Blood sugar, or blood glucose, influences how your body functions and can have significant consequences if it gets too high or too low. If you have or are at risk for diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar, you may wonder what constitutes normal blood sugar and how to maintain healthy levels. Find the answers here.
Factors that Make Blood Sugar Go Up and Down
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. As glucose levels rise after eating or drinking, the pancreas releases insulin to bring your blood sugar back down. If your body can’t produce enough insulin or use it properly, nothing prevents your blood sugar from spiking dangerously, leading to diabetes and other health problems.
Besides eating and drinking, other factors that make blood sugar go up and down include hunger, dehydration, stress, illness, medications, and hormonal imbalances. Sharp rises and falls in blood glucose are especially dangerous for people with diabetes because their bodies can’t even out the spikes.
Why You Should Test Your Blood Sugar
More than one-third of US adults have prediabetes, most of whom don’t know it because this condition often has no symptoms until it becomes type 2 diabetes. This is why testing your blood sugar is crucial, especially if you have risk factors for diabetes or have already been diagnosed. Catching prediabetes early significantly reduces the risk of complications like heart disease, kidney damage, and blindness.
How to Test Blood Sugar
The three most common tests to measure blood sugar levels include hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c or A1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and oral glucose tolerance (OGT). These tests can be performed by a healthcare professional or at home with a blood glucose meter.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Adults without Diabetes
Normal blood sugar levels for the general adult population typically fall between 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and 100 mg/dL when fasting and up to 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. An A1c test of less than 5.7 percent is also considered normal.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Adults with Type 1 or 2 & Children with Type 2
The normal blood sugar level range is slightly different for these people. You want to see between 60 mg/dL and 130 mg/dL when fasting and up to 180 mg/dL two hours after eating, or under 7 percent on an A1c test. Work with your healthcare provider to determine your target blood sugar level, which can vary by age, weight, activity level, and overall health.
How to Lower Your Blood Sugar When Needed
Here’s how to bring down consistently high blood glucose:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a balanced diet with low sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Take your medications as prescribed
- Avoiding alcohol
- Quit smoking
How to Raise Your Blood Sugar When Needed
If a blood sugar test comes back low, raise your levels by consuming sugary foods or drinks, such as fruit juice, candy, or glucose tablets for people with diabetes. Work with your doctor to determine how to effectively manage low blood sugar levels.
At Pledge To Fitness, we offer services to help manage your blood glucose, including nutrition coaching, customized workout programs, and personal training in Bellaire, TX. We are committed to helping you feel your best and control your symptoms! Contact us today at (713) 401-2841 to learn more about improving your health with type 2 diabetes.