Maintaining normal sugar levels greatly reduces the risk of experiencing complications due to diabetes. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, regular monitoring of blood sugar levels will help you and your doctor keep your blood sugar healthy by making necessary adjustments, including diet changes, insulin injections and oral medications.
Diabetes Sugar Levels
If you’ve recently tested your blood sugar levels, you may be wondering exactly what your results mean. Here are a few blood sugar basics to help you understand your blood sugar range:
- Fasting blood sugar (glucose) levels of below 100 mg/dl are considered to be in the normal blood sugar range.
- Fasting blood sugar levels of between 100 and 125 mg/dl indicate pre-diabetes.
- Fasting blood sugar levels of 126 mg/dl or higher are true diabetes blood sugar levels.
Oral glucose tolerance tests have different guidelines. You’ll drink a sugary solution, and your doctor will test your blood sugar levels after two hours. Your doctor will use the following blood sugar range categories when analyzing the results:
- Blood sugar levels below 140 are normal.
- Blood sugar range of 140 to 199 mg/dl is pre-diabetic.
- Readings of 200 mg/dl or above indicate diabetes.
Maintaining Normal Sugar Levels
The goal with diabetes is to maintain normal sugar levels as much as possible. Your doctor may recommend keeping a blood sugar chart so that you can keep track of your levels. This tool will help you learn which foods or activities cause spikes or drops in blood sugar levels.
Although normal sugar levels are the goal, diabetics can have low blood sugar levels due to skipping a meal, medication or instrument errors, eating the wrong foods or an episode of vomiting. Symptoms of falling within the low blood sugar range include:
Left untreated, low blood sugar levels can lead to convulsions and unconsciousness.
High sugar levels on a blood sugar chart may lead to long-term complications, including damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels, or to a more immediate emergency such as a diabetic coma.
Diabetes Sugar Levels and Glucose Monitors
Extensive research has shown that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can avoid or delay many of the long-term complications of the disease by maintaining normal sugar levels. A variety of home glucose testing products are available to you to help monitor your diabetes sugar levels.
Most commercially available glucose monitors are reliable, easy to use and come with a variety of features, including:
- Audio or large displays to assist those with vision problems
- Cartridges or drums containing test strips to avoid loading individual strips for each test
- Large data storage capacities and/or the ability to interface with a computer to enhance data management.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Diabetes basics: How to tell if you have pre diabetes. Retrieved April 4, 2010, from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/pre-diabetes/how-to-tell-if-you-have.html.