Blood sugar, to be more exact, the blood glucose matters a lot in the diabetes self-management. In general, you need to get a meter and some test strips handy if you are diabetic. Here are some guidelines we sorted out for you according to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Recommended target blood glucose level ranges
|NICE recommended target blood glucose level ranges|
|Upon waking||Before meals
|At least 90 minutes after meals
|Non-diabetic*||4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L||under 7.8 mmol/L|
|Type 2 diabetes||4 to 7 mmol/L||under 8.5 mmol/L|
|Type 1 diabetes||5 to 7 mmol/L||4 to 7 mmol/L||5 to 9 mmol/L|
|Children w/ type 1 diabetes||4 to 7 mmol/L||4 to 7 mmol/L||5 to 9 mmol/L|
*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between0 to 6.0 mmol/L (72 to 108 mg/dL) when fasting
- Up to8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 2 hours after eating
For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:
- Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- After meals: under 9 mmol/L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5mmol/L for people with type 2 diabetes
Blood sugar levels in diagnosing diabetes
|Blood sugar levels in diagnosing diabetes|
|Plasma glucose test||Normal||Prediabetes||Diabetes|
|Random||Below 11.1 mmol/l
Below 200 mg/dl
|N/A||11.1 mmol/l or more
200 mg/dl or more
|Fasting||Below 6.1 mmol/l
Below 108 mg/dl
|6.1 to 6.9 mmol/l
108 to 125 mg/dl
|7.0 mmol/l or more
126 mg/dl or more
|2 hour post-prandial||Below 7.8 mmol/l
Below 140 mg/dl
|7.8 to 11.0 mmol/l
140 to 199 mg/dl
|11.1 mmol/l or more
200 mg/dl or more
Random plasma glucose test
It can be taken at any time. This doesn’t require as much planning and is therefore used in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when time is of the essence.
Fasting plasma glucose test
It is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 6.1 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
An OGTT involves taking a first taking a fasting sample of blood and then taking a very sweet drink containing 75g of glucose. After having this drink you need to stay at rest until a further blood sample is taken after 2 hours.
HbA1c test for diabetes diagnosis
This test does not directly measure the level of blood glucose, however, the result of the test is influenced by how high or low your blood glucose levels have tended to be over a period of 2 to 3 months.
Indications of diabetes or prediabetes are given under the following conditions:
- Normal:Below 42 mmol/mol (6.0%)
- Prediabetes:42 to 47 mmol/mol (6.0 to 6.4%)
- Diabetes:48 mmol/mol (6.5% or over)
High sugar levels for a long time can easily cause the diabetes complications like: kidney disease, nerve damage, retinal disease, heart disease and stroke. Those problems are scary indeed and even sometimes life-threatening. A good blood glucose level control is the best shield. Trust me, small improvements can make a big difference.
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