If you have been told to watch your blood sugar levels, you may feel a bit overwhelm. There is a fortune of information to understand, and it ’ s hard to keep track of all of the different numbers and what they mean .
In this article, we will break it all down for you so that it is easy to understand. Let ’ s beginning by reviewing the basics of how blood sugars study and learning why it ’ s so important to keep your blood sugar levels in check. then, we will get into what blood boodle levels to aim for, how to monitor your levels at base, and what to do if your numbers are higher than they should be.
Reading: What is Normal Blood Glucose?
Blood sugar basics: what is blood sugar?
The term “ blood sugar ” refers to the sugar, or glucose, that is floating about in your bloodstream at any given time. Blood sugar, or rake glucose is the main source of sugar found in your rake, and comes from the food you eat. I
f you are monitoring your blood boodle, it is important to keep these numbers in check according to the American Diabetes Association ( ADA ) .
Your blood sugar needs to be in the mighty range for you to be healthy. At least some glucose is necessity for your brawn, liver, and some other cells to use as fuel so they can function .
At least some boodle is necessary for your cells and organs to function by rights. When our rake sugar levels get excessively low, it is called hypoglycemia. Without adequate glucose as fuel, we lose the ability to function normally. This can make us feel weak, airheaded, and sweaty. And it can even lead to loss of consciousness .
On the other hand, rake sugar levels that get excessively high are besides harmful, this is called hyperglycemia. Our rake sugar levels can get besides high when we don ’ t have adequate insulin, or when our insulin international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate working well. This is the case for people who have prediabetes or diabetes. If it isn ’ thymine treated, high rake sugar can lead to serious problems that can be deadly
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) explains that keeping blood sugar levels in the target range is critical. It can help us prevent serious health concerns like kernel disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, for exemplar .
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A lineage boodle chart can help you remember which levels you should opt for !
Different levels and what they mean
The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last corrode. safe levels of rake boodle are high adequate to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but moo enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases ( NIDDK ) guides. dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range .
The target levels can besides vary if you have diabetes. For exemplar, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be meek hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood boodle in 15 minutes .
If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was gloomy because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act .
That is all right because your torso is adequate to, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in dominance to help prevent issues like heart disease or steel damage .
Looking for the best prediabetes diet ? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes .
What are “normal” blood sugar levels?
You might want to measure your blood carbohydrate before meals to get a service line, and then two hours after your meal to measure your “ normal blood sugar degree ”. Your doctor might besides suggest measuring blood boodle before bed to be certain you have been eating well throughout the day and can go to sleep with peace of mind .
These are considered within the range of “ normal ” :
- Less than 140 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- Less than 180 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
Levels in the Morning
The best time to check lineage carbohydrate levels in the dawn is right when you wake up and before you eat anything. This gives you a glimpse of what may be happening nightlong, and it gives you a baseline for the day .
These are finish levels, according to The Joslin Diabetes Center :
- Under 70 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- 70 to 130 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
The dawn effect can often lead to a high good morning measurement in diabetes. This is your body ’ s inclination to get ready for the day by raising blood sugar by increasing levels of counter-regulatory hormones – the ones that counteract insulin as in normal rake sugar. For people with diabetes, you do not have the capacity to counterbalance this wax in rake carbohydrate, so levels can be perilously high .
Ways to lower your dawn blood carbohydrate rate include :
- Eating dinner earlier
- Checking your medications – making sure you are taking them properly and asking your doctor if they are correct
- Going for a walk after dinner
- Including protein with your dinner
Levels After You’ve Eaten (2 Hours)
many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simpleton sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the chief source of plasma glucose .
Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fatty, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as complicate sugars and starches .
These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes :
Goals for Healthy Adults
Goals with Diabetes
Before lunch, dinner, or a bite
Less than 110 mg/dl
2 hours after you eat
Less than 140 mg/dl
Less than 180 mg/dl
Less than 120 mg/dl
Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
The NIDDK states that gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs during pregnancy if you were not diabetic before getting fraught. Healthy blood sugar during pregnancy can help lower your gamble of developing character 2 diabetes late. It can besides lower the risk of your baby being born prematurely, at a high parentage system of weights, and having respiratory problems .
lineage boodle and insulin levels during the first gear trimester of pregnancy tend to be lower than common, but they rise during the late second and early third trimesters. You can be diagnosed with an oral glucose permissiveness examination ( OGTT ). [ 7 ]
These are the steps for the 2-step scheme .
- Drink a solution with 50 grams (200 calories) of glucose – about the amount in 1 16-oz. bottle of a soft drink
- Get your blood drawn after 1 hour. IF the value is high, retest…
- Fast overnight
- Drink a solution with 100 grams (400 calories) of glucose – about the amount in 12 peanut butter cups
- Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1, 2, and 3 hours
Or, your sophisticate might use the 1-step scheme with a 2-hour OGTT :
- Fast overnight
- Drink a solution with 75 grams of glucose (300 calories – about the amount in 2 cans of soda)
- Get your blood drawn immediately and after 1 and 2 hours
These are some values to know from NIDKK related to gestational diabetes and healthy blood sugar in pregnancy .
Time or Situation
Blood Sugar Values
Diagnosis – 1-hour OGTT
Any of the following are indicative of gestational diabetes .
