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143 blood sugar level: What should my blood sugar level be?


What should my blood sugar level be?

Normal blood glucose levels for adults, without diabetes, is 90 to 110 mg/dL. Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar here.

Blood glucose levels are the amount of glucose that someone has in their blood at any given time. Having high or low blood sugar levels could indicate an underlying health condition that may require medical attention. Use this overview of normal blood glucose levels to understand what your blood sugar levels mean. 

What are normal blood glucose levels in healthy individuals?  

Blood sugar levels can either be normal, high, or low, depending on how much glucose someone has in their bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar that’s present in the bloodstream at all times. Normal blood glucose levels can be measured when someone fasts, eats, or after they’ve eaten. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, who haven’t eaten for at least eight hours (fasting) is less than 100 mg/dL. A normal blood glucose level for adults, without diabetes, two hours after eating is 90 to 110 mg/dL.   

Many factors affect blood sugar levels throughout the day:

  • Type of food consumed, how much, and when
  • Physical activity
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Illness
  • Menstrual periods 
  • Alcohol 

An ideal blood sugar level for anyone without diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of age, in the morning should be less than 100 mg/dL. Remember, blood sugar levels can fluctuate throughout the day as a result of the factors previously mentioned.   

Blood sugar level charts for those with diabetes

Normal blood sugar levels, for those with diabetes, will vary depending on someone’s age and the time of day. Let’s take a look at what blood sugar levels should be, in those with diabetes, based on their age.  

Normal blood sugar levels in children

Fasting 80-180
Before meal 100-180
1-2 hours after eating ~180
Bedtime  110-200

Children under 6 years of age should have blood glucose levels that range from about 80 to 200 mg/dL each day. This range is considered healthy, and the amount of glucose in a child’s body will fluctuate from the time they wake up to after they’ve eaten meals and again before bedtime. For this reason, kids with diabetes or hypoglycemic episodes may have to have their blood sugar levels tested in the middle of the night by their parents. 

Normal blood sugar levels for adolescents

Fasting 80-180
Before meal 90-180
1-2 hours after eating Up to 140
Bedtime  100-180

Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over the course of a day. Blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal because the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then distributed throughout the bloodstream. To keep a child’s blood sugar from rising too much before bedtime, especially if they have diabetes, try limiting snacks before they go to sleep. 

RELATED: Sleepover tips for children with diabetes

Normal blood sugar levels for teens

Fasting 70-150
Before meal 90-130
1-2 hours after eating Up to 140
Bedtime  90-150

Teenagers should have average blood sugar levels that range between 70 to 150 mg/dL over the course of their day. Teenage years can often be the most difficult for adolescents with diabetes to manage because managing diabetes requires responsibility and behavior control that’s not typical for most teenagers. Teenagers should aim to keep their blood sugar levels between 70 to 150 mg/dL throughout the day by watching what they eat, exercising, and taking their diabetes medications if they have any.    

Normal blood sugar levels for adults

Fasting Less than 100
Before meal 70-130
1-2 hours after eating Less than 180
Bedtime  100-140

Adults who are 20 years or older will have blood sugar levels that range between less than 100-180 mg/dL over the course of a day. When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar should be at its lowest because you haven’t consumed food for about eight hours. If you’re an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.   

Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. Blood sugar levels are considered high if they’re over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people won’t start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. The highest blood sugar level that’s considered safe will depend on the person and whether they have diabetes, but will typically be between 160 to 240 mg/dL. 

Low blood sugar symptoms

Hypoglycemia happens when blood glucose levels drop too low. Low blood sugar can be caused by many things including the two different types of diabetes, certain medications, alcohol, endocrine disorders, eating disorders, pregnancy (gestational diabetes), and disorders of the liver, kidneys, or heart.

Here are some of the most common symptoms that someone with low blood sugar might experience:  

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Shakiness
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Clamminess
  • Having a fast heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Hunger
  • Sleepiness
  • Fainting
  • Tingling lips  

If your blood sugar is low you might start to feel some of the first signs of hypoglycemia like dizziness, lightheadedness, or sweating. The only way to know for sure if your blood sugar is low is to test it with a glucose meter or other glucose monitoring device. 

If you don’t have access to these tools and start to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar, consume 15 grams of carbs or take a quick dissolve glucose tablet to raise your blood sugar levels and avoid further symptoms, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Once your blood sugar is back in its target range, you can have a snack or meal to make sure it doesn’t drop again.    

Here are some other lifestyle and medicinal treatments that can help treat hypoglycemia:

  • Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods that are minimally processed. 
  • Take prediabetes or diabetes medications as recommended by your healthcare provider.  
  • Use a glucagon kit in emergencies. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly.  

High blood sugar symptoms

Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia happens when the body doesn’t have enough insulin or when it can’t use insulin correctly. Many things can cause high blood glucose levels like Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, stress, illness, or the dawn phenomenon. If you have hyperglycemia or suspect you may have it, talking with a healthcare provider is always a good idea. A doctor can help you determine what’s causing your high blood sugar levels and lower it to a healthy range.    

