Blood Sugar Level Charts For Those With Diabetes
Normal blood sugar levels, for those with diabetes, will vary depending on someones age and the time of day. For example, when fasting, blood sugar levels are often in the target goal range. The type of food eaten will impact blood sugar levels in different ways. A meal with a lot of carbohydrates will raise blood sugar quicker than a meal that contains carbohydrates, protein, and fat . Blood sugar will rise after a meal, but will start to return to normal levels in several hours.
Lets take a look at what blood sugar levels should be, in those with diabetes, based on their age.
How Does Blood Glucose Work
Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. When you eat or drink, your body breaks down carbohydrates in the food or liquid into sugar for energy.
Then your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which helps blood sugar enter your bodys cells. It also helps your body store blood sugar for later use. As the cells use the blood sugar, glucose and insulin levels in the blood decrease.
But with diabetes, your body has trouble regulating glucose. Either your pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body doesnt process insulin effectively. Therefore, the amount of sugar in your blood is higher than normal. And a lot of glucose in your blood is bad for your body.
A fasting blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose in your blood when it should be at its lowest. That happens in the morning and when you havent had anything to eat or drink for a while.
Fasting Vs Nonfasting Blood Sugar
Fasting blood sugar is a test that measures blood sugar and is used to determine if an individual has diabetes. When a person takes this test, they cannot eat or drink for at least eight hours prior to the test. The results determine whether a person is prediabetic or diabetic.
The results are measured in milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL. The following results indicate whether a person is prediabetic or diabetic:
- Normal: Less than 100 mg/dL
- Prediabetes: 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 126 mg/dL or higher
To test nonfasting blood sugar, an A1C test is administered to determine the average blood sugar level of an individual over a period of two to three months. The following results indicate whether a person is prediabetic or diabetic:
Blood sugar levels among people with type 1 diabetes should be:
- Before meals: From 90 to 130 mg/dL for adults
- After meals : Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
- At bedtime: From 90 to 150 mg/dL for adults
Blood sugar levels among people with type 2 diabetes should be:
- Before meals: From 70 to 130 mg/dL for adults
- After meals : Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
- At bedtime: From 90 to 150 mg/dL for adults
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What Happens To Your Body During Fasting
The changes that occur in the body during fasting depend on the length of the continuous fast. Usually your body enters into a fasting state eight or so hours after the last meal. Your body will initially use stored sources of glucose and then later in the fast it will break down body fat to use as the next source of energy. Using your bodys fat stores as an energy source can, in the long run, lead to weight loss. Losing weight, particularly if you are overweight, can also lead to better control of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, fasting should not be used as a way of losing weight in the long term.
Understanding Why Are Fasting Glucose Levels High
Fasting glucose levels are your blood sugar levels on an empty stomach. It is usually measured early in the morning when the person wakes up. It is because your body digests the last meal , and the released glucose is either absorbed or stored in the morning. A fasting blood sugar test can diagnose if a person has diabetes or not. For example, it is normal if your fasting blood sugar levels are less than 100mg/dL . However, if the fasting blood sugar level is between 100mg/dL to 125mg/dL, you are in the prediabetic stage. In addition, fasting blood sugar levels above 125mg/dL indicate diabetes.
The readings mentioned above suggest that you should be cautious if your fasting blood sugar levels are above 100mg/dL. High fasting blood sugar levels indicate the stage of diabetes you are at. However, it is possible to manage it. And the results are rewarding. If you are prediabetic, maintaining healthy fasting blood sugar levels can help reverse the condition. Further, it can help prevent the development of diabetes in the future.
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People Who Are Obese Are More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes
Those with increased body fat are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Risk is greatest for those with excess fat carried around the waist. These people are also at increased risk for hypertension, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease compared with those who are lean or carry fat around the hips.
