Blood Sugar Levels Chart: What Do the Numbers Mean?
Just as everyone is an individual, each person’s “normal” blood sugar range will be slightly different. For the most part, however, the following ranges are loosely adhered to.
When testing for medical purposes, a “fasting blood sugar” is normally used. This means that the individual will be tested six to eight hours after their last meal. The following numbers apply to that situation.
- Normal 70 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL
- Pre-Diabetes 101 mg/dL to 126 mg/dL
- Diabetes above 126 mg/dL
This blood sugar levels chart below shows a normal blood sugar range.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart
|TIMING OF BLOOD SUGAR||NORMAL RANGE (mg/dl)|
|When you wake (before eating)||80 to 120|
|Before eating a meal||80 to 120|
|Taken 2 hours after eating||Less than 140|
|Bedtime blood sugar range||100 to 140|
If your numbers come up within the “normal” range, then you can rest easy. If, however, your numbers fall within the “pre-diabetic” range, you should consider it to be your body giving you an important warning – one that could potentially save your life.
Many people who fall in the “pre-diabetic” range are on a health precipice, of sorts. If they are practicing less-than-healthy habits – like eating a diet high in fatty and sweet foods – then continuing with the same bad habits can easily lead to diabetes. Once an individual becomes an established diabetic, it is much harder to control the blood sugar and reverse the damage to your body.
Diabetic vs Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating
|BLOOD SUGAR CLASSIFICATION||FASTING MINIMUM||FASTING MAXIMUM||2 HOURS AFTER EATING|
|Normal Blood Sugar||70||120||Less than 140|
|Early Diabetes||100||125||140 to 200|
|Established Diabetes||Over 125||Over 125||More than 200|
*All numbers are mg/dl.
For individuals who fall within the range of established diabetes, blood sugar monitor results are an important way to make sure your diet and medications are helping to effectively control your condition.
How Blood Sugar Levels Affect the Body
We all know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is important to our health, but you may be wondering why. How do blood sugar levels actually affect our bodies, and in what way?
On a short-term basis, extreme hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can have far more serious effects than high blood sugar. This is due to the fact that blood glucose is necessary for proper functioning of many body systems. Hypoglycemia is considered severe if it falls below 40 mg/dL; if it falls below, 15 mg/dL, the results can be dire: loss of consciousness, seizures, brain damage and even death.
Although the health impact of elevated blood sugar levels can be just as severe, it often sneaks up on those who do not control their blood sugar. Short-term effects of high blood sugar are irritating, but not permanent or overly severe: fatigue, excessive thirst, frequent urination, a weakened immune system and blurry vision.
For individuals who are used to the lifestyles that exacerbate high blood sugar levels, these “irritating” symptoms are sometimes not enough to spur them to action.
Over the course of months and years, however, elevated blood sugar levels can have devastating and debilitating effects on patients. Retinopathy is one of the most feared health effects of sustained high blood sugar levels – it is an eye disease that can gradually lead to blindness.
Nephropathy, or kidney disease, is a life-threatening condition that can lead to kidney failure. This can necessitate dialysis, with all of the costs and discomfort associated with it. In some cases, a kidney transplant becomes necessary.
But one of the most dangerous side effects of elevated long-term blood sugar is neuropathy, or damage to the nerves. This can cause a severe lack of feeling, particularly in the extremities. Because individuals are sometimes unaware of injuries due to neuropathy, it commonly leads to amputations.
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