Congratulations on receiving your blood test results!
Now, you have your blood sugar levels in hand.
But, how do you interpret these numbers to determine if your levels are normal, pre-diabetic, or diabetic?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of understanding your blood test results and shed light on the significance of blood sugar levels.
Let’s dive in!
Discover expert insights on interpreting blood test results and understanding diabetes through blood sugar levels. Take control of your health with our comprehensive guide!
Understanding blood sugar
Blood sugar refers to the level of glucose present in your bloodstream, which is assessed through a blood sample analyzed in a laboratory.
The measurement is typically recorded in millimoles per liter (mmol/L) or grams of glucose per liter (g/L).
Normal blood sugar levels
Normal fasting blood glucose levels usually range between 3.8 to 5.6 mmol/L or 0.70 to 1.00 g/L.
These levels can vary about two hours after a meal, generally falling between 7.8 to 11 mmol/L or 1.40 to 1.99 g/L.
Blood sugar in prediabetes
Prediabetes is indicated by fasting blood glucose levels ranging from 5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L or 1.00 to 1.25 g/L.
After a meal, these levels may fluctuate between 7.8 to 11 mmol/L or 1.40 to 1.99 g/L.
Diabetes and blood sugar levels
Diabetes is diagnosed when fasting blood glucose levels exceed 7 mmol/L or 1.26 g/L.
After a meal, levels exceeding 11 mmol/L or 2.00 g/L may also indicate diabetes.
Blood Sugar Levels Table (Biological Reference Values)
0.70 to 1.00g/l or
3.8 to 5.6mmol/L
1.00 to 1.25g/l or
5.6 to 6.9mmol/L
Greater than 1.26g/l or
Greater than 7mmol/L
after a meal
Greater than 1.40g/l or
Less than 7.8mmol/L
1.40 to 1.99g/l or
7.8 to 11mmol/L
Greater than 2.00g/l or
Greater than 11mmol/L
Another essential test for assessing blood sugar levels is the glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test.
This test provides an average of blood sugar levels over two to three months.
A level of 6% or less is considered normal, while a range between 6% and 6.4% indicates prediabetes.
An HbA1c level equal to or greater than 6.5% suggests diabetes.
When to monitor blood sugar?
For accurate results, it’s crucial to conduct a blood sugar test on an empty stomach in the morning and again two hours after breakfast.
If you’re on insulin or facing health issues, frequent testing throughout the day is recommended, and you should consult your physician for guidance.
Understanding and managing your glucose levels
Why does blood sugar level rise in the morning?
The dawn phenomenon is responsible for the rise in blood sugar levels in the morning. Hormones released by the body a few hours before waking up cause the liver to release glucose into the bloodstream, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Insulin secretion helps compensate for this rise, but in cases of insulin resistance, fasting blood sugar levels may remain high.
Does blood sugar rise with age?
Yes, fasting blood sugar levels tend to increase with age. The progression varies with age groups:
- 18-29 years old: +1.5%
- 30-54 years old: +5.2%
- 55-74 years old: +9.5%
Moreover, fasting blood sugar levels are generally higher in men compared to women.
What is the normal range for blood glucose level over 60 years?
Health authorities establish a normal fasting blood sugar level ranging between 0.9 and 1.26 g/L from the age of 65. Additionally, measuring blood sugar 1.5 hours after a meal can assess the body’s ability to assimilate glucose, with a level below 1.40 g/L considered normal and ruling out any metabolic abnormality.
What is the normal blood sugar level for a 70-year-old?
Health authorities’ recommendations for fasting blood sugar levels for those aged 70 are identical to those for individuals over 65, ranging between 0.90 and 1.26 g/L. If fasting blood sugar exceeds 1.26 g/L, diabetes may be diagnosed and should be treated accordingly.
How many times a day should you take your glucose level?
For suspected diabetes, it’s essential to monitor blood sugar levels at least four times a day. Regular measurements should include samples taken in the morning on an empty stomach, before and after each meal, and at bedtime. For type 1 diabetes patients, these frequent measures help adjust insulin doses. For type 2 diabetes patients, two daily measurements are recommended in consultation with their physician. Insulin therapy typically requires four daily samples for close monitoring.
What is glucose intolerance?
Glucose intolerance, also known as prediabetes or insulin resistance, indicates that the body is not effectively processing sugar. It often precedes type 2 diabetes and shows higher than normal blood glucose levels without reaching the levels seen in diagnosed diabetes.
Blood glucose test: why not poke the forefinger?
Frequent blood glucose monitoring using a glucometer requires avoiding the index finger and thumb. Regularly pricking these fingers may lead to insensitivity and difficulty in gripping. Choosing other fingers for testing can help prevent these issues.
Why wash your hands before using a glucometer?
Washing your hands before using a glucometer is essential to ensure accurate readings. Even a tiny amount of sugar on your finger can skew the results, so it’s crucial to cleanse your hands before testing to get reliable data.
Taking Control of Your Health
Understanding your blood sugar levels is vital for managing your health effectively.
By monitoring your blood sugar and consulting with healthcare professionals, you can make informed decisions about your diet, exercise, and potential treatment options to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.