Category: 

What Is Considered a Normal Blood Sugar Range?

Using a blood glucose meter.
Onions contain chromium, which helps regulate blood sugar.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The oldest known tortoise is 182 years old, and is believed by scientists to be the oldest living land creature.  more...

November 23 ,  1936 :  The modern version of "Life" magazine published its firs  more...

Blood sugar, or blood glucose, levels are typically measured using a scale of grams per deciliter (g/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). This level will tend to fluctuate throughout the course of a day, with the lowest readings during periods of fasting and the highest coming shortly after a meal. The normal blood sugar range for a healthy person is about 83 mg/dl (4.6 mmol/L) to 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L).

A healthy person's body is able to regulate blood glucose levels very tightly, resulting in a predictable normal blood sugar range. This means that blood glucose levels will tend to normalize fairly quickly, even though they can rise sharply after a meal, during what is known as the postprandial period. For a person without a blood glucose disorder, a fasting blood sugar level should be about 83 mg/dl (4.6 mmol/L). This means that his or her blood glucose should be at, or below, this level when he or she first wakes up in the morning. For many healthy people, the fasting blood glucose level is lower, at around 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L).

Ad

One to two hours after eating a meal, the blood sugar will typically spike. Within the normal blood sugar range, this shouldn't go any higher than 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L). Many people experience an even lower postprandial blood sugar level, with readings of less than 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L) two hours after eating. Meals that are higher in sugar or starch can affect the amount of the postprandial spike in blood glucose, or cause the increased level to last longer.

There is some disagreement in the scientific community as to what exactly constitutes a normal blood sugar range, and what might be a precursor to developing diabetes later on. While a fasting blood glucose level of 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol) is often considered normal, it may also be an indicator of problems down the road. This may be useful as an early warning indicator, allowing an individual to made dietary and other lifestyle changes to avoid developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Maintaining a normal blood sugar range can be much more difficult for an individual with diabetes. Diabetics may develop a resistance to insulin, which is the hormone in the blood that allows glucose to be broken down, or their bodies may simply not make enough of the compound. Those with diabetes will typically see much higher blood glucose levels both at fasting and postprandial states, as their body is not able to break down the glucose in the blood.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon937945
Post 19

What is the normal range of a 43 year old, male diabetic?

amypollick
Post 17

@anon348645: This is a very normal fasting reading, or random reading. The 110-170 sounds like a normal reading two hours after a meal. Sounds like you're good. I wouldn't worry about it unless you're having other symptoms.

anon348645
Post 16

I am actually worried about this sort of result. My random blood sugar result was 88mg/dl and normal range was referred as 110-170. What does this mean?

anon337794
Post 15

I am 42 years old and my sugar level is 154 post prandial. Is this normal?

anon332151
Post 14

My fasting blood sugar is 150 and post blood sugar is 158. Please tell me the reason for such readings.

amypollick
Post 13

Here's the breakdown. If you consistently have a blood glucose reading of over 100 in the morning, then you are at least pre-diabetic. If it's over 150, you're probably full-blown, and it is definitely time to see a doctor.

For those who live outside the U.S., you want morning levels to be below 5.5 and your post meal levels to be below 7.7. So yes, anon329626, if your fasting glucose is 25 mmol/L, you have a *big* problem. That's about 450 by U.S. measurements. If it's 25 mg/dl, then it's chronically low and you still need to see a doctor.

A glucose tolerance test is not usually necessary for diagnosis of diabetes anymore. Most doctors use the Hemoglobin A1C (HA1C), which measures the average glucose level over a three-month period. A reading under 6.0 is considered normal. A reading of 6.0 to about 7.0 is considered pre-diabetic, but this may vary among doctors. Anything over 7.0, however, is solidly in the active diabetes category.

If you have questions, get your doctor to order a diabetes education class so you can learn to manage your disease. You will be healthier and happier for it.

anon329626
Post 12

If my blood glucose is 25, is it a problem?

anon327016
Post 11

There are two sides to the coin:

My mother apparently developed gestational diabetes (when pregnant with me, her third child, over 43 years ago. I weighed in at a whopping 9-plus pounds when born), according to her doctor - who said woman who carry "large" babies have higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, but no one ever tested her after she had me, I am guessing because it was not as common and as well known in the late 60's). Hers went undiagnosed until about 10 years ago. She is on pill form insulin. When she was attending curves once a week, and during the summer when she would walk every evening, she kept her sugar levels in check, and they were between the normal ranges, occasionally popping up to maybe 125.

In the winter time, she has a harder time controlling it, but it still isn't as high as when she was diagnosed; it runs around 145-165 when she is inactive.

The other side of the coin: I was diagnosed as hypoglycemic a little over six years ago, only after suffering a seizure due to my sugar level dropping to 42. My doctor has monitored my sugar levels over the last six-plus years and when they do the A1C test, my average is 49. It's definitely caused some other issues (panic attacks that I am just now getting under control - knock on wood).

But my daughter (who is 25) and my sister (who is 47) have both shown signs of possibly having low sugar issues.

So just because diabetes runs in someone's family (in my case, my mother and one female cousin on my dad's side) are the only known cases of diabetes, it doesn't matter.

