Tracking your blood sugar is an essential part of managing diabetes. Whether these glucose levels are checked with a fingertip meter or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), they are an important part of daily life with this condition, along with the future potential for diabetes-related complications.
But what counts as “normal” when it comes to blood sugar levels?
Diabetes varies from person to person, which means that the goals will be different for each person and these goals will depend on many different factors. While this is an area to consult with your diabetes care team about, the medical community has guidelines about what some people should strive for in their blood glucose levels.
There is no magic number for blood sugar. However, many diabetics strive to keep their glucose levels below 140 mg/dL on average.
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Importantly, the ADA changed glucose level guidelines in 2015 to reflect a change in thinking about overtreatment and hypoglycemia concerns. The lower target was 70 mg/dL. still
As with all aspects of diabetes management, these guidelines are used as a starting point by the medical community. Individual goals may vary for an individual, based on your personal needs. Be sure to consult your doctor and diabetes care team to determine what’s best for you.
An essential part of diabetes management involves checking your blood sugar or glucose levels.
In type 1 diabetes (T1D), a person’s pancreas does not produce the insulin they need. In type 2 diabetes (T2D), the body may not make or use insulin properly anymore.
For T1D or T2D, the goal is to ensure glucose levels remain as low as possible. Sometimes insulin or diabetes medications are used based on the type of diabetes and personal needs. many factors Affect glucose levels, including food, exercise, insulin, medication, stress, etc.
Everyone’s glucose goals may vary based on their unique needs.
Achieving a “normal” blood sugar or glucose level is somewhat of a misnomer. Oftentimes, the word “normal” is used to refer to what a person’s blood sugar would be if they did not have diabetes.
However, this term is wrong because even people without diabetes see a spike in their blood sugar, especially after eating and when eating something with lots of sugar, or complex carbohydrates like pizza or pasta.
Although this person’s body will immediately begin to work to balance the rise in glucose by producing more insulin, their blood sugar may continue to rise for a brief period until it exceeds those “normal” ranges. The same can happen with intense exercise or in high-stress situations if a person’s normal glucose metabolism is unable to balance everything quickly.
For those with diabetes, the fact that our bodies don’t make or use insulin properly means we have to manually monitor blood sugar levels and take enough insulin – or glucose-lowering drugs – to balance everything out.
The A1C measures the average blood sugar level over the past three months.
You can measure your A1C level by drawing blood in your doctor’s office or lab. Some doctors can also do a fingerstick blood test to check your A1C level.
When sugar enters the bloodstream, it binds to a protein called hemoglobin. People with high blood sugar have a higher percentage of the sugar-coated protein hemoglobin. Your A1C result will give you an indication of the percentage of hemoglobin bound to sugar.
- Criterion (no diabetes): less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7% to 6.5%
- diabetic: 6.5% or higher
In general, the ADA and other clinical guidelines for people with diabetes are that you should work closely with your diabetes care team to determine what is best for your A1C goal. In general, doctors recommend A1C is 7.0% safe, although this may vary depending on an individual’s individual care plan.
It’s important to keep in mind that A1C levels don’t reflect all the nuances of diabetes management, which means they don’t always reflect your glucose fluctuations, which means A1C doesn’t provide insight into high or low blood sugar, and it can. They are manipulated if the blood sugar level fluctuates regularly.
A1C is different from your average blood sugar, which may be displayed on a fingerprint meter or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). That’s because A1C is limited in its range and does not reflect either high or low blood sugar, nor does it reflect any of them glucose volatility If you have significant elevations or dips in glucose levels.
As a result, many diabetes professionals have shied away from considering A1C the only “gold standard” for managing someone’s diabetes. Instead, they use this A1C in addition to time in range (TIR) The numbers, show how often glucose levels are in the individual target range.
Glucose management is an important part of diabetes management. There is no magic number for “normal” glucose levels or blood sugar. Although there are clinical guidelines on target blood sugar levels and A1C tests, it is important to remember that “your diabetes may vary.”
You should consult with your endocrinologist and diabetes care team to best determine your glucose goals, based on your personal care plan. More advanced diabetes technology such as CGM may also be a talking point with your doctor in achieving optimal glucose levels and a healthy time in range.
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