The amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood (expressed in mg/dL) fluctuates during the day and night. Our bodies however try to maintain a steady level of blood glucose throughout the day.
The average sugar level in a healthy body is between 90 to 100 mg/dL. But sometimes, these blood sugar levels may vary due to various factors such as medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus.
Maintaining normal sugar levels is easily doable if one follows a healthy eating and lifestyle pattern. But, high or low blood glucose levels are signs of health conditions that need attention. Hence, knowing about healthy blood sugar levels and how to control them is essential.
Maintaining a healthy and normal blood sugar range is crucial to help prevent or defer long-term, major health issues, including heart disease, eyesight loss, and kidney disease.
Besides avoiding the onset of various diseases, maintaining blood sugar levels in a healthy range also enhances an individual’s energy and mood. Hence, it’s crucial to understand what the blood glucose level signifies while testing with a metre, test strips, and other equipment. This is something you should talk to your medical expert about.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels in Healthy Individuals (Adults)
Blood sugar or glucose levels can be normal, high, or low. One should generally measure their blood sugar levels after 8 hours of eating. Although the term ‘normal’ is frequently used to describe the blood sugar levels of an individual without diabetes, it is technically inaccurate.
That is because blood sugar rises can occur in people without diabetes as well, especially after eating. People with diabetes should monitor blood sugar levels and take enough insulin or glucose-lowering medicine to maintain a healthy balance since their bodies can’t generate or use insulin properly.
As per the ADA, the normal blood sugar levels in individuals without diabetes are:
- A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult (male or female) after 8 hours of fasting is >70 mg/dL and < 100 mg/dL.
- The normal sugar level in a healthy person after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL.
Anything above or below these sugar levels would lead to a diabetic condition. Since blood sugar levels change throughout the day, knowing the significant factors affecting such change is crucial.
- The food we consume can impact our blood sugar levels. For example, if we eat rich, high-carbohydrate, or high-calorie foods, our blood glucose readings might increase.
- The quantity of food we consume can also affect our normal sugar levels. In addition, overeating may increase sugar levels.
- Physical activities can impact our glucose levels. For example, heavy and rigorous work may decrease our blood sugar levels, whereas no or less physical activity may increase our blood sugar levels.
- Certain medicines can disturb our blood glucose levels. In addition, medical conditions like hypoglycemia, diabetes, and liver disease may cause changes in our normal sugar levels.
- Alcohol consumption can cause our good sugar level reading to drop. Smoking can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Age matters! Insulin tolerance decreases with age, thus increasing the chances of diabetes.
- Stress (physical or mental) can spike our normal blood sugar levels. Dehydration can result in low blood glucose levels.
One can solve most of these problems by ensuring you’re in the right environment with the proper guidance. In addition, other diabetic patients working to reverse their diabetes can provide valuable support and motivation.
The HealthifyMe Note
A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult (male or female) after 8 hours of fasting is 70-100 mg/dL. A normal blood sugar level after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL. Blood glucose levels change throughout the day and are affected by the variety and quantity of food consumed, physical activity, medicine, alcohol consumption, smoking, age, stress, and dehydration.
Managing Blood Sugar Levels like a Pro
Patients with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia are likely familiar with the occasional challenges in monitoring their blood glucose levels. Maintaining blood glucose levels within the specified ranges is crucial.
Any abrupt change in your blood glucose levels can affect your health. If ignored, such problems can develop into severe organ disorders.
The HealthifyPro CGM (continuous glucose monitor) steps in during these circumstances. You can receive real-time information on your blood glucose levels from the CGM. Additionally, you can decide on your food and exercise habits based on the data gathered.
HealthifyPro is a complete package that includes CGM, Pro Coaches Consultation, and a smart scale that analyses your weight concerning body-fat percentage, muscle mass, etc.
A metabolic panel is also available, which assesses your metabolic health. It is a full-proof approach focusing on testing, evaluating, and real-time monitoring. The expert nutritionists help create a customised meal plan depending on your assessment and keep track of your performance.
You can use this tool to check your blood glucose levels. As soon as you start using the CGM, you can see how your blood glucose levels alter throughout the day. Then, you may regulate and control your blood glucose levels at any time of the day with cutting-edge AI and coach interventions. Consequently, a continuous glucose monitor helps track your blood glucose levels easily.