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Children And Adolescents With Diabetes
Age 6-12 Bedtime 100-180
Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over the course of a day. Blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal because the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then distributed throughout the bloodstream. Other macronutrientsprotein and fatturn into glucose as well, but at a slower rate. Many people learn how to use these factors to their advantage. For example, if a childs sugar is trending low, a bedtime snack that includes something with protein and fat, like chocolate milk or peanut butter, will help raise blood sugar levels and help keep blood sugar levels steady through the night.
When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar is generally at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. However, many people experience an increase in blood sugar levels in the early morning hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. For example, according to this chart, blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. .
Is Your Fasting Blood Sugar High Every Morning
I recently had an issue where no matter what I did, my fasting blood sugar levels were always high every morning. They were in the range of between 12 mmol/L to 16 mmol/L. At first I chalked it up to overdoing it around the holiday season. Eating way more carbs than usual, especially late at night and very close to bedtime. I figured that I was off with my bolus for the meals I ate at night. However, after I cut out the extra carbs and still got high readings in the morning, I knew something was off.
I realized that every morning religiously, I would wake up between 3 am and 4 am with a high blood sugar. Unfortunately if my blood sugar is above 8 mmol/L I cannot sleep. This problem prevented me from getting good quality sleep. I would often have to correct and monitor before I could go back to bed. I started to analyze my diet and my habits to see where I was going wrong. If you are experiencing a similar issue you can start with the below recommendations.
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Interpretation Of Fasting Blood Sugar Test Results
The reference ranges of blood glucose levels are indicated in milligrams per decilitre. The glucose range values and their interpretations are mentioned below.
|Fasting Glucose levels|
|Normal Fasting Blood Sugar level|
|100-125 mg/dL||This range of fasting blood glucose levels is higher than normal but cannot be classified as diabetes- indicating prediabetes.|
|126 mg/dL or above||Higher than normal fasting sugar level indicating diabetes or insulin resistance|
If your results show a high fasting blood sugar level, your physician may recommend a re-test or additional tests such as a random/ non-fasting blood sugar test, A1c test, and oral glucose tolerance test.
Even if the test reports show a prediabetic condition, a repetition of fasting blood sugar levels for a couple of years will help the doctor understand the conditions progress towards type 2 diabetes.
Abnormally lower than normal glucose values indicate hypoglycemia or can be due to diabetes medications. This is a life-threatening condition.
With no risks or complications, a fasting blood sugar test is a diabetes monitoring test that detects if a person has diabetes, prediabetes, or gestational diabetes. Before the test, refrain from eating or drinking anything except for water. Connect with your physician if you have symptoms of diabetes or need a full-body checkup done. Your doctor will guide you to get a fasting blood glucose test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should be my blood sugar while fasting?
What Are Normal Blood Glucose Levels In Healthy Individuals
Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar thats present in the bloodstream at all times. Normal blood glucose levels can be measured when someone fasts, eats, or after theyve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who havent eaten for at least eight hours is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating is 90 to 110 mg/dL.
Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:
- Type of food consumed, how much, and when
- Physical activity
- Menstrual periods
An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.
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Recommended Blood Sugar Targets For Most People With Diabetes*
Your targets may not be the same as the examples in this chart. Your targets are important and should be specific to you.
|4.0 to 7.0||5.0 to 10.0|
* This information is based on the Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada and is a guide.** A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugar control for the last two to three months and approximately 50 per cent of the value comes from the last 30 days.
What Is Blood Glucose
Blood glucose is the main sugar content in your blood. It comes from the food you eat, and it’s your body’s main source of energy. Blood glucose levels are a measure of how much sugar is in your blood. Blood sugar levels can fluctuate during the day and night because of various reasons. What we eat, how active we are, and even stress can all affect our blood sugar levels.
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How Should Blood Sugar Levels Be Before And After Eating
Ideally, before eating , your blood sugars should be between 80-130 mg/dL. One to two hours after eating , your blood sugars should be below 180 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels can be affected by the type of food consumed, how much, and when but also many other different factors like physical activity, taking other medications, having other medical conditions, stress, age, an illness, and even menstrual periods.