Here are some of the most common symptoms that may indicate hyperglycemia: 

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased thirst
  • Weight loss  

Untreated hyperglycemia can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is where the body creates waste products called ketones that can build up in the blood and become life-threatening. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Presence of ketones
  • Vomiting 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Vision loss (in rare cases)  

You should seek immediate medical attention if your blood sugar reaches 400 mg/dL or higher.     

“When patients experience any of these accompanied by elevated blood sugar levels, diabetic patients are advised to go directly to the ER to avoid diabetes-induced coma,” says Vikram Tarugu, MD, a gastroenterologist and the CEO of Detox of South Florida. “Patients who have elevated blood sugar may also present with frothy, ketone-like smelling breath.”

Here are some lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help treat hyperglycemia:    

  • Eat whole, low sugar foods that are minimally processed to keep the amount of glucose in the body at a lower level. 
  • Only exercise if there are no ketones present in the bloodstream. You can check if you have ketones with a urine test or blood glucose meter. 
  • Drink lots of water to help your body get rid of sugar in your urine.  
  • Adjust your insulin. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the correct insulin dosages when your blood sugar goes up or down.  
  • Take medications as per your healthcare provider’s recommendations. Some of the most commonly prescribed medications for high blood sugar are Metformin HCl, Glipizide, and Glyburide.

When to see a healthcare provider

Getting professional medical advice from a healthcare provider like an endocrinologist is the best way to learn more about whether your blood sugar levels are where they should be. Not getting proper treatment for low or high blood sugar levels can be serious and lead to health complications, especially for those with diabetes. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, or heart attacks.  

If you see a healthcare provider about your blood sugar levels, be prepared to answer questions about risk factors like what you eat, how much you exercise, and about your family history. Some healthcare providers may want to take a blood sample to test your blood sugar levels. They may also order an A1C test, which is a blood test that measures blood sugar levels over several months. You may have to fast eight hours beforehand to get accurate test results, so it’s always a good idea to check before your appointment.        

If your blood sugar level goes above 250 mg/dL, you should go to the ER for immediate medical attention, says Dr. Tarugu. Emergency rooms are equipped to handle high blood sugar levels and can administer treatments like insulin therapy and fluid or electrolyte replacement.         

Guide to Prediabetes: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Approximately one in three Americans have prediabetes, according to the CDC. However, the majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes symptoms often go undetected, and without prediabetes treatment, blood vessels and nerves can be damaged. This can lead to heart disease and stroke, and eventually, develop into type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, the next stage after prediabetes, is when your body cannot regulate blood sugar levels correctly because you can no longer produce or properly use the hormone insulin. When your body cannot properly use insulin, it’s known as insulin resistance. Without the proper use of insulin, blood glucose levels can get dangerously high. This is because insulin is a hormone that helps your cells use and process glucose.

Prediabetes causes

There are a number of factors that contribute to prediabetes, many of which are related to lifestyle. Risk factors for developing prediabetes and insulin resistance include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Immediate family members have diabetes
  • You experience gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • You are a female with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • High blood pressure
  • Low levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol
  • You are African American, Native American, Latin American or Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Over 45 years old
  • Sleep apnea

Is diabetes genetic?

Given that diabetes is so complex, several factors usually contribute to developing the disease. Lifestyle factors can significantly increase risk, however, genetics and family history play a strong role in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It’s well researched that if a family member has diabetes, you’re more likely to develop the condition.

Is diabetes more common in men or women?

Studies show that type 1 diabetes is more common in men, and they’re more likely to pass it on to their offspring. However, although women previously showed more indication of type 2 diabetes, it is now equally prevalent between men and women.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that usually starts in childhood. With type 1 diabetes, your body attacks its own pancreas so it cannot produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is far more common in adults, and although often milder than type 1, can still cause major health implications, including kidney disease or damage, heart disease, or stroke. Unlike type 1, with type 2 diabetes some insulin can be produced, but the body is either resistant to it or there is not enough. This insulin resistance develops in fat, liver, and muscle cells, hence the extensively researched correlation between obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes symptoms

One of the main reasons so many people have undiagnosed prediabetes is because you can go for years without experiencing any obvious symptoms. This means it is often left undetected until it develops into more serious health problems.

For this reason, it is always important to regularly ask your doctor for a simple blood sugar test to check if you have prediabetes. This is especially important if you have any of the higher risk factors, such as being obese, 45 years or older, or being physically active less than three times a week.

That said, some warning signs and symptoms of prediabetes to look out for are:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Frequent urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Hunger after eating
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision

An increase in these symptoms can be an indication that you’ve transitioned from prediabetes into type 2 diabetes.

If you’re experiencing any prediabetes symptoms, speak with your primary care doctor and request a blood test.

Prediabetes tests

There are a number of different blood tests that your doctor can use to determine if you’re prediabetic. The following three are the most common and effective:

1. Fasting glucose test

As the name suggests, this test is taken after you have fasted for at least eight hours. For convenience, many doctors will suggest you fast overnight and come in first thing in the morning to have your test.

A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 7.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes, however, a fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher indicates type 2 diabetes.

