Target Blood Glucose Levels After Meals By Age
Your target blood sugar level after eating will depend on how old you are, whether or not you have diabetes and how you are treating it , and whether or not you are pregnant.
Here are some general guidelines for post-meal blood glucose levels:
- Children with diabetes: < 200mg/dl one hour after eating < 180 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Adults without diabetes who are not pregnant: 90-140 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Adults with diabetes who are not pregnant:< 180 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Adults with diabetes taking mealtime insulin: < 180 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Adults with diabetes not taking mealtime insulin:< 140 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Adults with gestational diabetes:< 140 mg/dL one hour after eating < 120 mg/dL two hours after eating
- Pregnant people with preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes:< 110-140 mg/dL one hour after eating < 100-120 mg/dL two hours after eating
When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
Fasting Plasma Glucose Test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and is therefore usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines regard a fasting plasma glucose result of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/l as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
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What To Expect After Meals
Food affects blood sugars, and most people who monitor their blood sugars notice their readings rise — and can be more challenging to control — after meals. If you do not have diabetes or prediabetes, your blood sugars may rise only slightly after meals — typically not exceeding 140 mg/dL when checked 2 hours after the start of a meal. If you have diabetes, ADA recommends post-meal blood sugars stay below 180 mg/dL. If your readings exceed this, you may be able to improve them. For instance, blood sugar can often be reduced by eating smaller meals, choosing healthful, high fiber foods, increasing physical activity, and by taking prescribed diabetes medications on time. If your readings are consistently above target, work with your doctor and diabetes care team to discuss solutions.
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Normal Sugar Level In Healthy Individuals
Blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar levels, can be normal, high, or low. The sugar levels are generally measured after 8 hours of eating.
A normal blood sugar range for a healthy adult after 8 hours of fasting is > 70 mg/dL. and < 100 mg/dL.
While a normal sugar level in a healthy person after 2 hours of eating is between 90 to 100 mg/dL.
Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. Major factors affecting such change in the blood glucose levels are as follows:
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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Children And Adolescents With Diabetes
Age 6-12 Bedtime 100-180
Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over the course of a day. Blood sugar levels go up after eating a meal because the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then distributed throughout the bloodstream. Other macronutrientsprotein and fatturn into glucose as well, but at a slower rate. Many people learn how to use these factors to their advantage. For example, if a childs sugar is trending low, a bedtime snack that includes something with protein and fat, like chocolate milk or peanut butter, will help raise blood sugar levels and help keep blood sugar levels steady through the night.
When you wake up in the morning, your fasting blood sugar is generally at its lowest because you havent consumed food for about eight hours. However, many people experience an increase in blood sugar levels in the early morning hours. If youre an adult and struggling with glucose control, your healthcare provider can help you develop a treatment plan to manage your blood sugar better.
Blood glucose levels outside the ranges listed above are categorized as either high or low blood sugar. For example, according to this chart, blood sugar levels are considered high if theyre over 130 mg/dL before a meal or 180 mg/dL within one to two hours after a meal. Many people wont start to experience symptoms from high blood sugar until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher. .
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
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How To Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
1. Set a Desirable Goal
If you are aiming at an A1c level of 7% or less, which translates to an average blood sugar level of 154mg/dl, the doctor will give you an A1c test every 3 to 6 months. The goals you are aiming at and when you should test will depend on:
- Existing health problems
- If you have complications like neuropathy or retinopathy
- If you have low blood sugar without warning symptoms
2. Monitor Regularly
Once you and your doctor determine your blood sugar targets, you should get tested on a regular basis. Monitoring is important, more so if you are taking insulin or medication that can result in hypoglycemia. In addition, it will help you compare your blood sugar levels after eating and before meals. This will give you a better understanding of your glucose patterns and how you can improve them.
- A fasting blood glucose level should be taken first thing in the morning before drinking or eating anything.
- You can also take another test right before going to bed.
- For the other times, a test 1-2 hours after breakfast or before lunch should be able to give you a clear picture of your blood sugar levels, according to CDC. According to the American Diabetes Committee, a test immediately after eating will give your doctor good information in case your pre-meal blood sugar levels are fine but have not achieved your A1c goal.
3. Keep a Record
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When To Check Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar may depend on several factors, including:
- The type of diabetes you have
- If you take insulin or other medication to manage your diabetes
Those who have well-controlled diabetes and are not taking insulin may not need to check their blood sugar as often. However, it is crucial to work with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate frequency.
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Treating And Managing Hyperglycaemia
If your blood sugar level is slightly high for a short time, emergency treatment wont be necessary. But if it continues to rise you may need to act fast to avoid developing diabetic ketoacidosis .
If your blood sugar level is 15 mmol/l or more, you should check your blood or urine for ketones. If ketones are present, it is likely that you do not have enough insulin in your body. This means you may need to increase your dose or give yourself an extra dose. Talk to your diabetes team about how to do this if you are unsure.
You should also try to drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration. And if you are feeling unwell, especially if you are vomiting, you should follow any sick day rules you have been given and contact your diabetes healthcare team for advice.
Why Is It Important To Reduce The Size And Duration Of These Spikes
Reducing these spikes may help you to increase the amount of time you spend in your target blood sugar range , which will have a positive impact on your future health. You should consult your healthcare team to understand the best target range for you, as this will differ from person to person. However, the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes recommends a target of 5.0-10.0 mmol/L .
Symptoms of a high blood sugar level also vary in individuals, but they may cause you to feel thirsty, tired, stressed and need to go to the toilet a lot. In the short term, by avoiding prolonged high blood sugar readings after eating, you should also reduce the occurrence of these symptoms and improve your energy, cognitive and athletic ability and overall mood.
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Make Physical Activity Part Of Your Daily Routine
Set a goal to be more physically active. Try to work up to 30 minutes or more of physical activity on most days of the week.
Brisk walking and swimming are good ways to move more. If you are not active now, ask your health care team about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Learn more about being physically active with diabetes.
Following your meal plan and being more active can help you stay at or get to a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, work with your health care team to create a weight-loss plan that is right for you.
How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia
- Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
- Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2020.
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Determining The Right A1c Goal For You
Just because a normal blood sugar range of 70 to 130 mg/dL is considered the healthiest doesnt necessarily mean thats the appropriate goal range for you especially if you have type 1 diabetes, or take insulin as a person with type 2 diabetes.
The reason this may not be the right goal for you is that extremely tight blood sugar management in people taking insulin can potentially lead to frequent low blood sugars which can be dangerous.
Achieving extremely tight blood sugar management, like a range of 70 to 130 mg/dL, also often requires a strict nutrition plan, more frequent than usual blood sugar monitoring, precise medication management, and most importantly, years of experience studying your blood sugar levels.
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Normal Range For Blood Sugar Two Hours After Eating
Your blood glucose levels can determine whether you have or are at risk for developing diabetes, a condition in which your body no longer effectively processes and absorbs glucose from the bloodstream. Blood glucose levels fluctuate during the day, particularly after meals. Postprandial — which means after eating — glucose levels that rise beyond a certain level may mean you have diabetes or prediabetes. However, two-hour postprandial blood sugar testing is not recommended to screen for or diagnose diabetes.
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