The blood sugar levels indicate the amount of glucose which is a source of energy in the body. It is the body’s ability to produce insulin and process sugar. Blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter, or mg/dL. A person’s ideal blood sugar levels in a single day are measured using blood sugar level charts or blood glucose charts. This measure also includes blood sugar levels before and after meals. According to standard blood sugar level charts, the normal blood sugar level ranges from 70 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL. The blood sugar level can go up to 120 mg/dL after a meal. This usually comes down to normal levels in about two hours.
The blood sugar level can be determined through a series of blood tests. These tests are conducted before a meal, which is known as fasting sugar value, and after a meal, which is known as post prandial or post meal value. The post prandial blood sugar level is measured two hours after a meal. Depending on the readings of the blood test, a person might suffer from low blood sugar or high blood sugar, if the sugar levels do not fall under the normal range. Here are a few diagnostic ranges that are given in every blood sugar level charts. The ranges are divided into three categories: normal, pre-diabetes, and diabetes. These ranges will indicate whether a person is at a risk of having diabetes or not.
- Normal: If the minimum fasting value is 70 mg/dL and the maximum fasting value is 100 mg/dL, along with the post prandial value falling below 140 mg/dL, the person has normal blood sugar level according to the blood sugar level charts. There is no risk of diabetes.
- Pre-diabetes: The fasting glucose level is between 101 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL. The post meal value is between 140 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL. This indicated a high risk of diabetes according to these readings of blood sugar level charts.
- Diabetes: If the fasting sugar level is more than 126 mg/dL and the post prandial level is more than 200 mg/dL, the person has diabetes.
These diagnostic ranges in blood sugar level charts depend on multiple factors that include the following:
- Life expectancy and age of the person
- Presence of any cardiovascular ailments
- Any problems with kidneys, eyes, smallest arteries, or blood vessels
- Factors related to lifestyle and personal habits such as excess stress and anxiety, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and so on
To avoid further health complications, it is recommended that people with diabetes should have the following blood sugar levels in their blood sugar level charts:
- Fasting glucose level just after waking up should be between 70 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after a meal, the blood glucose level according to standard blood sugar level charts should be below 180 mg/dL.
- At bedtime, the blood sugar level should be between 90 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL.
Although the above blood sugar level chart ranges are ideal values, doctors usually advise that a person should work toward blood sugar level goals relative to what is their current blood sugar level. Thus, if a person’s post prandial blood sugar level is between 250 mg/dL and 300 mg/dL, a doctor may recommend 200 mg/dL as the initial goal to lower the blood sugar level. Once the blood sugar level reaches this value, the person may work towards achieving 180 mg/dL. It is advised that blood sugar level is brought down in small intervals. This is because a rapid decrease in blood sugar levels can cause symptoms of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. These symptoms include the following:
- Constant hunger despite eating heavy meals
- Feeling of restlessness
- Occasional tremors
- Drowsiness, difficulty in concentrating, confusion, visual disturbances, and headaches
- Excessive sweating
- Difficulty in speech
To avoid these, it is necessary to work towards a tighter control of the blood sugar level, that is, the sugar level should be lowered in smaller intervals. Here are a few ways how high blood sugar level can be brought under control:
- Regular exercise: A regular exercise routine helps to lose weight. This has a direct impact on insulin sensitivity, which helps the body to use the sugar in the bloodstream more efficiently. An exercise routine can also help the muscles to absorb sugar well.
- Lower carb intake: Carbs are broken down into sugar, which is processed by the insulin in the body. High blood sugar levels indicate that the body’s insulin function is failing, and the body is unable to break down the carbs into sugar. A high carb-diet, in this case, can cause more harm than good. Hence, it is recommended to lower the intake of carbs.
- More fiber in diet: Substantial consumption of fiber can help to absorb sugar and slow down the digestion of carbs. Soluble fiber such as legumes, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables can help to lower blood sugar levels.