2. Oral glucose tolerance test

Doctors generally only perform this prediabetes blood test during pregnancy. Like the fasting blood sugar test, the doctor will take a blood sample after the patient has been fasting for at least eight hours. Then, the patient will consume a sugary liquid and have their blood sugar levels tested again in two hours.

In this test, a blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. Any higher indicates diabetes.

3. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test

Another test for blood sugar levels, the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the last sixty to ninety days. It’s generally not used in pregnant women and patients with rare forms of hemoglobin as it can cause inaccurate test results.

An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes. Consistent tests above 6.5 percent indicate type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes treatments

In very good news, although prediabetes is common, it can be reversed and go away. With some healthy lifestyle changes, a patient with prediabetes can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

The three most effective prediabetes treatments are:

1. Lose body weight

Usually, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person is enough to have a significant benefit.

2. Increase physical activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, is enough to impact and reduce prediabetes. Try brisk walking in the morning or afternoon, taking the stairs every day, or parking one to two blocks away from the office.

3. Eat healthy foods

Start by reducing the amount of refined and processed carbohydrates, and focus on non-starchy vegetables and lean meats. Switch to plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, and nuts. The key is to make a healthy, balanced diet part of your everyday lifestyle. A registered dietitian can help you create a meal plan specific to your weight, allergies, and other factors specific to your health and condition.

It’s also helpful to reduce the amount of alcohol you’re consuming, as this can be high in sugar and be dehydrating. Drinking more water can also help weight loss, and is the best option when switching away from sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice.

Smoking may also to increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, so your doctor may suggest cutting the habit. The period directly following quitting smoking can make a person more likely to develop diabetes, so your doctor will need to monitor your progress and response to the lifestyle change.

Only when a person is considered a very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes will a doctor prescribe medication for prediabetes. An example would be a patient with a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 35 kg/m2. Metformin is the only medication that the American Diabetes Association advises fir use in prediabetes treatment. It keeps your blood glucose level in a safe range by preventing the liver from producing too much unneeded glucose.

What should you do if you are prediabetic?

If you’ve been to see your doctor, and a blood test confirms you are prediabetic, there are many simple steps you can take to reverse the condition and prevent it from developing into diabetes.

Your healthcare providers will suggest help and guidance, like the best lifestyle changes considering your medical history and circumstances. Steps they may recommend include cutting out processed sugar, consuming more vegetables and whole grains, and taking a walk every morning.

A valuable resource for many prediabetic patients in the United States is the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Through private and public partnerships, it aims to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making it easier for Americans to make the lifestyle changes they need.

In some cases, they may even recommend medication. Whatever your doctor suggests, remember prediabetes can be reversed and it’s great you caught it early.

How to save on the Freestyle Libre with SingleCare

If you don’t have it yourself, you probably know at least one person living with diabetes. More than 30 million people in the U.S. alone have the condition. Which means you’re likely familiar with the hassle of having to monitor glucose levels at all times. The process involves pricking your finger tip with a needle to test a drop of blood—ouch! 

When you have diabetes, it’s crucial to make sure it’s under control by testing your glucose levels often, based on your doctor’s recommendation. Luckily, for those who are sensitive to it or just tired of the repetition, there is an easier way: the Freestyle Libre, an FDA-approved glucose monitoring system that works as an alternative to the finger stick. 

How does Freestyle Libre work?

The Freestyle Libre comes with a 14-day sensor that is worn on the upper arm. It lets you monitor your blood sugar levels anywhere and at any time. The sensor captures the glucose concentration in the interstitial fluid every minute and records the glucose concentration every 15 minutes. All this data is stored in an eight-hour log. The set also comes with a user manual, a USB cable, and a power adapter. 

How much does the Freestyle Libre cost?

You do need a prescription in order to purchase the Freestyle Libre 14 day system—and the sensors can often be pricey. The out-of-pocket price is around $129.99, but you can save with a SingleCare savings card. It can be used regardless of your insurance status—even when you’re on Medicare. 

You can search for your Libre Freestyle diabetes monitor on our site before you go to the pharmacy. To find the best price, we always recommend that you compare our price with the cash price and/or your copay. 

You can either choose to text, email, or print the coupon to yourself from the SingleCare website or request a physical card to be sent home to you, so you can easily pick up your Freestyle Libre sensors at one of our partner pharmacies, which include: CVS, Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, Target, Longs Drugs, Fry’s, Kroger, Rite Aid, and Duane Reade. To check on savings, you simply have to type in your zip code to get the pharmacies near you and adjust for quantity (if you’re picking up for yourself and a friend or family member). 

If you forget or don’t have time to look up before, you could also ask your pharmacist to ring up all options at the counter. 

Join the millions savings billions on thousands of drugs with SingleCare. You will always get the most up to date prices on our site. Happy savings! 

Your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. What now?

Finding out your child has type 1 diabetes is a game-changer. It’s like being whisked to an unfamiliar country, where you need to learn a new language and daily routine. While some things may seem familiar, like food and exercise, some elements are entirely new, such as taking insulin and testing blood glucose levels. Navigating childhood diabetes and making everything work effectively requires a whole new way of thinking and doing.

