Health and Fitness

What is the normal blood glucose level I should target?

What do you mean by blood glucose?

Your blood contains sugar, often known as blood glucose. It comes from the food you consume; the main sources of blood glucose are foods high in carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and fruit. The cells in our body depend on glucose for energy. The body’s command center, the brain, uses nearly half of all its energy from glucose.

How do you know what your normal range of blood sugar is?

Unless it’s significantly high or low, you generally can’t “feel” your blood glucose level. You may not always have high or low blood glucose symptoms; in fact, many people with type 2 diabetes don’t experience the typical symptoms of high blood sugar, which makes it common for people to go undetected for many years.

A glucose meter is one of the best tools for determining your blood glucose level. This entails applying pressure to the finger with a lancet to release a drop of blood onto a test strip, which is then inserted into the meter to obtain a reading. 

Using a continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, which measures the interstitial fluid glucose (the fluid between cells), typically every five minutes, is another approach to keeping track of your blood sugar levels.

  • normal fasting blood sugar level
    • People without diabetes: 70–99 mg/dl (3.9–5.5 mmol/L)
    • People with diabetes: 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L)
  • Blood sugar normal range 2 hours after meals
    • People without diabetes: Less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
    • People with diabetes: Less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)
  • HbA1c
    • people without diabetes: Less than 5.7%
    • people with diabetes: Less than 7.0%

How can you tell if you have normal blood sugar by examining your blood?

For your body to function, sugar, also known as glucose, is converted by your body into energy. Your body’s tissues stores sugar that comes from the food you ingest. The sugar is then released from the storage.

The pancreas produces the hormone insulin. Its job is to move glucose to the cells of the tissues from the bloodstream. After eating, the level of glucose in your blood rises quickly. When the pancreas produces enough insulin in reaction to the elevated blood glucose levels, the glucose is transferred from the blood into the cells. This helps bring blood sugar levels back to what they were earlier.

There are two conditions that, if a person has diabetes, may cause their blood sugar to rise:

  • The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin.
  • The insulin isn’t working properly.

Both of these circumstances cause the blood sugar level to remain high, which is referred to as diabetes mellitus or hyperglycemia. The blood vessels, heart, nerves, kidneys, and other organs may get damaged if the condition is undetected and mistreated. You and your doctor can determine whether you currently have diabetes or are at risk of developing it by monitoring your blood sugar’s normal range.

The opposite is also possible, though far less frequently. Hypoglycemia, or too little blood sugar, is a condition that can be brought on by excess insulin, other hormone problems, or liver disease.

What numbers should you know?

For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers recommendations (not compulsory) for blood glucose targets, and these objectives change based on when you check your glucose:

  • The before-meals range and the normal fasting sugar level should be 80–130 mg/dl (4.4–7.2 mmol/L).
  • For one to two hours after a meal, it should be less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/L)

It is best to record the values in a book or a logbook. To obtain the full picture, it’s critical to include all of your glucose results, not just one particular point in time. Thus, you can identify trends (For instance, your normal fasting sugar levels are frequently higher than desired, or you typically have low blood sugar at about 4 p.m. every day). Your results can help you and your medical team understand how well your diabetes treatment plan—including medication, diet, and exercise—is working for you.

Ask your doctor what you can do to adjust your diabetes treatment plan if your blood glucose levels aren’t where they should be. Not all blood sugar readings should be at the recommended levels. However, you will have fewer complications if you maintain glucose within the target range. These recommendations are for people with type 1 or 2 diabetes and who are not pregnant. Children, teenagers, and expectant mothers may have various levels.

However, your objectives for blood sugar may be different. Your glucose levels may be slightly lower if you are younger or have had diabetes for a shorter period. In the same way, if you’re older, you will have minor complications with diabetes or may not have symptoms when your blood glucose is low; your blood glucose levels can be greater than what the ADA suggests.

Stay Healthy, Stay Fit

A person can frequently take a variety of measures to assist control of blood sugar. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping weight healthy, and engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intense exercise each week can all be beneficial.

Additional recommendations for managing blood sugar include:

  • Not missing meals and eating at regular intervals
  • On a 9-inch plate, have one-fourth section for protein or meat. The other one-fourth section can be for starch, such as peas, corn, or grains. Have non-starchy vegetables on the remaining half of the plate.
  • Also, have a fruit or a small bowl of different fruits. Do not forget to add a glass of milk to the diet.
  • Use sugar tablets to maintain blood sugar levels

It would be best to aim for blood glucose levels between 70 mg/dL and 99 mg/dL. Diabetes and other dangerous complications might result from irregular or extremely high blood sugar levels.

The best approach to ensure that blood sugar levels remain within a healthy range is to monitor them at home.

The more serious consequences of diabetes can result from both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. Thus, consuming mostly low-GI meals and regular exercise can help maintain the normal blood sugar range.

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