Blood sugar chart: Target levels throughout the day

Comments: Comments Off on Blood sugar chart: Target levels throughout the day
21 May 2017, Comments: Comments Off on Blood sugar chart: Target levels throughout the day

A blood sugar or blood glucose chart identifies ideal blood sugar levels throughout the day, including before and after meals.
Doctors use blood sugar charts to set target goals and monitor diabetes treatment plans. Blood sugar charts also help those with diabetes assess and self-monitor blood sugar test results.

Contents of this article:

What is a blood sugar chart?
Blood sugar chart guidelines
Interpreting blood sugar meter results
Monitoring blood sugar levels
What is a blood sugar chart?
Blood sugar charts act as a reference guide for blood sugar test results. As such, blood sugar charts are important tools for diabetes management.

Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare to target levels.

To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes.

Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare to target levels.

To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes

Interpreting blood sugar meter results
Interpreting blood sugar meter readings depends a lot on individual norms and targets.

A good blood sugar level for one person may be too high or low for someone else. However, for people with diabetes, some ranges of blood sugar levels are preferable over others.

Blood sugar level Excellent Good Acceptable
Before meal 72 – 109 mg/dL 110 – 144 mg/dL 145 – 180 mg/dL
2 hours after meal 90 – 126 mg/dL 127 – 180 mg/dL 181 – 234 mg/dL
Certain forms of temporary diabetes, such as gestational diabetes, also have separate blood sugar recommendations.

Time of check Blood sugar level in mg/dL
Fasting or before breakfast 60 – 90 mg/dL
Before meals 60 – 90 mg/dL
1 hour after meal 100 – 120 mg/dL
Anyone who has very high or low fasting blood sugar levels should be concerned.

Fasting blood sugar level Risk level and suggested action
50 mg/dL or less Dangerously low, seek medical attention
70 – 90 mg/dL Possibly too low, get sugar if experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar or see a doctor
90-120 mg/dL Normal range
120-160 mg/dL Medium, see a doctor
160 – 240 mg/dL Too high, work to lower blood sugar levels
240-300 mg/dL Too high, a sign of out of control diabetes, see a doctor
300 mg/dL or above Very high, seek immediate medical attention
As long as levels aren’t critically dangerous, there are ways to reduce blood sugar levels when readings are too high.

Ways to lower blood sugar include:

limiting carbohydrate intake but not fasting
increasing water intake to flush out excess blood sugar
increasing physical activity to burn excess blood sugar
increasing fiber intake
If blood sugar readings seem unusual or unexpected, consult a doctor. Various user and device factors can influence blood sugar readings, causing them to be inaccurate.

Monitoring blood sugar levels
Monitoring blood sugar levels is an important part of diabetes management. The best monitoring plans often rely on both self-monitoring at home and doctor-ordered tests, such as A1C tests

Many types of blood sugar monitors are available for self-monitoring. Most blood sugar monitors in the U.S. involve using blood obtained from a finger prick and testing strips. These give blood sugar readings in mg/dL.

Recently, home blood sugar meters have been made to produce plasma glucose counts instead of whole blood glucose counts. This change allows more accurate readings of daily blood glucose levels. It is also easier to directly compare the results of self-monitoring and doctor-ordered tests as doctors also use plasma glucose counts.

Tracking daily blood sugar level changes can help doctors understand how treatment plans are working and adjust medications or targets. It can also help reflect the impact of diet and exercise.

The frequency of blood sugar tests varies between individual treatment plans, as well as the type or stage of diabetes:

Type 1 – adult: At least twice daily, up to 10 times. Tests should be done before breakfast, at fasting, before meals, sometimes 2 hours after meals, before and after physical activities, and at bedtime.
Type 1 – child: At least four times daily. Tests should be done before meals and at bedtime. Tests may also be required 1-2 hrs after meals, before and after exercise, and overnight.
Type 2 – on insulin or other management medications: Recommended testing frequency varies depending on insulin dosage and use of additional medications. Those on intensive insulin should do tests at fasting, before meals, before bedtime, and sometimes overnight. Those on insulin and additional medications should at least perform tests at fasting and bedtime. Those on basal insulin and one daily premixed insulin injection should perform tests when fasting, before premixed dosages and meals, and sometimes overnight.
Type 2 – low risk of low blood sugar: Often daily tests are not required. Performing tests at mealtimes and bedtime should reflect the real-time impact of lifestyle changes. If blood sugar goals or A1C levels are not being met, the frequency of testing should increase until levels are back within normal ranges.
Gestational: Those on insulin should perform tests at fasting, before meals and 1 hour after meals. Those not on insulin should perform tests at fasting and 1 hour after meals.
Blood sugar testing should be increased during periods of physical and emotional stress, such as pregnancy or depression.

Devices known as continuous glucose monitors (CMGs) are available for those who have difficulty managing blood sugar meters or blood sugars. CMGs consist of a sensor placed under the skin that measures the amount of sugar between cells.

If blood sugar levels rise too high above or fall too far below preset targets, an alarm will go off. Some CMGs will also track how blood sugar levels change over the course of hours and display whether levels are raising or falling.

CMGs must be checked regularly with finger-prick meter results. For the best results, tests should be done during times when blood sugar levels are steady, away from events, such as meals and physical activity.

Medical News Today JO.