It can be scary and overwhelming—for you and for your child.

How does type 1 diabetes affect your child’s body?

Type 1 diabetes (T1D), sometimes called juvenile diabetes, happens when your child’s body stops producing insulin, a hormone that helps convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. Without it, the body can’t naturally regulate blood sugar levels. So, your child must get insulin from an outside source—injected by syringe or infused into the body by a device called an insulin pump. Otherwise, blood sugar levels can soar too high, which can cause a number of long-term health problems from blindness to organ and limb damage if untreated. 

To make sure that blood sugar levels stay in a healthy range when your child eats, you have to take a drop of blood from a finger stick and use a device called a glucometer to test it. Each result guides how many grams of carbohydrates your child can eat, the insulin dose, or how much exercise your child needs. High blood sugar isn’t the only issue. Low blood sugar can cause problems when your child has too much insulin and not enough food in the body. It’s a lot to manage.

How can you help a child with diabetes?

We asked several parents and diabetes experts what advice they’d give to those dealing with a child’s new T1D diagnosis. Here are their tips.

1. Learn the basics.

Diabetes management involves balancing food intake, exercise, medication, and testing then responding to changing blood glucose levels. There’s no cure for childhood diabetes, but there are very effective treatments. Understanding how each factor works in the body is crucial for managing your child’s care. 

“Education for the entire family is important,” says Jennifer McCrudden, APRN, FNP-C, CDE, a board certified family nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator. “Educating oneself by reading articles on diabetes on websites from the JDRP or ADA, seeking support groups, attending conferences, are very helpful.”

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers a type 1 diabetes care manual as a free download to help explain it all. Talk to your child’s healthcare team, and ask every question you can think of—they are there to help you adjust to your child’s diagnosis.

2. Take things one day at a time.

While you can understand how diabetes works on an intellectual level, the reality is that things can sometimes happen that feel out of your control. “This can be a very stressful and scary time for the child but also for the parent,” McCrudden says. The needles can be painful or anxiety-inducing at first. Or, maybe your child is embarrassed about dealing with the condition in front of other kids or feels like a burden. 

“Diabetes management is a balancing act,” says Lisa Goldsmith, of Natick, Massachusetts, whose daughter was diagnosed at 7. “You can do everything right and still get high or low blood sugars. It is not an exact science and you will not ever have perfection.” But you will figure out a routine and develop a new normal. The more you all adjust to the condition, the more good days you will have.

3. Ask for the tech.

Diabetes management for children requires a lot of tools: syringes, insulin, a blood glucose testing meter, test strips, alcohol swabs, and other items. Many people assume that injections are the only way to get insulin and test strips are the only way to measure glucose, but there is no one-size-fits-all diabetes management plan. With injections, children often need two or more a day. Some choose to use an insulin pump, a wearable device that delivers insulin all day and can administer insulin before meals with the push of a button, rather than via injection. 

“There are so many new advancements in diabetes technology,” McCrudden says. “I would advise patients meet with a Diabetes Educator who has knowledge on all the choices out there.”

An insulin pump can make it easier to maintain blood glucose levels at recommended levels (though still requires close monitoring). There is also a wearable device to check blood sugar known as a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that can send blood glucose levels to a portable device or smartphone. CGMs can better show trends in glucose levels than finger sticks and meters can, but require wearing a sensor in the body for a period of time.

“I highly recommend getting your child a CGM, if it is possible for you and if your child is amenable to this,” suggests Susan Cotman, of Wayland, Massachusetts, whose daughter was diagnosed two years ago. “It has brought substantial peace of mind, but also better insight into how my daughter’s blood glucose responds to the foods she eats and to exercise. … Seeing her glucose levels in finer detail with the CGM, versus a periodic finger check, was a real eye opener for me, and has taught me that what I thought I understood about nutrition and how it affects one’s body is not the reality, especially in someone whose body cannot make insulin.”

But having helpful tech doesn’t replace thinking through choices in diet, exercise, and insulin dosing. “The biggest misconception is that these devices will do everything for the patient,” McCrudden says. “The patient still needs to be savvy in learning how to problem solve.” While the device is supportive, the patient needs to make choices and be actively involved in his or her own care, she says.

 4. Find support.

Speaking to others who get it can give you confidence and understanding about your new day-to-day. It can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. 18,400 children and teens are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year. “Find a real-life person to support you, don’t do it alone,” said Moira McCarthy, author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Juvenile Diabetes. Her daughter Lauren was diagnosed 22 years ago at age 6. 

“Find another parent or an adult with type 1,” she advises. “There are always ways to find them. You can call the local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) or the ADA, or ask your endocrinologist if there are community groups where you can find others to talk to.” McCarthy acknowledges there are many online support groups but cautions against using them solely. “Online, there can be a lot of fear and it’s not always based on fact,” she says. Connecting with people who have been through a type 1 diagnosis can help your family adjust.