The HealthifyPro continuous glucose monitor links to your smartphone, laptop, or computer of choice and is AI-powered. As a result, you gain complete control over your weight loss process in this manner.
Types of Diabetes
Most people know only two primary types of diabetes: Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. However, the prevalence of Gestational diabetes and prediabetes is also rising. So, one can categorise diabetes into these four types.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, is characterised by a complete lack of insulin production by the pancreas. As a result, many people with type 1 diabetes take insulin injections for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, previously known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, is characterised by insulin resistance, a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces enough insulin, but the body’s cells are resistant to it. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95% of all cases.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It usually disappears after the baby is born, but women with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than average but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Blood Sugar – Why Does it Matter in Diabetes?
Blood sugar (or blood glucose) is the sugar or glucose in your blood. Having some sugar in your blood is vital because it’s a significant energy source for your body. A hormone called insulin, produced by the pancreas regulates blood sugar levels.
If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it produces effectively. As a result, it raises your blood sugar levels, which may lead to several serious health problems if left untreated.
High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and organs and lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. That’s why controlling your blood sugar level is crucial if you have diabetes.
Blood Sugar Levels Chart for Adults with Diabetes
The following are the blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes.
People Above 20 Years of Age
- Blood Sugar Level After Fasting (FBS Range): 70-100 mg/dL
- Normal Sugar Level Before Meal (Food): 70-130 mg/dL
- Sugar Level After 1 to 2 Hours of Eating Food: Less than 180 mg/dL
- Blood Sugar Level at Bedtime: 100-140 mg/dL
Blood Sugar Levels for Pregnant Women
- Blood Sugar Level After Fasting (FBS Range): 70-89 mg/dL
- Normal Sugar Level Before Meal (Food): 89 mg/dL
- Sugar Level After 1 to 2 Hours of Eating Food: Less than 120 mg/dL
- Blood Sugar Level at Bedtime: 100-140 mg/dL
Random Blood Sugar Test
The Random Blood Sugar (RBS) test is done any time of the day outside the regular testing timetable. Medical professionals recommend using this test to confirm the presence of diabetes during and after the treatment of diabetes. A level of 200 mg/dl or greater indicates diabetes mellitus.
The primary objective of the RBS test is to check random blood sugar levels. The test helps treat the disease via timely monitoring during and after treatment. The random blood sugar level test is recommended if an individual complains of any of the following signs:
- Hazy vision
- Unexplained Weight loss
- Dry mouth and dehydration
- Slow wound healing
- Recurrent urination
Symptoms of High Blood Sugar Level (Hyperglycemia)
Hyperglycemia, often known as high blood sugar, can be brought on by various factors, such as being ill, being under stress, eating more than you intended, and not taking enough insulin.
A person’s pancreas secretes more insulin when blood sugar levels are too high. Their pancreas releases glucagon to increase blood sugar levels when they fall. This equilibrium aids in giving the cells enough energy while avoiding damage that persistently elevated blood sugar levels could bring.
Long-term, major health issues might develop from elevated blood sugar over time. High blood sugar symptoms include:
- Incredibly fatigued
- Hunger and thirst
- Having visual problems
- A higher need to urinate (pee)
Managing your blood sugar can be challenging if you become sick. Your ability to eat and drink may be limited, impacting your blood sugar levels. Use an over-the-counter ketone test kit to screen your urine for ketones if you’re sick and your blood sugar is 240 mg/dL or above.
If your ketones are high, call your doctor. High ketones may be a precursor to diabetic ketoacidosis, a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment.
Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar Level (Hypoglycemia)
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too low. It can occur if you don’t eat for a while or have diabetes and take too much insulin.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include:
- Feeling shaky
- Feeling weak
- Feeling dizzy
- Having a fast heartbeat
- Feeling hungry
If you have diabetes and think you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, it’s essential to check your blood sugar levels immediately. Furthermore, if they’re low, eat or drink something that will raise your blood sugar levels quickly, such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers with peanut butter, or milk.