The Impact Of Hormones
Hormones can have an impact on your fasting glucose levels. Hormones like cortisol and growth hormone are released in the morning to get your body ready for the day ahead. These also increase glucose levels.
Usually your body counteracts these by releasing some insulin to help keep your glucose levels within a tight bandwidth. In type 2 diabetes, insulin is being released but its not working very well. This leaves your glucose levels susceptible to rising above normal levels.
This can be difficult to control but it still represents an inability of your body to control its own glucose levels. Without diabetes, your fasting glucose levels would not go high at any time throughout the day. Therefore, this too represents a progression of the disease.
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Why Doctors Order It
A fasting blood glucose test is done to screen for prediabetes and diabetes. It also helps doctors monitor diabetes and determine if medications and dietary changes are having an effect .
Your fasting blood glucose level is the lowest your blood sugar can be because the influence of recent meals is minimized .
Fasting blood sugar is often checked alongside HbA1c , which is a measure of your blood sugar levels over the past three months. The more sugar there is in the blood, the more it will attach to hemoglobin, raising HbA1c .
Taken together, the two offer more information than each test alone. For example, even if your blood sugar levels are very high at one random point, they may have been mostly low over the past couple of months . On the other hand, HBA1c could be higher but your glucose levels at the moment lower.
Apart from diabetes, abnormal levels can point out issues such as insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and pancreatic, liver, or kidney disease.
What Can You Do To Maintain Your Blood Glucose Levels
A good start in how to keep normal blood sugar is How can you decrease your blood sugar levels in this short article. Dont consume foods large in carbs and sugar such as buttered potatoes, fatty foods, sweet, and sweet desserts like cake with icing. Diet plan adjustment is a major step in your management of diabetes. Use a blood glucose log book with the date, time, and values of your or you and your medical professional to help you manage your type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and use a blood sugar home test set to get glucose test outcomes. In addition, log any modification in signs in time. The log book will equip you and your doctor to change treatments and actions to acquire the very best management of your diabetes.
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Staying Well While Fasting
If you decide to fast, it is important to test your blood glucose levels more often as your blood sugar levels after fasting eight hours may drop too low . This is more likely to happen if you are unwell, treat your diabetes with insulin or some diabetes medications, or both. Speak to your diabetes team about this.
If you experience the symptoms of a hypo, such as feeling shaky, sweaty and disorientated, you must break the fast immediately and treat it with your usual hypo treatment, like glucose tablets, a sugary drink or GlucoGel, followed by a snack such as a sandwich or a bowl of cereal.
If you have to break your fast for any reason, continue your meals as normal for that day. You may be able to make up the fast at a later date or provide meals to the needy.
If you have type 1 diabetes, there is also a danger that your blood glucose levels may run too high and result in a build-up of ‘ketones’. This could potentially result in a serious condition known as ketoacidosis. The symptoms of high blood glucose levels might include feeling very thirsty, passing a lot of urine or extreme tiredness. If your blood glucose levels stay high and you experience these symptoms, speak to your healthcare team.
What Do The Test Results Mean
- If your fasting blood glucose level is between 3.6mmol/l and 6mmol/l, this means that your blood glucose level is normal.
- If your fasting blood glucose level is 7mmol/l or higher, this is likely to mean that you have diabetes. Diabetes is a long-term condition where the body is not able to control the amount of glucose in the blood.
- If your fasting blood glucose level is between 6.1mmol/l and 6.9mmols/l, you may have IFG.
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Hashimotos Fasting And Keto
I believe there is a way to reverse Hash! I feel so much better on keto and IF than any treatment over the past three years. Have you had any patients reversing Hashi with this program?
Thank you so much for all your work for all of us,Martha
Answer: I dont see Hashimotos very frequently so dont have much experience. Fasting and low carb diets usually drop insulin so are effective for diseases of excessive insulin such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and PCOS. However, it may also have a smaller effect on inflammation so it may certainly benefit Hashimotos as well, but there are no studies to prove this, and I have only limited clinical experience with Hashimotos.
Dr. Jason Fung
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