5. Keep dreams alive. 

Don’t let diabetes change what you have always thought your child could achieve. After her daughter was diagnosed at 7, Goldsmith heard some sage advice: “All the hopes and dreams I had for Madelyn yesterday can still be all the hopes and dreams I have for her today,” she said. “I try really hard not to let Madelyn feel like a victim of this disease. If there is a sport she likes, she can play. She wanted to go to overnight camp, and we figured out a way to send her and for her to be safe. It will take more pre-planning and behind the scenes managing, but I promised myself that I would find a way to help her do everything she wants to.”

How Glucose Levels Affect Your Body

When you have diabetes, your blood sugar (aka blood glucose) levels may be consistently high. Over time, this can damage your body and lead to many other problems.

How much sugar in the blood is too much? And why is high glucose so bad for you? Here’s a look at how your levels affect your health.

What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?

They’re less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least 8 hours. And they’re less than 140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating.

During the day, levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals. For most people without diabetes, blood sugar levels before meals hover around 70 to 80 mg/dL. For some people, 60 is normal; for others, 90.

What’s a low sugar level? It varies widely, too. Many people’s glucose won’t ever fall below 60, even with prolonged fasting. When you diet or fast, the liver keeps your levels normal by turning fat and muscle into sugar. A few people’s levels may fall somewhat lower.


Doctors use these tests to find out if you have diabetes:

  • Fasting plasma glucose test. The doctor tests your blood sugar levels after fasting for 8 hours and it’s higher than 126 mg/dL.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test. After fasting for 8 hours, you get a special sugary drink. Two hours later your sugar level is higher than 200.
  • Random check. The doctor tests your blood sugar and it’s higher than 200, plus you’re peeing more, always thirsty, and you’ve gained or lost a significant amount of weight. They’ll then do a fasting sugar level test or an oral glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis.

Any sugar levels higher than normal are unhealthy. Levels that are higher than normal, but not reaching the point of full-blown diabetes, are called prediabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 86 million people in the U.S. have this condition, which can lead to diabetes if you don’t make healthy lifestyle changes that your doctor recommends. It also raises the risk for heart disease, although not as much as diabetes does. It’s possible to keep prediabetes from becoming diabetes with diet and exercise.

Sugar and Your Body

Why are high blood sugar levels bad for you? Glucose is precious fuel for all the cells in your body when it’s present at normal levels. But it can behave like a slow-acting poison.

  • High sugar levels slowly erode the ability of cells in your pancreas to make insulin. The organ overcompensates and insulin levels stay too high. Over time, the pancreas is permanently damaged.
  • High levels of blood sugar can cause changes that lead to a hardening of the blood vessels, what doctors call atherosclerosis.

Almost any part of your body can be harmed by too much sugar. Damaged blood vessels cause problems such as:

  • Kidney disease or kidney failure, requiring dialysis
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Vision loss or blindness
  • Weakened immune system, with a greater risk of infections
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Nerve damage, also called neuropathy, that causes tingling, pain, or less sensation in your feet, legs, and hands
  • Poor circulation to the legs and feet
  • Slow wound-healing and the potential for amputation in rare cases

Keep your blood sugar levels close to normal to avoid many of these complications. The American Diabetes Association’s goals for blood sugar control in people with diabetes are 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL after meals.

Blood sugar 143 mg/dl fasting – good or bad?

We help you interpret your blood sugar values. You have tested your blood sugar fasting and the result was 143 mg/dl. The corresponding A1C is 6.6%. Let’s have a look at the blood sugar gauge:

Your result is:

High blood sugar (Hyperglycemia)

To improve your blood sugar fasting you need to
lower your blood glucose level by 43mg/dl.

Your fasting blood sugar level should always be below 100mg/dl but not fall below 80mg/dl.

Blood sugar testing measures how much glucose is in the bloodstream. No matter what is eaten, from a small snack to a large meal, blood glucose values rise in response to any carbohydrates that are digested.Check your fasting blood sugar

In a healthy person, the pancreas reacts to the higher blood glucose by releasing insulin, a hormone that converts blood sugar into usable energy.

In addition to carbohydrates, other body processes also raise blood sugar levels.When a person fasts, which is defined medically as not eating or drinking anything aside from water for at least eight hours, the release of glucagon is triggered in the body. Glucagon instructs the liver to metabolize reserve supplies of glycogen, which are then circulated into the bloodstream as sugars. Accordingly, the amount of plasma glucose goes up. This is how the body creates energy even while fasting.

In sum, when diabetes is not present the body responds to all blood sugars by manufacturing insulin in proportion with the glucose level. When it comes to fasting blood sugars, insulin lowers and stabilizes the levels so that they remain in a normal, healthy range. Yet when any form of diabetes is present, either pre-diabetes, Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes, the whole physiological process doesn’t work correctly, and blood sugars are often considerably higher than normal. The fasting blood sugar test (FBS) is commonly used to detect the existence of diabetes.

In order to prepare for a fasting blood sugar test, one must refrain from eating or drinking from eight to twelve hours before the test, depending upon the doctor’s instructions. It is conducted in the same manner as any laboratory blood test. The health professional will wrap an elastic band around the upper arm in order to restrict blood flow, which enlarges the veins and facilitates the insertion of a needle. After disinfecting the site with alcohol, a needle is placed into the vein and blood is drawn into a vial, which will be then be sent for laboratory testing.