If an individual has diabetes, they need to keep their blood sugar levels. One can do this by managing their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
HealthifyMe can help you get started. Many people with type 2 diabetes have reversed their diabetes after losing just a few kilograms. These fantastic results show that, with the proper diet and lifestyle changes, it’s possible to manage diabetes within a few months. It is very inspiring! Book a consultation with an experienced HealthifyMe coach to learn more about your risk for diabetes.
HealthifyMe addresses the underlying issue. By examining your medical history, evaluating your medications, and analysing diagnostic test results, we get to the bottom of the problem and give you more insight into your situation.
Diagnosis: How to Get Tested for Prediabetes, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes?
Blood sugar testing is vital to determine if you have prediabetes, type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Testing is straightforward, and results are typically available quickly. According to the CDC, a healthcare professional will need the following tests to diagnose the condition.
The A1C Test
A person’s A1C level can indicate their average blood sugar level over the past few months. A result of 5.7% or below is considered normal, while a value between 5.7 and 6.4% indicates that they have prediabetes. If the A1C test result is 6.5% or higher, this suggests that the person has diabetes.
|Standard (“normal”)||Less than 5.7%|
|Prediabetes||Between 5.7% and 6.5%|
|Diabetes||More than 6.5%|
Fasting Blood Sugar Test
The Fasting Blood Sugar Test determines your blood sugar level after you have not eaten for at least eight hours. A result of 99 mg/dL or less is considered normal, while a level between 100 and 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes, and a result of 126 mg/dL or greater indicates diabetes.
Glucose Tolerance Test
The Glucose Tolerance Test is a way to check your blood sugar. Before the test, you must not eat anything for a whole night. Next, your blood is taken to check the fasting blood sugar level. Then, you will be given a liquid containing glucose.
Your blood is retaken after 1 hour, 2 hours, and possibly 3 hours to measure the blood sugar level. You have normal blood sugar levels if the result is 140 mg/dL or lower after 2 hours. Otherwise, you have prediabetes if the result is between 140 to 199 mg/dL. If the result is 200 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes.
Random Blood Sugar Test
This test measures your blood sugar level without prior preparation. It can be done at any time and does not require fasting. Results of 200 mg/dL or above indicate diabetes.
Multiple Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
The struggle to lower blood sugar levels is not uncommon. In India alone, an estimated 77 million adults have high blood sugar levels and want to lower blood sugar levels for good health.
This number could be as high as 134 million by 2045. Even more concerning is that 57% of these cases go undetected and undiagnosed. Therefore, if you have high blood sugar levels, you have to make wiser choices to lower blood sugar levels.
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Low GI Fruits (Cherries, Avocado, Plum, Kiwi, Papaya, Apple, Oranges)
- Protein-Rich Foods Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- Good Fat
When to See a Healthcare Provider?
If your test results reveal that you have type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, it is vital to speak to your doctor about establishing a comprehensive treatment plan.
This plan should include diabetes self-management education and support services, as well as clear steps you can take to ensure that you are in the best state of health. However, if you have prediabetes or want to prevent diabetic issues, you should modify your lifestyle and avoid the outcome of the condition.
Maintaining blood glucose levels within your target range is the main objective. Your doctor will specify your desired range. The type of diabetes, age, and presence of problems all affect the target level. For example, your blood sugar levels will be lower if you have gestational diabetes than in other forms of diabetes.
As per research, physical exercise is crucial for managing diabetes. Find out from your doctor how many minutes you should exercise per week. Nutrition is also vital. You must also keep an eye on your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Aim for a diet high in whole plant-based foods, such as fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy plant-based fats, while limiting your intake of simple sugars. However, be cautious of added sugars.
Remember that while these foods may help with blood sugar regulation, the most critical factor in doing so is maintaining a nutritious diet that is typically nutrient-rich and well-balanced, along with an active lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What should be the random blood sugar level?
A. In random blood testing, a person’s blood sugar levels are measured randomly throughout the day. This test does not require fasting or ongoing monitoring, unlike other blood tests for diabetes. It helps those who need an immediate diagnosis, such as those with type 1 diabetes. The unit of measuring glucose is milligrammes per deciliter(mg/dl). A result of 200 mg/dl or higher on a random glucose test suggests that a person may have diabetes. The doctor will typically conduct the test again the following day for a more accurate diagnosis.
