What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?

November 12, 2012

What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels?

In order to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes, doctors measure your blood sugar levels. If you are diagnosed with either of these conditions, you will need to know more than you ever wanted to know about normal blood sugar levels. Monitoring your blood sugar or glucose levels often throughout the day is a good way to prevent falling into a diabetic coma.

As you test your glucose more often, you will begin to see that you will have a narrow range limit in comparison to what is medically acceptable. Soon you and your doctor will learn what range is normal for you. By keeping a glucose reading diary, you and your doctor can quickly determine your particular normal blood sugar levels.

Normal Numbers

Your blood sugar levels rise and fall depending on how recently you have eaten and what you have eaten. To get your average normal blood sugar levels, you should test about one or two hours after you have eaten. Anything in between 70 to 140 ml/dL is considered a normal range. If the glucose level is over 140 ml/dL, then a diabetic needs to take a dose of insulin.

After 10 hours without eating, you will have whatÂ’s called a fasting blood sugar level. The normal number is 90 ml/dL. If your glucose level is higher, then you are a diabetic. There is far too much glucose in your bloodstream. Over time, this can causes considerable damage to your blood vessels and internal organs.

Diagnostic Tests

According to the American Diabetic Association, there are three main diagnostic tests that doctors give their patients in order to check for abnormal or normal blood sugar levels. You may be given one or more of these tests:

  • Fasting plasma glucose test (FPG): You do not eat or drink for at least eight hours before a phlebotomist takes your blood.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGT): This is a variation of the FPG, but after fasting, you drink a glucose solution and a few minutes later have your blood drawn. You may only need to fast for a few hours instead of all night.
  • A1C blood test: This checks your hemoglobin levels. Non-diabetics have a normal range from 4% to 5.6%. Anything over 5.6% indicates diabetes.

Diabetes Symptoms

When will your doctor recommend testing for normal blood sugar levels? Early symptoms of diabetes – other than testing blood sugar levels, include:

  • Being thirsty all of the time
  • Needing to urinate far more frequently because you are drinking more to quench your thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Minor wounds like scratches take far longer to heal than they normally would
  • Feeling tired all of the time
  • Blurred vision
  • Strange tingling or numbness in one or both hands
  • Strange tingling or numbness in one or both feet.

You will not have these symptoms if you have prediabetes. The only known symptom of prediabetes is abnormal glucose level readings. Your doctor may recommend glucose tests if you have a family history of insulin resistance or if you are obese.

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