Intermittent fasting diet

A normal result for fasting blood glucose ranges from 70 – 100 mg/dL. According to criteria set by the American Diabetes Association, a higher than normal fasting blood sugar between 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) may indicate prediabetes. This shows an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

When the measurement is above 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L), a diagnosis of diabetes is likely. A lower than normal result may point to hypoglycemia that is caused by a specific type of tumor in the pancreas, and further diagnostic testing is needed.

Besides eating or drinking during the eight hours before the fasting blood sugar test, other factors may influence the outcome. Illness, drinking alcohol or excessive caffeine the day before, smoking and emotional stress can all impact blood sugar levels. Fasting blood sugar tests should therefore be performed twice, on two separate days, in order to confirm that results are consistent.

Glucose challenge test – Mayo Clinic


The glucose challenge test, also called the one-hour glucose tolerance test, measures your body’s response to sugar (glucose). The glucose challenge test is done during pregnancy to screen for gestational diabetes — diabetes that develops during pregnancy.

The test is done in two steps. First you drink a sugary solution. One hour later, your blood sugar level is measured. The results indicate whether you might have gestational diabetes.

If the test results are outside the standard range, you might need further testing to determine the diagnosis.

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Why it’s done

The glucose challenge test is used to screen for gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

If you’re at average risk of gestational diabetes, you’ll likely be screened during your second trimester — between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

If you’re at high risk of gestational diabetes, your health care provider may recommend doing the screening as early as your first prenatal visit. Risk factors may include:

  • Being or having a body mass index of 30 or higher (obesity).
  • A lack of physical activity.
  • Gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy.
  • Having a medical condition associated with the development of diabetes, such as metabolic syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Diabetes in a blood relative.
  • Previously delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms).
  • Race and ethnicity — Women who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Asian American have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, without careful management, gestational diabetes can lead to pregnancy complications such as a serious condition that causes high blood pressure and other symptoms that can threaten the lives of both mother and baby (preeclampsia). Gestational diabetes can also increase your risk of having a baby with an excessive birth weight — which might increase the risk of birth injuries or prompt a C-section delivery.

Women who’ve had gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

How you prepare

You do not need to fast before the glucose challenge test.

What you can expect

The glucose challenge test is done in two steps. When you arrive at your health care provider’s office or the lab, you’ll drink a syrupy glucose solution that contains 1.8 ounces (50 grams) of sugar.

You’ll need to remain in your health care provider’s office or the lab while you wait for your blood sugar level to be tested. You can’t eat or drink anything other than water at this point.

One hour later, a blood sample will be taken from a vein in your arm. This blood sample will be used to measure your blood sugar level.

After the glucose challenge test, you can return to your usual activities immediately. Your health care provider will give you the test results at a later time.


Results of the glucose challenge test are given in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

  • A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is considered standard.
  • A blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) to less than 190 mg/dL (10.6 mmol/L) indicates the need for a three-hour glucose tolerance test to diagnose gestational diabetes.
  • A blood sugar level of 190 (10.6 mmol/L) or higher indicates gestational diabetes. Further testing might not be needed.

Some clinics or labs use a lower threshold of 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L) when screening for gestational diabetes.

If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you can prevent complications by carefully managing your blood glucose level throughout the rest of your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends that women diagnosed with gestational diabetes have a two-hour glucose tolerance test 4 to 12 weeks after childbirth. This test screens for type 2 diabetes. If you have questions, talk to your health care provider.

Sept. 08, 2021

Norm of blood sugar: for women, men, children :: Health :: RBC Style

Glucose is the fuel for cells. For the normal functioning of the body, it is necessary that a small amount of it is always present in the blood. If there is too little of it, cells begin to starve, and this harms the functioning of organs. Excess blood glucose is most often the result of insulin problems, which can be a manifestation of diabetes or other diseases.

  1. How blood sugar is measured
  2. Standard
  3. Enhanced Level
  4. Reduced level
  5. Doctor’s comment

The material was checked and commented on by Anastasia Danilova, endocrinologist of the Semeynaya network of clinics

How is blood sugar measured

It is worth clarifying right away: when people talk about blood sugar levels, they mean glucose. This is not entirely true – ordinary sugar, entering the body, is broken down into glucose and fructose.

Traditional methods of measuring sugar levels are analyzes of venous plasma and capillary blood (from a finger). The first method is more accurate and is used in medical research. You can easily collect blood from a finger by yourself, so the second method is used in pocket blood glucose meters, which allow you to check blood sugar levels without the help of a doctor.

Over the past few years, innovative devices for continuous monitoring of sugar levels have appeared on the market. Sensors that are attached to or implanted under the skin transmit glucose readings every few minutes.

Another clinical method for diagnosing diabetes is glucose tolerance test. The patient is measured fasting blood sugar and then given a glass of water with dissolved glucose (oral, OGTT). Then the sugar level is checked after two hours (or an hour later – in pregnant women). This allows you to study how the body metabolizes carbohydrates [1].

