Here are the recommended normal blood sugar levels (as per ADA guidelines):
Fasting normal blood sugar levels
For a healthy individual without diabetes: 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
Individuals with diabetes: 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L)
Normal blood sugar levels 2 hours after meals (also k/a Post prandial blood sugar)
For individuals without diabetes: it should be less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
For someone with diabetes: it should be less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)
It represents the last three months average sugar levels in blood.
For individuals without diabetes: Less than 5.7%
For someone with diabetes: Less than 7.0%
What is blood glucose?
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the level of sugar that is circulating in your blood at any given point of time. Your GUT absorbs it from the food that you eat. Carbohydrates present in your diet in the major source of blood glucose. Every single cell in your body needs this energy to function. Your brain consumes more than 50% of this energy pool.
Diabetes and Blood sugar level relation
Whenever someone is diagnosed as diabetic, he or she, at some point must have wondered what ideal blood glucose (sugar) should be. Ideally, this should be explained to you by your healthcare provider. However, not everyone gets the clear explanation or you might have forgotten, as it may have been a while now. Well no worries – – we will get to that here.
When things go ‘WRONG’
Insulin hormone plays key role in maintaining normal levels of blood glucose. Insulin is produced inside your body by a gland called Pancreas. When we eat food, the pancreas gets stimulated; thereby releasing Insulin that helps the body to handle the influx of glucose.
Things can go wrong if the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, as in the case of type I diabetes. Another scenario is that there is enough insulin synthesis, but the cells are not able to use it properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This happens due to increased insulin resistance and is the hallmark of type II diabetes.
High blood glucose levels can make you feel sick. Common symptoms of high blood glucose levels (Hyperglycemia) includes: Frequent urination, increased thirst, fatigue, and weight loss.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is potentially a serious complication, if high sugar levels are left untreated.
Estimating your blood glucose level
Until your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, you don’t feel any issues. In fact, majority of type II diabetics don’t have the usual symptoms. That is why diabetes goes un-diagnosed for several years.
The ideal way to know your sugar level is by checking it in a medical laboratory or by using a glucometer.
What do the numbers mean on your glucometer?
When you start dealing with diabetes, your health-givers advise you to monitor your blood glucose levels several time a day. You will be dealing with different values whenever you will check your blood sugar levels. So, it becomes important to understand what these numbers on your glucometer tells.
These are the American Diabetes Association recommended guidelines for blood glucose levels for individuals with diabetes. The goals may vary depending upon the clinical condition at that point of time.
• Fasting (after overnight fasting): 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L)
• Postprandial (two hours after a meal): Should be less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)
Please note, these guidelines are for non-pregnant adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Children, adolescents and pregnant females may have different blood glucose level goals.
Your blood glucose goals will always be different from others. If you are young, your blood glucose target might be a little tight or on lower side. For elderly individuals the blood glucose goals may be higher than what ADA recommends.
Bottom line: talk with your health care provider about the following:
• When and how frequently to check your blood glucose level
• What should be your target blood glucose levels are
NB: Always remember to ask your healthcare provider for your target glucose level. Without that, it will be like, sailing in an ocean without a map. Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to hit the target values every time you check your blood glucose levels. Staying within the recommended target range is the key. The closer you keep them, the better it is. Adequate control keeps you safe from complications and maintains good quality life. Initially you might need to check your levels several times a day to catch hold of the phenomenon.
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