Fasting : 92 mg/dl
1 hour : at least 180 mg/dl
2 hours : at least 153 mg/dl
Diagnosis – 2-hour OGTT
Getting 2 or more of the values shown is indicative of gestational diabetes .
baseline : at least 95 mg/dl
1 hour : at least 180 mg/dl
2 hours : at least 155 mg/dl
3 hours : at least 140 mg/dl
( Alternative Method )
baseline : at least 105 mg/dl
1 hour : at least 190 mg/dl
2 hours : at least 165 mg/dl
3 hours : at least 145 mg/dl
Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in your bolshevik blood cells, but it is highly relevant to blood sugar levels. Sugar in your blood attaches to hemoglobin, creating what is called glycated hemoglobin, or A1c ( or Hba1c ). high lineage glucose levels lead to more hemoglobin being glycated .
Measuring your A1C is an option to measuring fasting blood glucose. Measuring lineage glucose immediately with a finger prick ( glucometer ) or a rake draw at your doctor ’ second office lets you know your blood boodle at that here and now, while the A1c prize you get provides an estimate of your average blood boodle levels over the past 3 months .
For model, if your A1c value is 7.8 ( a reading between 140-199 mg/dl ) would be considered eminent .
Glycated Hemoglobin (A1C or Hba1c) Value
Estimated Average Glucose (EAG)
5.6 % ( Highest “ normal ” value )
5.7 % ( Prediabetes )
6.4 % ( Diabetes )
7 % ( Goal in diabetes )
Printable Blood Sugar Chart
A blood sugar graph showing finish values can help you promptly gauge how you are doing with your monitor. This chart shows what to aim for throughout the day if you have diabetes or not. [ 9 ]
Time and Situation
Goal for Non-Diabetics
Goal for Diabetics
foremost thing in the morning ( fasting
before breakfast )
< 100 mg/dl
70 – 130 mg/dl
Before lunch, dinner, and snacks
< 110 mg/dl
70 – 130 mg/dl
Two hours after starting to eat a meal or bite
< 140 mg/dl
< 180 mg/dl
Before going to bed
< 120 mg/dl
90- 150 mg/dl
You can besides click here for a printable blood boodle chart showing aim values at different times of the day for diabetics and non-diabetics .
Blood Sugar Level Chart by Age
Blood boodle levels tend to rise with age ascribable to an increase in insulin immunity and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one analyze by the National Health Institute ( NIH ), each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl addition in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial ( post-meal ) glucose levels .
How to Reduce Blood Sugar
You can take steps to reach your blood boodle goals a soon as you find out that it is gamey. This is how to reduce blood sugar if you have a unmarried high read that may be dangerous :
- Ask your doctor what to do if you missed a dose of insulin or another diabetes medication
- Ask your doctor if your medication types and doses are still appropriate for you
- Drink water to dilute the sugar
- Exercise (if safe) for 15 minutes
- Eat a small protein snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, ½ ounce of peanuts or pistachios or other nuts, ½ cup of beans, or ½ cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese
If you have chronically high blood sugar in prediabetes or diabetes, you can follow this treatment plan :
- Exercise regularly, assuming your doctor approves it
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese
- Eat a higher proportion of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit
- Limit sugary foods and beverages, fried foods, refined starches, and processed and fatty red meats
- Beware of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, which can spike your blood sugar. Check out our guide of which veggies to avoid!
Glycemic Index Calculator
If you have been tested, then what ? A lineage sugar floor calculator can help you put the results into terms you can understand after you have used a glucose meter. For example, it can convert mg/dl into mmol, or mmol into mg/dl, depending on which measure your trial results submit for glucose levels .
A calculator can besides change A1C into EAG, or estimated average glucose .
Woman uses glucose meter to monitor diabetes
Calculate yours with the American Diabetes Association ‘ s calculator !
Fasting Blood Glucose Level Test Preparation
What should you do if your doctor orders a fast blood sugar trial ? The preparation is the same as when you take a fast test for cholesterol. First, be sure to find out if you need to schedule an appointment for your test ( some people need to ; others have providers that do not require an appointment for blood tests ). Ask your repair what time is best to take it .
- Schedule your test if necessary
- Ask your doctor if you need to change any of the medications you take on the morning of the test
- If you normally drink coffee or have caffeine, ask your doctor if that is okay. It may not be, since it affects blood sugar levels
- Fast for at least 8 hours before your test. Usually, an overnight fast is most convenient
- You can drink water
How to Check Your Blood Sugar Levels of Urine at Home
A home urine test can show if you are excreting glucose in your urine. That only happens when blood glucose is high, and not if your values are within a healthy range. The urine test uses a trial strip and is elementary to do, but is not very accurate .
Blood Glucose Tests
blood tests are more common urine tests for measuring blood sugar. They are precise, quick, and not excessively irritating. A blood-testing machine is besides called a glucometer. It is not being excessively dramatic to say that a adept base glucometer can be life-saving if you have diabetes, since monitor with a rake carbohydrate graph is one of the top strategies for controlling it.
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A good home glucometer :
- Is simple, fast, and accurate
- Is easy to set up and use
- Pairs with a diabetes smartphone app so you can see your values instantly, track them over time, and get coaching and feedback
Lark Diabetes Coach comes with a complete home glucometer kit out that is shipped to you and is easy to set up. The Lark app walks you through apparatus and reminds you when to take your rake sugar .