Norm of blood sugar

In Russia, blood sugar is measured in millimoles per liter (mmol / L).In America and Europe, it is in milligrams per deciliter (mg / dl). 1 mmol / L = 18.01 mg / dL.

The norm of sugar on an empty stomach

Sugar rate two hours after OGTT

Source: “Type 1 diabetes mellitus in adults, clinical guidelines of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation”, 2019 [2]

A value above 11.1 mmol / L is considered an indicator of diabetes even with a random test, that is, at any time after a meal.The Ministry of Health does not recommend diagnosing diabetes on the basis of a single blood test, except in acute situations where hyperglycemia is evident. For accuracy, the study must be repeated.

Elevated blood sugar

A condition when the glucose content is higher than 7 mmol / L on an empty stomach or 11.1 mmol / L two hours after eating is called hyperglycemia. Most often, it occurs when there is a violation of the production and use of insulin – a hormone that delivers glucose to cells.In this case, there is a lot of sugar in the blood, but it is not used.

Diabetes mellitus is the main cause of impaired insulin production, but there are other reasons as well. Sugar jumps can occur:

  • after operations;
  • against the background of diseases of the pancreas;
  • against the background of diseases of the endocrine system, such as Cushing’s syndrome;
  • against the background of infectious diseases, such as influenza;
  • when taking steroid drugs;
  • after stress.

For people who do not have such diseases, surges in glucose are not terrible – the body itself will return its level to normal.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia are similar to those of diabetes:

  • copious urination;
  • constant thirst;
  • increased fatigue;
  • impairment of thinking abilities;
  • headaches;
  • blurry vision.

Hyperglycemia is the first sign of a carbohydrate metabolism disorder.If a doctor has diagnosed this disorder, he may recommend:

  • to move more, play sports;
  • switch to a low-carb diet;
  • monitor the glycemic index of food;
  • give up bad habits.

Low blood sugar

The condition when the amount of glucose in the blood falls below 2.8 mmol / L in healthy people and below 3.9 in patients with diabetes is called hypoglycemia [3].With it, the body does not have enough energy, the cells gradually begin to starve.

Acute hypoglycemia affects all organs, but primarily the nervous system and the brain. The main symptoms of this condition are:

  • dizziness;
  • weakness;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • depressed mood;
  • hunger;
  • sweating;
  • nausea;
  • aggressiveness;
  • mydriasis – pupil dilation;
  • panic;
  • trembling;
  • confusion of consciousness;
  • convulsions;
  • paresthesia – tingling, burning sensations on the skin;
  • heart palpitations.

If the glucose level drops even lower, damage to the nervous system begins, which can lead to coma and death. The critical value is 2.5 mmol / l in men, 1.9 in women and 2.2 in children.

These symptoms may accompany other diseases and conditions, including hyperglycemia. Sugar levels often drop without symptoms at all. Therefore, hypoglycemia can be detected only with the help of a glucometer.

Hypoglycemia most often occurs in people with diabetes who take too much insulin and then do not consume enough carbohydrates.In patients with type 1 diabetes, hypoglycemia, as well as hyperglycemia, can occur in the morning, and in people with type 2 diabetes, after physical activity and taking certain medications.

In people without diabetes, dangerous hypoglycemia occurs quite rarely, and in completely healthy and normally nourished people – almost never. She can be provoked by:

  • Drinking alcohol in large quantities – it can disrupt the function of the liver, which is responsible for saturating the blood with glucose;
  • taking certain drugs – antimalarial drugs, antibiotics, drugs for pneumonia;
  • anorexia;
  • hepatitis;
  • diseases of the adrenal glands and pituitary gland;
  • liver disease;
  • diseases of the pancreas, including insulinoma – a rare tumor that provokes the production of additional insulin;
  • postpartum period;
  • severe physical exhaustion;
  • prolonged fasting.

In addition, there is reactive hypoglycemia, in which blood sugar levels drop some time after eating. It can develop after surgery on the stomach and upper small intestine [4].

Hypoglycemia is relieved by high carbohydrate foods or drinks, glucose or glucagon injections.

Doctor’s comment

Anastasia Danilova, endocrinologist of the family clinic chain

At what age and at what risk factors should you start monitoring your sugar level?

Your glucose level should be checked regularly, even if everything seems to be in order.The WHO Expert Committee recommends that all patients over 45 years of age be screened for diabetes, and if the test is negative, tests should be repeated every three years.

But, given the fact that diabetes is rapidly getting younger and more widespread in the current conditions, doctors recommend annual examination of patients and younger ages, especially if there are signs of the so-called metabolic syndrome. It can be talked about in the case of severe obesity, and in addition, with a hereditary history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and high cholesterol.For women, additional risk factors are gestational (detected during pregnancy) diabetes and the birth of a child weighing more than 4.5 kg.

Under what conditions can dangerous hypoglycemia develop in a healthy person?

The state of hypoglycemia can also develop in a healthy person in the event of starvation, severe emotional stress, prolonged physical or mental stress without replenishing glucose reserves. Hypoglycemia can occur after drinking alcohol, especially on an empty stomach or immediately after intense physical activity.

