What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Count?

tracking blood sugar count
What Is A Healthy Blood Glucose Count?

If you're interested in the answer to this question because you think you might be showing symptoms of diabetes, then do ask your doctor to perform a blood sugar test. The procedure is straight forward and will put your mind at rest. If you receive a diabetes diagnosis and want to monitor your blood glucose levels, your healthcare team will provide you with target ranges to aim for both before and after eating.

Your Blood Glucose Level
The following are average target ranges which your doctor may give you. There are 2 different measurements, one taken before eating and the other after eating (which should be higher because the food you eat will break down into sugar). These are averages, the range might be slightly different depending on what you ate and how much physical activity you undertook. The United Kingdom and much of Europe use a different measurement system, so we also include those figures.

  United States  
  Glucose Level Before Eating Glucose Level 1 Hour After Eating
Normal Less than 100 mg/dl Less than 140 mg/dl
Prediabetes 100-125 mg/dl 140-199 mg/dl
Diabetes Above 125 mg/dl 200 mg/dl and above
  United Kingdom/Europe  
  Glucose Before Eating Glucose 1 Hour After Eating
Normal Less than 5.5 mmol/L Less than 7.8 mmol/L
Prediabetes 5.5 to 7 mmol/L 7.8 to 11 mmol/L
Diabetes Above 7 mmol/L Above 11 mmol/L

If your blood sugar drops below about 60 or 65 mg/dl you will start to experience some shakiness, hunger, or even the sensation of a racing heart (heart palpitations). This means you need to eat something right away. If levels drop below 50 then you will start to lose mental function and eventually fall unconscious or experience seizures. This constitutes a medical emergency. If the level goes above 200 mg/dl then you are also likely to experience mental confusion, it can go as high as 400 or 500 if unmanaged.

Interesting Facts

Cinnamon and Diabetes
A number of articles in the early 2000s did the rounds suggesting that cinnamon was good for lowering blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. To check these claims the publication Diabetes Care carried out some research into the subject in 2008. Their conclusions were that cinnamon had absolutely no effect on glucose levels, nor will it help you lose weight (as was also claimed).

Are there any home tests for diabetes?

Chromium Supplements
Lots of magazines have sung the praises of chromium for controlling symptoms of diabetes, so should you buy a supplement? The strongest yes argument came from a study in China which showed that people with type 2 diabetes improved their A1 C test results, cholesterol and blood sugar levels by taking a supplement. However, most of the people studied were already chromium deficient. In the US, very few people are chromium deficient and most show no improvement in glucose management by taking a supplement. It only appears beneficial if you have low levels of chromium.

You Can Tell Your Blood Sugar Level By How You Feel
Not quite true. Yes, while you may experience some of the side effects of low blood sugar such as sweaty hands and headaches, you never know quite how low you are, and therefore how much treatment you need to raise your levels again. In studies, when asked to estimate their blood sugar levels, 50 percent of diabetics gave a wrong answer. If you have type 1 diabetes, you should measure your levels several times a day and if you are type 2 diabetic, before meals and at bedtime. Those who don't test enough, and rely on the way they feel, risk suffering longterm diabetes complications. For more advice, check out our diabetes resources page for a list of governmental agencies.

Related Questions and Topics
Glucose monitors and guide to buying glucose monitors.
Are there blood glucose monitors that don't require strips?
Can prediabetes be reversed?

• Need more information? See: Diabetes Guide and Prediabetes Explained
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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