Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be High
Based on the ADA guidelines above, if your blood sugar is above 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal, it is considered above the normal range. What might cause your glucose or blood sugar to rise? Consider the following factors:
- Consuming more carbohydrates or a larger meal than usual
- Not taking enough insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Reduced physical activity
- Side effects from medications like steroids or antipsychotics
Blood Sugar Target Levels For Nonpregnant Adults With Diabetes
From the 2017 American Diabetes Association Standards of Care, the following chart shows current targets for blood sugars for nonpregnant adult patients with diabetes:
Summary of Glycemic Recommendations for Adults with Diabetes
|A1C < 7.0%|
|Preprandial capillary plasma glucose 80130 mg/dL*|
|Peak postprandial capillary plasma glucose < 180 mg/dL*|
|*More or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for individual patients. Goals should be individualized|
|**based on duration of diabetes, age/life expectancy, comorbid conditions, known CVD or advancedmicrovascular complications, hypoglycemia unawareness, and individual patient considerations.Postprandial glucose may be targeted|
Blood sugar target levels for nonpregnant adults with diabetes coincide with A1C less than 7
An A1C less than 7 percent is the guideline for adults with diabetes, and the target ranges of 80-130 mg/dl fasting or pre-meal, and 80-180 mg/dl after meals corresponds with an A1C of less than 7 percent.
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These values represent what research has shown to be the optimal blood sugar targets for nonpregnant adults to avoid complications of diabetes in the long term. Less than 70 mg/dl is considered a low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, and the newest guideline consider that you want to catch a low blood sugar before it occurs.
What Is My Target Blood Glucose Level
As a general guide, Diabetes Canada recommends an A1C of less than or equal to 7%, and the following blood glucose targets for most individuals:
|Time of day|
|BEFORE MEAL OR FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE||4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L|
|2 HOURS AFTER START OF MEAL||5.0 to 10 mmol/L|
|2 HOURS AFTER MEAL IF A1C TARGET IS NOT BEING MET||5.0 to 8.0 mmol/L.|
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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Two hours after a meal.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
What Do My Results Mean
When you finish the blood glucose check, write down your results and note what factors may have affected them, such as food, activity, and stress. Take a close look at your blood glucose record to see if your level is too high or too low several days in a row at about the same time. If the same thing keeps happening, it might be time to change your diabetes care plan. Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to learn what your results mean for you. It can take time to make adjustments and get things just right. And do ask your doctor if you should report results out of a certain range right away by phone.
Keep in mind that blood glucose results often trigger strong feelings. Blood glucose numbers can leave you upset, confused, frustrated, angry, or down. It’s easy to use the numbers to judge yourself. Remind yourself that tracking your blood glucose level is simply a way to know how well your diabetes care plan is working, and whether that plan may need to change.
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Understanding Blood Sugar Target Ranges To Better Manage Your Diabetes
As a person with diabetes, you may or may not know what your target ranges should be for your blood sugars first thing in the morning, before meals, after meals, or at bedtime.
You may or may not understand what blood sugar ranges are for people without diabetes. You may or may not understand how your A1C correlates with your target ranges.
How do you get a clear picture of what is going on with your blood sugar, and how it could be affecting your health?
In this article, we will look at what recommended blood sugar target ranges are for people without diabetes.
We will look at target ranges for different times of the day for people with diabetes.
We will look at target ranges for Type 1 versus Type 2 diabetes. Is there a difference?
- Lifestyle habits and activity levels
We will see how these factors impact target ranges for your blood sugars when you have diabetes. We will learn that target ranges can be individualized based on the factors above. We will learn how target ranges help to predict the A1C levels.
We will see how if you are in your target range, you can be pretty sure that your A1C will also be in target. We will see how you can document your blood sugar patterns in a notebook or in an app, and manage your blood sugars to get them in your target ranges.
Why Your A1c Matters
In a nutshell: your A1c is one of the clearest indicators of your risk for developing diabetes complications like neuropathy , retinopathy , nephropathy , and severe infection in any part of your body that requires healing.
For instance, a small cut on your toe could become infected due to high blood sugars, struggle to heal, and become severe enough that the infection could lead to an amputation.
The general guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend an A1c at or below 7.0 percent for the best prevention of diabetes complications. Your risk of developing a diabetes complication continues to drop as your A1c drops closer to 6 percent.
Some people with diabetes aim for A1c levels in the 5s and lower especially those who follow strict low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet and the Bernstein diet. However, this hasnt been proven in research as especially necessary, nor is it reasonably achievable for the larger population of people with diabetes.
