Understanding Normal Blood Sugar Levels
To start with, in spite of the diabetes and blood sugar health being actively studied all over the world for many decades, there is still no common opinion on normal blood sugar levels for people to target. For example, ADA guidelines for normal blood sugar targets differ from those suggested by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the WHO (World Health Organization) or general practitioners. On this page, we give the most general normal blood sugar targets as recommended by ADA along with some other opinions.
ADA focuses on preprandial plasma glucose (also known as fasting blood glucose levels), stating that postprandial plasma glucose (after meal blood sugar) needs to be paid attention in case A1C goals are not met while your current tests show fasting readings within the normal range. A1C is glycated hemoglobin - protein contained in you red blood cells that has been linked with glucose. When glucose level raise beyond normal ranges, more hemoglobin becomes glycated. However, even when you blood glucose is back to normal, red blood cells will still have much glycated hemoglobin (A1C), which indicates that recently blood sugar was out of control. Thus, A1C test shows your average progress in controlling your blood sugar by checking hemoglobin contained in your red blood cells for any traces of excess glucose, even if you current levels are within the recommended rage. Normal fasting levels recommended by ADA are 70-130 mg/dl (3.9-7.2 mmol/l). Post-meal levels recommended by ADA are of less than 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dL). At the same time, normal blood sugar levels 2 hours after meal recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists should not exceed 140 mg/dl.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels as seen by doctors
Many doctors don’t consider the above post-meal blood sugar levels normal. They believe that without paying attention to your postprandial readings you may keep having them close to the recommended upper range of 180 mg/dl (10 mmol/L) two hours after a meal without taking it a warning sign for a very long time, until you are diagnosed with a pre-diabetes condition or diabetes and will actually have to take your blood glucose under strict control. However, what’s is high for an adult can be normal for children in the earliest ages. As to fasting levels, today many doctors agree that the suggested upper range too high and recommend to target at 100 mg/dl for both, men and women. Allowing your glucose levels drop below the recommended 70 mg/dl can also be dangerous; this condition is called hypoglycemia which can result in loss of consciousness and even coma if untreated.
As many patients report, doctors’ opinions on normal blood sugar levels diverge as well. However, in the past years there is a tendency among physicians showing that an onset of the dangerous changes in the body affecting one’s pancreas occurs long before one’s blood glucose levels go beyond of what is positioned as a normal, safe and healthy levels and that systematic high blood sugar levels 2 hours after the meal enhance the destructive changes. That’s why today it is frequently recommended is to keep you blood glucose under 120 mg/dl at all times. Avoiding sharp rises in your postprandial plasma glucose above 120 mg/dl can be achieved by correcting your diet, eliminating high glycemic foods and including low glycemic foods. Glucose from Low glycemic foods is absorbed into your blood stream gradually, thus sustaining energy in your body for longer periods and preventing sharp rises in your blood sugar levels. Normal Blood Sugar Level: Target Reading In the end, it’s your decision which ranges to use as a target. Just remember that diabetes is not something that attacks you all of a sudden. The earlier you take steps to achieve normal blood sugar levels the better the chance for you to avoid the dangerous condition and stay in good health throughout your whole life. We hope you blood sugar reading will always be close to what you see on this pic on the left!