Diabetes Blood Glucose Levels Chart: What is a normal blood sugar range anyway?
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Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Or perhaps you suspect something can be wrong with your blood sugar levels, but you dread the prospect of going to the doctor and knowing for sure?
Several members of my family have diabetes, so I know that being diagnosed with diabetes can be scary.
Although it’s a chronic condition that can be controlled or even reversed by making proper dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments, if untreated, diabetes leads to many potentially life-threatening conditions.
No wonder you may be feeling surprised or even scared.
Fortunately, with the right information, positive attitude and a can-do approach, you can bring down your blood sugar levels back to normal, and reverse diabetes, even if you are currently on medication.
The first step, however, is getting educated about the subject.
Diagnosing Diabetes or Pre-diabetes
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it means means that the level of glucose in your blood is too high.
Everybody has sugar in their blood. We need sugar to give us energy for all the cells to function. However, if you have diabetes, it means that you have more than you need – usually WAY TOO MUCH.
The exact numbers used by physicians for diagnosis are somewhat arbitrary. Years back, the fasting blood glucose levels had to be 140 mg/dL or higher before someone would be diagnosed with diabetes.
These days, the number is 126, and ten or twenty years from now it may be even lower. This means that if your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl, you are diagnosed with diabetes.
Tests used in the diagnosis of diabetes
Urine test. Your doctor inserts a dipstick into a sample of your urine to see if glucose is present. If you have glucose in your blood, your doctor will refer you for blood tests that will confirm or reject a diagnosis of diabetes.
When you have diabetes, glucose builds up in your blood. Once it reaches certain level, usually around 180mg/dl – it’s filtered out through your kidneys into your urine. Although urine testing is a useful screening tool it’s not accurate enough to rule diabetes.
Random blood glucose test. This tests measures the level of glucose in a sample of your blood. The sample is taken randomly, so you are not required to fast before the blood test. If you experience typical signs of diabetes, along with a random blood glucose level that is greater than or equal to 199.8 mg/dl, you are diagnosed with diabetes. If not, you may be referred for more testing.
Fasting blood glucose test. This tests measures the level of glucose in a sample of your blood, after you consumed nothing but water for at least 8 hours. If your fasting blood glucose level is greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl, you are diagnosed with diabetes. If the result of your fasting blood test is borderline, you’ll usually be referred for an oral glucose tolerance test.
Oral Glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This test is given first thing in the morning after you’ve eaten nothing but water for 8-14 hours. First, a blood sample is taken and blood glucose is measured. Then you are asked to drink a solution containing glucose. Two hours later a second blood sample is taken. Diabetes is diagnosed if, after two hours, your blood sugar level is higher than 199.8 mg/dl. If your level is in the range between 140.4-199.8 mg/dl, you have impaired glucose tolerance and are at increased risk of developing diabetes in the future.
Diagnosis of pre-diabetes simply means you have the early stages of diabetes…
One of the important things that you have to understand that diabetes is not a condition that you catch one day, and the next day you have it.
It’s a process that takes years.
Years of unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.
In fact, it is estimated to take between 10-20 years for most people to progress from being healthy blood glucose levels to being a diabetic, and the scariest part is that most people who have this disease don’t even realize that they have it until they start experiencing some of the serious side-effects of diabetes.
The progress of diabetes: Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels
Normal blood glucose levels
The healthy blood sugar level of population with no signs of diabetes is about 80-90 mg/dL before meals and may increase up to 120 mg/dL or a more after they have a meal, depending on the food they had.
Prediabetes is when your body is beginning to lose control of your blood glucose levels. Prediabetes used to be referred to as borderline diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, (IGT ), however, regardless of what you call it, it simply means that – unless you make some drastic changes to your lifestyle choices – you are on your way to full-blown diabetes.
At this point, your fasting blood sugar levels may be close to normal first thing when you wake up and prior to eating. The cut-off number for pre-diabetes is considered 100 mg/dL.
However, after eating, the levels rise higher than normal to almost 200 mg/dL. Because the peak is higher, it also takes longer for it to come down. Then about four or five hours later, they may drop lower than normal – below 70 or even 50 mg/dL, causing symptoms of “low blood sugar” that include shakiness, nervousness, and intense craving for food, especially something sweet.
What this means is that your body is losing control over its blood glucose levels. This can go on for years before the person is diagnosed with diabetes.
When you are diabetic, even the fasting blood glucose levels will be higher than normal, over 100 mg/dL. They will zoom to even higher an extremely high level after eating, and because it is so high it takes hours to go back to the starting level.
Diabetes Blood Glucose Levels Chart
The importance of early diagnosis
It’s easy to miss prediabetes, because the blood sugar level prior to a meal for a non diabetic person and a person with prediabetes may be very similar. The blood glucose before meals can be close to what is called the fasting glucose level, which means the blood glucose level that you have when you wake up in the morning, having fasted all night.
Diagnosis of diabetes is usually based on measuring your fasting level, so a person with prediabetes may be told that everything is fine. This will usually mean that such person will continue the unhealthy lifestyle of eating too much food, eating wrong foods (too many trans fats, too many processed foods), and moving/exercising too little.
This is unfortunate, because being diagnosed with prediabetes would serve as an excellent wake-up call for many people to change their ways and adopt healthy habits. Obviously, it is much easier to reverse prediabetes before it progressed to full-blown diabetes.
If you are interested in helping others with early diagnosis of diabetes, consider a health care management degree online and get started today.
Reverse Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious condition can have a devastating effect on the entire body, including eyes, kidneys, and heart, ultimately leading to blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart disease and stroke. Everyone who has diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2 is at risk, and even people who have pre-diabetes can be affected – so it’s never too early to take aggressive preventive measures by changing your lifestyle choices.
What is important that you can prevent, and in most cases reverse type 2 diabetes because the disease is largely influenced by the person’s lifestyle choices, most importantly dietary choices and physical activity/exercise.
The truth is the best diet for preventing or even reversing diabetes is the same diet that is best for everything else – maintaining overall health.
Healthy Diet for Normal Blood Sugar Levels
The great majority of what we eat – at least 70% of calories consumed or more – should come from unrefined plant food – mostly FRESH, RAW (or only lightly cooked) vegetables, lots of greens (try drinking green smoothies daily, and fruits.
Even though many people with diabetes avoid fruits because of the high sugar content, the truth is that fruits are WHOLE FOODS, and as such can be safely eaten even by a person with diabetes. (This view is confirmed by the ADA).
You can also safely consume whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds.
Limit the consumption of dairy, meats, and avoid all refined and processed foods. This includes white flour breads, pastas, white rice, all sodas, white sugar, high fat junk foods, alcohol, etc.
If this sounds like a drastic change – it sure is.
However, in return, you will be getting back your normal blood sugar levels, your good health and you life back.
If you just follow this one recommendation, you’d be surprised how many of your chronic problems will disappear. This type of eating will also best way to lose weight fast.
Do not wait until it is too late!
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