90,000 Take a blood sugar test, the price of a blood glucose test in Volgodonsk in the Invitro laboratory

Method of determination

Study material
See description

Serum or blood plasma. If it is not possible to centrifuge the sample 30 minutes after collection to separate the serum / plasma from the cells, the sample is taken into a special tube containing a glycolysis inhibitor (sodium fluoride).

Synonyms: Blood glucose test; Plasma or serum glucose; Blood sugar; Blood glucose; Fasting blood glucose test; Blood sugar analysis. Glucose, Plasma or Serum; Fasting blood glucose; FBG; Fasting plasma glucose; Blood glucose; Blood sugar; Fasting blood sugar; FBS.

Brief characteristics of the analyte Glucose

Sources of glucose for the body are carbohydrates (fast and slow), supplied with food in the form of sucrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, starch, etc.In the body, glucose accumulates in the form of glycogen in the liver and, if necessary, can be synthesized from non-carbohydrate substrates (amino acids, glycerol, lactate).

Maintaining blood glucose at a certain level is an example of one of the most perfect mechanisms for regulating homeostasis, in the functioning of which the liver, extrahepatic tissues and some hormones are involved. Insulin transports glucose into cells and is the only hormone that lowers blood glucose levels.Other hormones such as glucagon, cortisol, adrenaline, thyroid hormones, growth hormone cause an increase in its level in the blood, exhibiting a counterinsular effect. As a result of the action of regulatory mechanisms, the blood glucose level normally fluctuates within a narrow range of values.

The main laboratory test for assessing carbohydrate metabolism is the determination of fasting blood glucose. Its increased content is called hyperglycemia and can be a symptom of diabetes mellitus.

Diagnostic criteria for diabetes mellitus

Laboratory criteria in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus based on blood glucose levels are currently considered:

  1. fasting glucose level 7.0 mmol / l and above;
  2. combination of clinical symptoms of diabetes and an accidental (independent of the time of the previous meal) increase in blood plasma glucose to 11.1 mmol / L and higher;
  3. glucose level two hours after taking glucose (75 g) when performing an oral glucose tolerance test of 11.1 mmol / l and higher.

Since changes in blood glucose concentration can be detected much earlier than clinical manifestations of diabetes mellitus, it is recommended that all people over 45 years of age (even without symptoms of diabetes mellitus) undergo an annual fasting blood glucose control test. At an earlier age, screening is done in people at increased risk of diabetes (including children over ten years of age). Also, the determination of fasting blood glucose is included in the mandatory examination of pregnant women.Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause a physiological increase in insulin resistance in a woman’s body. The relative lack of insulin during this period in some women can lead to an increase in blood glucose and the development of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

What is the purpose of determining the level of glucose in serum or plasma

Determination of the level of glucose in plasma or serum is used for the diagnosis and control of diabetes mellitus and other diseases associated with impaired carbohydrate metabolism.

What can affect the test result Glucose

In vitro, glucose can be determined in whole blood, serum or plasma (the latter is preferred). When interpreting the results of glucose studies, it is useful to take into account the following data: glucose freely penetrates into erythrocytes, but its concentration in blood plasma is about 11-14% higher than in whole blood due to different water content in plasma and blood cells. So, the glucose content in the plasma of venous blood taken on an empty stomach may be higher than in the whole blood sample taken from the finger at the same time.Heparinized plasma glucose is 5% lower than serum glucose. Whole venous blood contains less glucose than finger capillary blood due to the utilization of glucose in tissues. This difference is insignificant when taking blood on an empty stomach (the difference is about 0.1 mmol / L), but it increases markedly after a meal (the difference is about 15%) or when an oral glucose tolerance test is performed (the difference is 20-25%) – the effect of insulin release.

90,000 High blood sugar is the cause of memory impairment

Recent research by scientists (Neurology, October 23, 2013) has shown that people with high blood sugar have a tendency to decrease memory, mental performance and other cognitive functions.

Previous studies have shown that diabetes mellitus with high blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of dementia. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, diabetes is considered a factor in the development of vascular dementia, as it can affect the blood vessels of the brain. This form of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) is often caused by a decrease or blockage of blood flow in the brain.

However, researchers from Germany believe that even people without diabetes, but with high blood glucose levels, are prone to developing memory impairments.

Scanning the hippocampus

Researchers analyzed 143 people, mean age 63, who had no established diabetes or prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance). The participants in the experiment took blood glucose samples, checked the size of the hippocampus (an area of ​​the brain associated with memory), and tested the ability to remember.

Results showed that participants who had lower blood sugar scored higher on memory tests compared to those who had higher blood sugar.A correlation was found between blood glucose and word memorization: an increase in HbA1c by 7 mmol / L led to a 2-word impairment in memorization. The size of the hippocampus and its microstructure integrity were the lower, the higher the blood sugar level.

Researchers say lifestyle changes (diet, exercise) and glucose monitoring may be a promising strategy to prevent cognitive decline with aging.

Dr. Floel advises high-risk patients (obese people over 55) to have regular check-ups, which include monitoring fasting blood glucose and HbA1c for early detection and treatment of high glucose levels.

Source medicalnewstoday.com

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