I am the only clearly confirmed hypoglycemic, while my daughter and sister have had "shakes" when they go for longer periods without eating. I try to keep my levels a little more normal (doc says even though 90-120 is normal), i can go as low as 75 and be fine. Typically, my sugar will run around 65-73 two hours after eating.

My personal suggestion to all: Definitely exercise. At least four days a week, I get out in the yard and help rake and bag pine straw and leaves with my boyfriend (we have eight acres and Florida pine trees all over). I take a short break about every hour and rehydrate (water and low calorie gatorade). I may snack on unsalted saltines (never more than eight), or almonds (preferably unsalted ones), and work from four to five hours each day.

I always eat a healthy meal at least 30 minutes before any kind of exercise. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day is a good idea too.

Stay away from soda. If you just can't give it up, try to limit your intake (I limit myself to a max of one Canada Dry ginger ale - no fat in it and no caffeine).

I do drink coffee in the morning, but stay away most caffeinated beverages and I have milk with dinner.

I have managed to even drop around four pounds, and my arms, back and leg muscles have gotten stronger and firmer.

anon323789
Post 10

I am 49 years old and weigh about 145 pounds. My sugar was 235. Is this normal?

anon319354
Post 9

My post prandial sugar is 315 after three hours.

anon318186
Post 8

I have a girlfriend who has to do a fasting blood work this morning. She tested her blood and it was 117 at 7 a.m. and I had her test it again two hours later, before leaving for the blood work and it tested 130. She had nothing but but popcorn for dinner and water, so she says, even though I found an empty Mountain Dew can in the garbage this morning. I just don't see how it is possible for her sugar to be climbing or to have climbed if she actually did the fast. Can anyone explain this to me? She isn't taking any meds for diabetes and hasn't been.

anon317043
Post 7

I do not have any blood sugar issues, but I am confused about something. Someone just told me that if I (or anyone) were to eat a bag of Skittles candy in the evening, my blood sugar would spike up as high as in the 300's, and still be that high the next morning. I don't see how this could possibly be true. Anyone?

anon300823
Post 6

If anyone can give their input I'd greatly appreciate. I had a glucose tolerance test about a year ago.

Fasting: 83

1 Hour: 61

2 Hour: 49

Doctor said, "Congratulations, you don't have diabetes." Great, but I'm confused as to the low numbers. I have not yet found a table that shows results similar to mine. Could it be Reactive Hypoglycemia?

I do believe I'm a carb addict and have gone up and down in weight but not too extreme. Could I possibly be insulin resistant and my pancreas is putting out an extreme amount of insulin to compensate for my cells being resistant.

I'm a 35 year old male, 5'11" and about 200 pounds. Anyway, any advice or thoughts would be awesome.

mariae
Post 5

I'm 20 years old and I'm not diagnosed with diabetes but my mother is. Her blood sugar is 300 and over every day. A week ago, it was 523. Anyway, I've been feeling bad lately and I took my blood sugar today and it was 174. Is that bad? If it's that high, does it make you sick? Should I go to the doctor?

ddljohn
Post 3

@ysmina-- That's what they say, but if diabetes is hereditary and runs in the family, I don't think that diet and exercise is enough.

One thing I want to mention about blood sugar level reference charts is that they can have different reference values. Different labs may use different testing methods for blood sugar. I know this because when I had my blood sugar tested, the references listed on the lab results were different than what's mentioned in this article.

I'm looking at the results now and fasting glucose reference is 60-100mg/dl, one hour reference is less than 200mg/dl and two hour reference is less than 140mgdL. So don't jump to any conclusions about your lab results without learning the reference values for it first.

ysmina
Post 2

@turquoise-- I agree with you, early detection is the best so we can avoid complications. But you must have experienced physical symptoms of high blood sugar levels right? Didn't you have symptoms like excessive thirst, urinating often and eating often?

I had my blood sugar levels checked recently too. Diabetes also runs in my family. Thankfully all my blood sugar levels are in normal range! My fasting blood sugar came out to be 72mg/dl and my two hour results came back 92mg/dl. I'm so relieved!

Even if blood sugar levels are higher than normal, I think this is something that can be fixed with diet and exercise right? As far as I know, being overweight and not exercising increases insulin resistance. So that means that some people who have developed high blood sugar levels because of obesity and unhealthy diet can reverse this condition.

turquoise
Post 1

I think in this day and age, everyone should have a glucose tolerance test done at least once annually. Since our diets have dramatically changed in the recent era, more and more people are becoming pre-diabetic and diabetic and much earlier.

I'm an example. I'm in my twenties and had been eating foods high in carbohydrates and sugars since I was young with the excuse that I have a "sweet tooth."

Last month, I requested a glucose tolerance test from an endocrinologist after my mom was diagnosed with type two diabetes due to high blood sugar levels. I had a three hour glucose tolerance test done. They tested my fasting blood sugar in the morning then had me drink 75 grams of pure glucose. My blood sugar was tested again one hour later and again one hour after that.

My fasting blood sugar and 2 hour blood sugar levels came out normal. But my 1 hour blood sugar was too high. It came out 140mg/dl when it's supposed to be less than 120mg/dl. This diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and now I'm taking tablet medication.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email