Q. What blood sugar level requires insulin?
A. Insulin requirements for diabetes differ on a patient-to-patient basis. Nevertheless, conditions like type 2 diabetes are progressive and are characterised by a slight decrease in beta cell activity, and the majority of individuals will eventually need insulin therapy.
Q. Can covid increase blood sugar levels?
A. Diabetes, a pro-inflammatory condition by itself, reacts with Covid-19 and increases the likelihood of an inflammatory reaction and worsening blood sugar levels. For those with known diabetes, Covid-19 causes abnormal blood glucose levels to exceed (above the normal range). Using steroids for Covid-19 made the patients’ glucose levels even worse. Diabetes-related high blood sugar left untreated can have significant health effects and harm kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Patients recuperating from Covid-19 are encouraged to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly for a more accurate diagnosis.
Q. What is considered a dangerously low blood sugar level?
A. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) is lower than average. People with diabetes who use insulin or specific other medications to control their diabetes may experience low blood sugar. It is dangerous to have a blood sugar level below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L). A blood sugar level of less than 54 mg/dL (or 3.0 mmol/L) requires immediate attention. People with low blood sugar levels should monitor their sugar levels more frequently.
Q. What is a normal fasting blood sugar level?
A. Normal fasting blood glucose levels are expected to be between 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Changes in lifestyle and monitoring of glycemia are advised when fasting blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L). An individual has diabetes if the fasting blood glucose level is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or greater on two occasions.
Q. What is the random blood sugar level?
A. A random glucose test is one where a person’s blood glucose levels are measured randomly throughout the day. This test does not require fasting or ongoing monitoring, unlike many blood tests for diabetes. It is helpful for those who require a prompt diagnosis, like those with type 1 diabetes who urgently need additional insulin. A result of 200 mg/dl or higher on a random glucose test suggests that a person may have diabetes. The doctor will typically conduct the test the following day to get a more accurate diagnosis.
Q. Do tomatoes raise blood sugar levels?
A. Glycemic index is a value given to foods to measure their impact on blood sugar levels. This value determines how quickly the food will affect your blood sugar levels. For example, with a glycemic index of 30, tomatoes are considered to have a low glycemic index. Low glycemic index foods are those with a glycemic index of 55 or less, which means that while they will boost your blood sugar, the rise will be gradual and constant. Therefore, tomatoes are a safe food for people with diabetes.
Q. What is a normal blood sugar level for a child?
A. Children experience rapid growth, and their bodies need the correct quantity of glucose for the brain and other organs to function normally. Healthy children have blood sugar levels between 70 and 150 mg/dL. It is normal if your child’s blood sugar varies within this range. Typically, blood sugar levels are higher after eating and decrease after strenuous physical activity. 100 to 200 mg/dL of blood sugar is typical for neonates. Blood sugar levels at dawn should be close to 100 mg/dL. Before night and after meals, blood sugar levels should be slightly near 200 mg/dl.
Q. Does walking reduce blood sugar levels?
A. After a meal, a brief stroll of two to five minutes will sufficiently decrease blood sugar levels. Experts believe three quick walks each day after meals are as effective at lowering blood sugar levels over 24 hours as one 45-minute walk at the same moderate pace.
Q. How to lower blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetes?
A. People with type 2 diabetes need to pay attention to carbs. Moderate eating is one method to keep carbs under control. You can control blood sugar fluctuations and avoid spikes by providing your body with regular food throughout the day. Another vitamin, fibre, can lower your blood sugar levels by keeping you fuller for longer. Additionally, little weight loss improves glucose tolerance. Furthermore, maintaining control over your blood sugar levels is simple when you stay hydrated. Water aids in the body’s removal of glucose.
Q. What hormone controls blood sugar levels?
A. Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by the pancreas. Both cooperate harmoniously and are essential for controlling a person’s blood sugar levels. In the liver, glucagon converts glycogen to glucose. Cells use blood glucose to make energy when it enters the cells, thanks to insulin. Together, insulin and glucagon provide homeostasis, the stable state of conditions within the body.