What Should Your Normal Blood Sugar Level Be?

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If you’re someone who’s dealing with diabetes, knowing your blood sugar levels becomes extremely important. From checking your blood sugar regularly to choosing your food carefully, there’s a lot that goes into living life with this condition. 

But what exactly is the human body’s normal sugar level? And how does it affect your daily life? 

Since diabetes affects each of us differently, the target goals and lifestyle vary from one person to another. While that’s something about which you can consult your doctor, experts have prepared certain guidelines around what people should strive for, especially with their ‘ideal’ blood sugar level. 

This apart, we’ll also highlight the difference between an individual’s fasting blood sugar levels and random blood sugar levels. 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in. 

What is the normal blood sugar range? 

Before discussing the ‘normal’ blood sugar range, we must understand its importance. People with diabetes often deal with abnormal levels of glucose in their bloodstream. 

There’s an unregulated flow of glucose, primarily due to a lack of insulin production. This, in turn, leads to a higher level of blood sugar in the body. 

You need to control your blood sugar levels since a higher level of blood sugar can lead to several complications. 

Ideally, the human body’s normal blood sugar levels range between 90 and 110 mg/dL. If you have diabetes, you need to maintain your blood sugar level within this range as long as possible. 

What exactly is the ‘normal blood sugar level’ for a healthy individual? 

Healthy individuals or persons not dealing with diabetes usually have a normal blood sugar range between 90 and 110 mg/dL. 

This number can sometimes also go up to 130 and 140 mg/dL, which is still considered normal.

Given below is a quick overview of blood sugar levels across different times in the day:

  • Fasting Blood Sugar Level: The blood sugar levels in the morning before breakfast usually falls in the 80 to 100 mg/dL range.

    That said, the fasting blood sugar levels may vary with age. 
  • Post-meal Blood Sugar Level: The blood sugar levels after a meal in most healthy individuals usually go up to 150 mg/dL, without any complications. This, although, depends on various factors like the person’s age, metabolism, sugar free food habits and body weight among others.
  • Random Blood Sugar Level: A great indicator of your health would be to measure your random blood sugar level. To that end, anything between 90 and 130 mg/dL is considered to be normal for a healthy individual.

A Quick Guide on Blood Sugar Levels By Age for People with Diabetes 

Once you’ve got a grasp on random blood sugar levels, it’s important to understand how it works when you think of people with diabetes. Doing so keeps diabetes in control, helping you manage it more efficiently. 

The 2022 American Diabetes Association (ADA) has outlined a set of goals for various groups of people with diabetes. A detailed overview of the same is given below: 

Group Post-prandial Sugar Levels (After meals)  Fasting Blood Sugar Levels (Before meals) Others
Adults with type 1 diabetes  Less than 180 mg/dL (1-2 hours post meal) 80-130 mg/dL NA
Children with type 1 diabetes 90-130 mg/dL NA 90 to 150 mg/dL during bedtime/overnight
Adults with type 2 diabetes Less than 180 mg/dL ( 1-2 hours post meal) 80 to 130 mg/dL NA
Adults 65 or older  NA 80 to 180 mg/dL 80 to 200 mg/dL for individuals facing poor health or requiring assisted living etc.
Pregnant individuals (T1D, gestational diabetes)  140 mg/dL (1 hour post meal) Less than 95 mg/dL 120 mg/dL (2 hours later)
Individuals without diabetes 140 mg/dL or below 99 mg/dL or below  NA

These guidelines can serve as a great starting point for diabetes management. While the goals can vary, you must consult with a doctor to determine the best for you. 

Symptoms of High and Low Blood Sugar Levels

It is important to maintain a sustainable level of glucose in the body since both high and low blood sugar levels can lead to complications. That said, here’s a list of some common symptoms to help you manage the situation better: 

  1. Low Blood Sugar 

This is a very common phenomenon when it comes to blood glucose management. While they may be different for everyone, here are some common symptoms: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling lips
  • Shaking/trembling sensation in the body

    1. High Blood Sugar 
  • Hyperglycemia is a common condition caused by increased blood sugar levels. Here are some common symptoms of the same: 
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Increased appetite 
  • Fatigue 

Why does blood sugar level matter in diabetes? 

Managing your blood sugar or glucose levels is a key component of diabetes. While type 1 diabetes (T1D) involves the pancreas not producing insulin, the other (type 2 diabetes) is caused when the body isn’t making insulin on its own. 

Now, irrespective of whichever type you’re diagnosed with, it becomes crucial to keep the glucose levels in check. You might also need to take insulin shots or other similar sugar tablet to manage the condition. 

As mentioned previously, the fluctuations are usually driven by the following factors: 

  • Food 
  • Medication 
  • Stress 
  • Exercise
  • Insulin production

The glucose maintenance level for an individual varies based on their unique requirement. 

Bottomline

While there’s no magic number for the human body’s normal blood sugar level, there are several guidelines available for people looking to manage their blood glucose effectively. One must also keep in mind that every person’s individual goals may vary, depending on several factors. 

It’s therefore essential that you consult an expert to help determine your glucose goals. 

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