does not look anything like the BGL numbers you are used 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 >>
What To Expect With Gestational Diabetes
Blood glucose control is key to having a healthy baby A diagnosis of gestational diabetes can cast a shadow over the joys of pregnancy. While the vast majority of these cases end with a healthy baby and mom, gestational diabetes (high blood glucose during pregnancy in a woman who has never had type 1 or type 2 diabetes) does increase risks to the health of both baby and mother. Keeping blood glucose under control is crucial for women with gestational diabetes to help safeguard their babies and themselves. Gestational diabetes is caused by issues that arise as part of a normal pregnancy: hormonal changes and weight gain. Women whose bodies can't compensate for these changes by producing enough of the hormone insulin, which ushers glucose from the blood into cells to produce energy, develop high blood glucose and gestational diabetes. Overweight mothers are at a greater risk for the condition. In the United States, gestational diabetes is reported in somewhere between 2 and 10 percent of pregnancies, but it is now believed that the condition affects 18 percent of women in pregnancy. The larger number is the result of new criteria for diagnosis, not just skyrocketing rates. The American Diabetes Association began recommending this year that gestational diabetes be diagnosed with only one abnormal test result rather than two, the previous method, and this is causing more cases to be detected. Gestational diabetes usually appears roughly halfway through pregnancy, as the placenta puts out large amounts of "anti-insulin" hormones. Women without known diabetes should be screened for gestational diabetes 24 to 28 weeks into their pregnancies. (If high blood glucose levels are detected earlier in pregnancy, the mother-to-be may actually have type 2 diabetes, rather than gestati Continue reading >>
What Your Blood Glucose Numbers Mean
In order to get a complete picture of your blood glucose throughout the day, it is useful to test at different times. Your doctor will help you set your blood glucose targets. Here is what the numbers can mean. These examples are based upon the American Diabetes Association guidelines. Fasting blood glucose before breakfast. This reading on an empty stomach shows how well you use the long-acting insulin that you take. The number should be between 4 and 7 mmol/L. Pre-meal blood glucose before lunch and dinner. This reading shows the effectiveness of your breakfast and lunch insulin doses. The number should be between 4 and 7. Two hours after eating. Your blood glucose peaks a few hours after you eat. This reading shows if the insulin you took was enough to cover the carbs you ate. The reading should be less than 10 mmol/L. Just before bedtime. A target range for someone with diabetes is 6 to 8 mmol/L. You don't want to go to bed with blood glucose that is too low, because that puts you at risk of having a severe low blood sugar episode during the night. Blood Glucose Level Ask Your Doctor If your blood glucose before breakfast is lower than 4 mmol/L, that may be too low. Ask your doctor if you should eat a small snack before you go to bed or reduce your bedtime dose of long-acting insulin. You might want to do a 3:00 am blood glucose check. If the reading before breakfast is over 7 mmol/L, and several 3:00 am readings are in your target range, you may be experiencing "Dawn Phenomenon". This happens when levels of growth hormone begin to rise in the early morning hours, stimulating the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream. Ask your doctor if your supper or bedtime NPH insulin dose needs to be increased, or if you would do better using a different type of insulin. Continue reading >>
- Recommended Blood Glucose Numbers
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Type 2 Diabetes
Print Diagnosis To diagnose type 2 diabetes, you'll be given a: Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes. Normal levels are below 5.7 percent. If the A1C test isn't available, or if you have certain conditions — such as if you're pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (known as a hemoglobin variant) — that can make the A1C test inaccurate, your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes: Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Regardless of when you last ate, a random blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) or higher suggests diabetes, especially when coupled with any of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as frequent urination and extreme thirst. Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast. A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it's 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood s Continue reading >>
Diabetes By The Numbers
When you have type 2 diabetes, you’ve got to know your numbers. It’s not just about blood sugar. To successfully manage diabetes, there are several measurements that you should take, or have taken, on a regular basis. Keeping track of the following numbers can help you live well with type 2 diabetes and lower your risk of complications. Blood sugar levels. This is probably the type 2 diabetes measure you’re most familiar with. Testing your blood sugar regularly allows you to see how certain foods, exercise, and other activities affect your blood sugar levels on a day-to-day basis. Many people with type 2 diabetes need to test once or twice a day to make sure blood sugar levels are in target range. If your blood sugar is very well controlled, you may only need to check a few times a week, according to the National Institutes of Health. The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for a blood sugar level between 70 to 130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal. To keep your blood sugar within this range, follow a healthy, well-rounded diet and eat meals and snacks on a consistent schedule. If your blood sugar is not well controlled, talk to your doctor about adjusting your diabetes management plan. A1C level. This is a blood test, typically given at doctor's appointments, that measures your average blood sugar levels over a longer period. “It gives you a picture of what’s been going on over the past two to three months,” says Dawn Sherr, RD, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Essentially, your A1C result shows how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. Depending on your results, you may need to have the test from two to four times a year. For most pe Continue reading >>
Analyzing Your Numbers: When Is It Diabetes?
Know the Numbers According to the American Diabetes Association's Standards of Medical Care, these numbers should be used to diagnose pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The ADA suggests everyone over age 45 be checked every three years -- especially if your body mass index (BMI) is over 25. People with a family history of diabetes should be tested at a younger age and more frequently. Normal Fasting glucose level: Less than 100 mg/dl Two hours after eating: Less than 140 mg/dl Pre-Diabetes Fasting glucose level: Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dl and less than 126 mg/dl Two hours after eating: Equal to or greater than 140 mg/dl and less than 200 mg/dl Type 2 Diabetes Fasting glucose level: Equal to or greater than 126 mg/dl. A second test is required for confirmation. Two hours after eating: Equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl. A second test is required for confirmation. Aim for these Targets Maintaining recommended targets for the following risk factors may help you avoid heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Aim for the targets below, as recommended by the ADA in its CheckUp America program at checkupamerica.org. Weight: Body mass index between 19 and 25 Waist circumference: Less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men LDL (bad) cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dl HDL (good) cholesterol: Greater than 60 mg/dl Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dl Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dl Blood pressure: Less than 120/80 mmHg Blood glucose: Less than 100 mg/dl Smoking cigarettes: No safe level Physical activity: At least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days Determining Your BMI Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height that's used to measure body fat. Use this formula to calculate your BMI or go to nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmicalc.htm for a quick calculation. Then Continue reading >>