There are blood sugar levels that are considered normal for type 1 and type 2 diabetics and non diabetics.The main aim of diabetes management is to get as close to a normal blood sugar count as possible. Usually this will be set within a predetermined but variable target range. For diabetics this target range will be outlined by your doctor while for a non diabetic the range should be somewhere between 4 and 8 mmol/L.
Getting to terms with your normal blood sugar count is a prerequisite for diabetics across the world. If you do not keep a close tab on your blood glucose levels you cannot be expected to manage your diabetes very well at all.
Why is it important to note your normal blood sugar count?
As previously stated your blood sugar levels will be best determined by your diabetes healthcare professional. If you are a diabetic you will be required to go for regular blood tests to determine (amongst other things) your HBA1C blood count (your average blood sugar levels over 3 months) , your liver function and cholesterol levels.
It is important that you monitor your blood sugar levels as high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) for prolonged periods of time can increase the chances of longer term complications associated with having diabetes. These complications include but are not limited to – heart disease, liver damage, kidney problems, leg amputations, and erectile dysfunction.
How is blood sugar measured?
In the U.S., blood sugar is usually measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). A milligram is about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces.
In Canada, the UK and Australia, blood sugar is measured in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert these glucose levels into American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you are comparing US measurements with those in the UK, Canada or Australia. For example if someone reports that their blood sugar level is 7 you can multiply that by 18 to get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dL.
Normal blood sugar count for diabetics and non-diabetics
For the majority of non-diabetics normal blood sugar levels are considered to be –
- When fasting between 4.0 to 6.0mmol/l (72 to 108mg/dL)
- 2 hours after eating a level up to 8mmol/L (140mg/dL)
For diabetics the standard numbers are as follows –
- When fasting for type 1 and type 2 diabetics between 4 to 7mmol/L
- 2 hours after eating under 9mmol/L for type 1 diabetics and under 8.5mmol/L for type 2 diabetics
How to maintain a normal blood sugar count
The key is to find a balance between the amount of food you eat (including understating how carbs affect your blood sugar) and the exercise or activity levels you undertake on a daily basis. You will also need to bear in mind how much medication you take everyday, medication such as insulin or Metformin. Over time you will get some good insights into how food, exercise and medication interact in your body. Please see my posts about diabetes carb counting and also the diabetes food exchange system. Reading and learning about these can have a dramatic impact on managing your blood sugar levels.
I recommend getting a good blood glucose monitor to best manage your diabetes. The best one available is the Accu-Chek Nano,. It is the quickest and easily most effective device available on the market. They are also quite cheap to purchase as well.
Times you should monitor your blood sugar levels more often
Below is a list of times when you should be mindful of testing your blood glucose levels more often. When the body is under stress it can impact your blood sugar levels, this happens to diabetics and non diabetics alike.
- If you are physically sick with an ailment of any kind
- When you are emotionally stressed or depressed
- Anytime you have very low or very high blood sugar levels.
- Any change to your usual eating or exercise habits
- Any change or adjustment to your diabetes medication.
- If you are pregnant
- If you wake up in a pool of sweat or if your bed sheets are wet (you may have had a hypo)
- After surgery of any description.
A word on low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia
Hypoglcemia or low blood sugar primarily affects type 1 diabetics although they can strike type 2 diabetics as well. Hypoglycemia is very, very dangerous as it can kill you on the spot. It can happen for a number of reasons but it is another reason why it is imperative that you check your blood glucose levels consistently every day. Please see my post about diabetes seizure symptoms.
A great resource to manage your diabetes through your diet
For those that are struggling with motivation or inspiration in the kitchen I recommend the following eBook with the highest confidence. The recipes in this book are written by a 5 star chef who also happens to be a diabetic. After succumbing to the disease some years ago he fell into a deep pit of depression and only came out of it after nearly having his leg amputated. He decided to use his powers for good and went to work coming up with recipes that were nutritious and delicious (and easy to make) they ended up seeing his type 2 diabetes go into full remission after only a few short months. This book comes with my highest recommendation for any diabetic whether it is type 2 or 1 or gestational.
It is imperative that you work with your medical professional to get a plan so that you can aim for a normal blood sugar count for you. If you are struggling in the kitchen then I certainly advise that you read the eBook mentioned above. There are too many complication associated with having diabetes not to get your blood sugars under control as much as humanly possible. For non diabetics and diabetics you should go for regular blood tests, especially if you have a family history of diabetes.
If you have any comments or questions then please reach out to me below…