What is a normal Blood Glucose Level?


It is harder to figure out than you think…

confused kittyI’m headed to my doctor’s office on Tuesday, so in preparation for that I’m printing out reports from my Blood Glucose Meter.

I was looking at the reports and started to wonder about those “target ranges”  and what exactly did they mean.  I wanted to know:

  1. “What is a normal blood glucose level?” (the answers I found are in this post)
    ..
  2. “Given that there is a normal RANGE… is it OK for a person who is diabetic and on medication to be anywhere in that range?” (couldn’t find an answer from a trusted source so I’m gonna ask my doctor on Tuesday)

Getting a “good” “reliable” answer…

Depending on where you look, you get different answers.  sigh  And it MUST be correct because it’s on the Internet!  Right?  sigh

All kidding aside, some sites are better than others when it comes to reliable information.  But even with sites you trust, there can be differences.

Take it from a retired Librarian with over 30 years of searching experience: check and double check when doing “research” on the web.  Then check it again, just to be sure.  Not all information resources are created equal.

The ones I’m sharing with you now are, in my professional opinion, on the “reliable” end of the spectrum.

Bayer (as in Bayer aspirin) the maker of my Blood Glucose Meter says:

Bayer Contour Next Blood Glucose MeterThe meter I use is the Bayer Contour Next.  The default settings are:

  • 70 – 180 mg/dL — Overall
  • 70 – 130 mg/dL — Fasting
  • 70 – 130 mg/dL — Before a meal
  • 70 – 180 mg/dL — After a meal

I’ve been testing consistently for about 3 months now and my doctor wants to look at the data when I visit her on Tuesday — which is what prompted my questions and this post in the first place.  🙂

One of the questions I have for her is whether or not the default settings in the monitor are what she wants me to use as my “target” ranges OR does she want me to use something different.

WebMD says:

Source: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/normal-blood-sugar-levels-chart-adults

WEB MD - normal-blood-sugar-levels-chart-adults

Mayo Clinic says:

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/blood-sugar/art-20046628mayo-clinic-logo

For many people who have diabetes, Mayo Clinic generally recommends target blood sugar levels that are:

  • Between 80 and 120 millgrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for people age 59 and younger who have no other underlying medical conditions
  • Between 100 and 140 mg/dL for people age 60 and older, or those who have other medical conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease

The American Diabetes Association says:

adaSource: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)

This test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. Fasting means after not having anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast.

  • Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood glucose of greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl
Result Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)
Normal less than 100 mg/dl
Prediabetes 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl
Diabetes 126 mg/dl or higher

The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most nonpregnant adults with diabetes. More or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.

  • A1C: 7% — A1C may also be reported as eAG: 154 mg/dl
  • Before a meal (preprandial plasma glucose): 80–130 mg/dl
  • 1-2 hours after beginning of the meal (Postprandial plasma glucose)*: Less than 180 mg/dl

Medline Plus (National Library of Medicine) says:

medline_plusSource: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024698/

The normal blood sugar levels for people who do not have diabetes are:

  • Between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals
  • Less than 180 mg/dL at 2 hours after meals…

A cautionary note…

medical cautionTwo of the sites I’ve mentioned here also said something along the lines of

Exact blood glucose level target ranges should be customized to the individual after consulting with your doctor”

That makes pretty good sense to me!  🙂

Specifically, Mayo Clinic cautions:

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/blood-sugar/art-20046628

Your doctor will set target blood sugar test results based on several factors, including:

  • Type and severity of diabetes
  • Age
  • How long you’ve had diabetes
  • Pregnancy status
  • The presence of diabetes complications
  • Overall health and the presence of other medical conditions

Specifically, American Diabetes Association cautions:

Source: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html

Blood glucose targets are individualized based on:

  • duration of diabetes
  • age/life expectancy
  • comorbid conditions
  • known CVD or advanced microvascular complications
  • hypoglycemia unawareness
  • individual patient considerations.

Bottom line:

Doctor KittyTalk to your doctor and ask what levels your doctor wants your “targets” to be set.

That’s why they are a doctor and you’re not.  🙂

Yes, of course, do your research, read and learn so you can ask intelligent questions but when push comes to shove, the doctors are the experts — find one that you trust.

So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do on Tuesday.  Ask.  And then I’ll adjust my meter’s settings to put in whatever “target” she tells me to.

Because my doctor is awesome.

She even gives you hugs when you’re sick.  How cool is that?

See ya on the dance floor!

 

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About TxCowboyDancer

Eight time Country Dance World Champion. I love to dance. In the middle of a journey, transforming myself from "unemployed and out-of-shape" to "in-shape and full time dance instructor, writer and graphic artist."

Posted on Sun, Oct 4, 2015, in Living with Diabetes, Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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