What is a Normal Blood Glucose Level?
Your “normal” can be very different to another persons “normal”, and can vary during the 24 hour period of a day.
The glucose levels, (or sugar levels), in our blood varies throughout a 24 hour period. Glucose levels are dependent upon what you have eaten, how much and when as well as any exercise you may have done.
There are three tests available for the testing of glucose levels – the normality of the level is dependent on the type of test.
Fasting blood glucose test – prior to this test your medical practitioner will have advised you not to eat or drink for a period of 8 hours. A normal glucose level after this period is determined as less than 100 mg/dl. Anybody found to have a glucose level of 126 mg/dl after two of these tests will be considered to have diabetes.
Random blood test – a normal glucose level, expected to be present in any blood test taken at any time, should be in the low to mid 100 mg/dl. If the reading is over 200mg/dl during a random blood test then a diabetes diagnosis may be made – especially if the patient is also presenting with symptoms associated with diabetes such as excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, increased urination and fatigue.
Oral glucose tolerance test – this test will also involve an overnight fasting period after which you will be given a sugar-water solution to drink. Your glucose levels will then be tested during the following hours. In a non-diabetic the levels will be seen to rise and fall quickly after ingesting the solution. In a diabetic however they will rise more quickly and fall more slowly. In normal patients the reading 2 hours after ingesting the water-sugar solution should be less than 140 mf/dl. In the first two hours after taking the solution a normal reading would be less than 200 mg/dl. Glucose levels of higher than 200 mg/dl will again mean a diagnosis of diabetes.
Managing your glucose level
If you have received a diagnosis of diabetes then no doubt you will also have received a vast amount of information about your treatment plan, your diet and ways of keeping your glucose levels down. You have probably also been warned about the dangers of persistent high levels of glucose. As part of your ongoing treatment program your medical practitioner may want to carry out regular Glycated hemoglobin tests. This test is not a diagnostic tool but rather an indication of how well you have managed to control your glucose levels in the preceding 2 or 3 months – ideally this test should result in a value of 7 or less, anything higher than 7 may indicate the need to alter some part of your treatment program.
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