Despite significant differences in the intervals between meals or the occasional consumption of foods with a high amount of carbohydrate, glucose in human blood usually remain within a narrow range. For most people, normal blood sugar range is from 82 mg / dl to 110 mg / dl i.e., 4.4 to 6.1 mmol / l.
However, the blood sugar level increases for a brief period (1 or 2 hours) after meals up to 140 mg / dl (7.8 mmol / l) or a little more, not associated with diabetes.
American Diabetes Association recommends that the normal blood sugar level reading up to 180 mg / dl (10 mmol mg / l) after a meal and normal blood sugar level from 90 to130 mg / dl (5 to 7.2 mmol / l) before the meal.
However, it is surprising to know that very little sugar in the blood and body fluids is mainttained. On a very small quantity the control mechanism works.
In a 75 kg (or 165 pounds) healthy adult male with 5 liters blood, the blood sugar levels of 100 mg / dl or 5.5 mmol / l is equivalent to about 5 grams of glucose in the blood and about 45 grams of glucose in the total body water.
Tags: normal blood sugar range, normal sugar levels.
Why is it so important that you maintain normal blood sugar levels?
The criteria for diagnosing diabetes mellitus is as follows, according to the World Health Organization and National Diabetes Data Group:
- Symptoms of diabetes plus random blood sugar levels > 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL)
- Fasting plasma sugar > 7.0 mmol/L (126 mg/dL)
- Two-hour plasma sugar > 11.1 mmol/L (200 mg/dL) during an oral glucose (sugar) tolerance test
You only need to fulfill one of those criteria once now, and once in another day to be diagnosed as having diabetes. Or you can be diagnosed as having diabetes by having really high blood sugar levels or having really bad symptoms of diabetes (such as diabetic coma or diabetic complications).
These cutoff point values of normal blood sugar levels are important to us because research has shown that persons with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels have exponential or tremendously increased risk of diabetes complications. These risks are dependent on two factors: The degree of severity of your higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, and the length of time you failed to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Besides that, research has also shown that if you have a:
- Fasting blood sugar levels of 5.6-6.9 mmol/L (100–125 mg/dL) or
- 2-hour blood sugar levels of 7.8-11.1 mmol/L (140-199 mg/dL) during an oral glucose tolerance test
Then, it would mean that you are at 25-40% risk over the next 5 years of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Besides, even at these levels, you already have higher risks of having cardiovascular diseases.
- Preprandial* (fasting, or before a meal) – <110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l)
- Two hours postprandial (after the start of a meal) – <140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l)
- A1c (three month blood sugar average) – 6.5% or lower
The American Diabetes Association (ADA)2 suggests slightly different targets:
- Preprandial* – 70-130 mg/dl (3.9-7.2 mmol/l)
- Postprandial* (1-2 hours) – <180 mg/dl (<10.0 mmol/l)
- A1c (three month blood sugar average) – 7.0% or lower
These blood sugar goals aren’t for everyone, and your personal testing targets may run higher or lower. Your diabetes care team will work with you to determine self-testing blood sugar goals based on your individual medical history and lifestyle requirements.
*Note: Measurements are for blood plasma; whole blood values would be approximately 15% lower.
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