Monitoring blood glucose levels provides information that can help you and your doctor manage your condition, but if you don’t know what the normal glucose levels in blood are you will have a harder time making use of that information. Having a thorough knowledge of what constitutes high and low blood glucose levels will give you a target to aim for when you check your own glucose levels.
Glucose Levels in Blood
The amount of glucose in the blood is usually lowest first thing in the morning. This is called the fasting glucose level. For reference check a blood glucose levels chart because for normal people, the fasting glucose level is between 70 and 99 mg/dl. A level of 100 to 125 is considered impaired. This range will result in a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. A fasting glucose level of 126 or higher on two separate occasions is required for a diagnosis of diabetes. Comparing your measurements to the chart will let you know where you stand.
Diabetes can also be diagnosed using an oral glucose test to detect high glucose levels in blood. In this test, you drink a solution that contains 75 grams of glucose, and your blood glucose levels are checked two hours after you drink the solution. If the result is 139 or less, that is considered normal. The pre-diabetes range is from 140 to 199, and if the result is over 200 on two separate occasions, you will be diagnosed with diabetes.
When you check your glucose levels at home, the purpose is to determine whether adjustments need to be made to your diet, exercise plan, or medication to keep your diabetes or pre-diabetes under control. For those with pre-diabetes, it is often possible to regulate blood sugar levels and delay or prevent the onset of diabetes through diet and exercise only.
For diabetics on medication, low test results can be just as worrisome as elevated glucose levels in blood. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can cause shakiness, light-headedness, weakness, confusion, anxiety, difficulty speaking, and other symptoms. Hypoglycemia is rare in normal people, but blood glucose levels in diabetics can drop to dangerous levels if their diet, exercise, and medications are not all in sync with each other.
How to Control Glucose Levels in Blood
There are three ways to control glucose levels in blood: diet, exercise, and medication. Some people can keep their glucose at normal levels with diet and/or exercise, but not everyone can. There is nothing wrong with needing medication to help keep your glucose levels in check.
Your diet is likely to be stricter if you are trying to avoid medication. Without medication to lower your glucose levels, you need to cut down on carbohydrates. The amount of carbs you can eat depends on your body, so the only way to determine the proper level is by trial and error. You might start with 150 grams per day for a few days to a week and see what your fasting glucose levels are each day. If they are still high, you should reduce the amount of carbs you eat. If they are within the normal range, you might want to experiment to see if you can increase your carbohydrate intake without raising your fasting glucose above the normal level.
If you are already on medication, it is likely that your doctor has also given you an eating plan. It is important to make sure you eat the right number of carbohydrates at each meal so that your medication doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low, which could result in hypoglycemia.
Working out can cause your blood glucose levels to drop. This makes exercise a good way to keep your glucose in the normal range so that you won’t need medication. It’s a good idea to exercise at least a little bit each day if you are pre-diabetic to reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
For diabetics who are taking medication, it is important to monitor blood glucose levels during and after exercise. Make sure you have some glucose tablets or energy bars with you in case your glucose levels drop too low while you are exercising.
If your efforts to control the glucose levels in blood with diet and exercise are unsuccessful, you will eventually end up taking some kind of medication to lower your blood glucose levels. You should still follow a solid diet and exercise plan to make it easier to maintain normal blood sugar levels while on medication. High blood glucose levels can lead to heart problems, nerve damage, blindness, and other complications, so work closely with your doctor to do whatever it takes to keep your glucose levels where they should be.