TYPE 2 DIABETES

What Is the Normal Range for Blood Sugar?

By Temma Ehrenfeld @temmaehrenfeld
 | 
October 04, 2019

What is the normal range for blood sugar? You may not have diabetes but could be one of the many Americans with prediabetes, with levels higher than normal.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one out of three Americans has prediabetes ― above-normal blood sugar (also called blood glucose) levels that aren’t quite diabetic. You can have prediabetes for years without symptoms and not know it.

Don’t ignore prediabetes: the condition increases your risk not just of type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease, and stroke. Get your blood sugar tested regularly. You can also take an over-the-counter test at home.

Do the test soon if you notice you are urinating frequently, often very hungry or thirsty or tired despite enough sleep, have blurry vision, feel numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, or have dry skin, slow-healing sores, or frequent infections.

People over the age of 45 with extra weight, African-Americans and other groups, women with polycystic ovary syndrome or who had gestational diabetes, and people with a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes are at more risk for prediabetes and diabetes.

You can protect yourself by improving your diet, exercising more than three times a week, and maintaining a healthy weight. You can also ask your doctor about the common diabetic drug Metformin[DE7] , which is recommended for prediabetes.

 

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So exactly what is the normal range for blood sugar? People vary in how their blood sugar changes during the day, but certain ranges are considered safe.

Very hot or humid weather, high altitudes, and anemia can affect your blood sugar levels.

You will need to take one or more tests to know whether you have prediabetes, gestational diabetes (during pregnancy), or type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The A1C Test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 or 3 months. An A1C below 5.7% is normal. If it falls between 5.7 and 6.4% you have prediabetes. Diabetes begins at 6.5%.

The fasting blood sugar test measures your blood sugar after an overnight fast. It should be 99 mg/dL or less. From 100 to 125 mg/dL is the prediabetic range. From 126 ml/dl on up indicates diabetes.

For the glucose tolerance test, after fasting overnight and giving blood you’ll drink  a liquid and have your blood checked at one, two, and three hours. At 2 hours, a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL or lower is considered normal, 140 to 199 mg/dL is defined as diabetic, and 200 mg/dL or higher diabetic.

You can test your blood at any time. If your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes.

Result*

A1C Test

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

Glucose Tolerance Test

Random Blood Sugar Test

Diabetes

6.5% or above

126 mg/dL or above

200 mg/dL or above

200 mg/dL or above

Prediabetes

5.7 – 6.4%

100 – 125 mg/dL

140 – 199 mg/dL

 N/A

Normal

Below 5.7%

99 mg/dL or below

140 mg/dL or below

 N/A

*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your healthcare provider what your results mean if you’re being tested for gestational diabetes. Source: American Diabetes Association

If you may have type 1 diabetes, your doctor will also check for autoantibodies and test your urine for ketones.

Too much glucose over time can lead to nerve damage, lowered resistance to infection, and heart and kidney disease. But if you have low blood sugar, you could become tired, irritable, and faint.

 

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Updated:  

October 04, 2019

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell RN