Its also important to remember that your blood sugar levels and your A1c are just information that tells you whether your body needs more or less of factors like insulin, other diabetes medications like Metformin, changes in your nutrition, and changes in your exercise.
If you dont like the number youre seeing on your glucose meter or your A1c results, use that number as motivation to make changes in how you safely manage your diabetes in order to get different results.
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Is Blood Sugar Of 135 High
A blood sugar level of 135 is not considered high. However, it is still important to take steps to lower your blood sugar levels if they are above your target range. You can do this by making changes to your diet and exercise routine. You should also talk to your doctor about ways to lower your blood sugar levels.
Your Task: 21 Day Lower Blood Sugar Challenge
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How Can I Treat High Blood Sugar
Talk to your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your doctor may suggest the following:
- Be more active. Regular exercise can help keep your blood sugar levels on track. Important: dont exercise if ketones are present in your urine. This can make your blood sugar go even higher.
- Take medicine as instructed. If your blood sugar is often high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it.
- Follow your diabetes meal plan. Ask your doctor or dietitian for help if youre having trouble sticking to it.
- Check your blood sugar as directed by your doctor. Check more often if youre sick or if youre concerned about high or low blood sugar.
- Talk to your doctor about adjusting how much insulin you take and what types of insulin to use.
Target Blood Glucose Levels
Blood glucose levels change across the course of a day, and can vary depending on the foods you eat and physical activity levels. Your diabetes health care provider will recommend the target blood glucose levels for you. It is important to know your targets, and monitor your blood glucose to see if you are achieving these goals. It is also important to make sure that you check Canadian resources, such as this one, since diabetes target blood sugar levels can vary depending on the country. They can also differ in terms of their units of measure, meaning the numbers used are different to those used in Canada.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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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Type 2 Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels
Consistently testing and tracking the blood sugar levels that you and your doctor have agreed on can tell you how well your type 2 diabetes plan is working. Your doctor will work with you to determine the target levels that are best suited for you. What Do My Blood Sugars Tell Me? Checking your blood sugar levels is important, but keeping track of them in a written logbook or software will help you spot trends of blood sugar levels that are too high or too low. If you see a trend like this, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Keep in mind that if you have recently started a new type 2 diabetes therapy, it may take some time to see the results. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how long it should take before you see an improvement in your blood sugar levels. If your doctor recommends blood sugar guidelines for you, he or she may ask you to check your blood sugar levels every day. Self-monitoring measures blood sugar levels at the time of the test, so its important that your doctor also tests your A1C to see how well your blood sugar is being managed over time The A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the previous 2 to 3 months, and results are given as a percentage, called your A1C level. The higher your A1C level, the more sugar you have in your blood Whether youre making changes to your treatment or wondering about what might come next, were here to listen. Learn more Continue reading > >
How Is Blood Sugar Measured
In the United States, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter . This is abbreviated as mg/dl.
In Europe and Canada, blood sugar is measured a little differently, by millimole per liter, which is abbreviated mmol. However its measured, blood sugar is the concentration of sugar or glucose in the bloodstream.
If you multiply the Canadian or European mmol, by the number 18, you can calculate milligrams per deciliter.
In other words, if a person in Canada reports their blood sugar as an 8, multiply 8 times 18 to give you the number 144 . Using this calculation, this persons blood sugar = 144 mg/dl, .
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Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low
If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:
- Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
- Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
- Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
- Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
- Increased physical activity
- Side effects from medications
If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.
Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.
Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.
How Do You Manage Blood Sugar
It’s not easy to manage your blood sugar, but it’s important to do so if you have diabetes. There are many things you can do to keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range.
The first step is to understand what causes your blood sugar levels to go up and down. This will help you make choices that keep your blood sugar levels within your target range.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
High Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, you can find out if your blood sugar level is high by having a blood sugar test.
You may have regular tests by your care team or GP surgery, or you may have tests you can do at home.
|Type of test||High level|
|Test done by a health professional to check your blood sugar level over the last 2 or 3 months||48 mmol/mol or over|
|Test done by a health professional after not eating for a few hours||Over 7 mmol/L|
|Home test done after waking up or before eating||Over 7 mmol/L|
|Home test done at any other time||Over 11 mmol/L|
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Urgent Advice: Call Your Care Team Immediately Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you have high blood sugar and:
- you’re feeling sick, being sick or have stomach pain
- you’re breathing more quickly than usual or your heart is beating faster than usual
- you feel drowsy or are struggling to stay awake
- your breath has a fruity smell
- you feel confused or have difficulty concentrating
- you have a high level of ketones in your blood or pee
These could be signs you’re becoming seriously unwell.
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
Page last reviewed: 26 May 2022 Next review due: 26 May 2025