Measurement of blood sugar level helps assess the function of insulin and even the function of kidneys or pancreas. It is an important diagnostic tool used to diagnose and evaluate diabetes, which is one of the most common disorders of this century. Usually, blood sugar or level of glucose in the bloodstream is measured twice in a day. Fasting blood sugar test measures blood sugar level after fasting for about 8 hours (usually overnight), and postprandial blood sugar test helps measure blood sugar levels two hours after meals.
Parents need to monitor the blood glucose levels of their children in case they suspect onset of juvenile diabetes. Though having 70-100 mg/dl fasting blood sugar is considered as normal, studies show that levels around 90 mg/dl in an adult indicate that the person is more likely to develop diabetes in old age.
Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Chart
|Normal Fasting Blood Glucose Levels||For Whom|
|Around 83 mg/dl||Women|
|90 to 130 mg/dl||Men|
Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Chart for Diagnosis of Diabetes
|Fasting Blood Glucose Levels||Indication|
|Less than 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l)||Low fasting blood sugar|
|70 to 99 mg/dl (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/l)||Normal fasting blood sugar|
|100 to 125 mg/dl (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/l)||Impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes)|
|126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l) and above in more than one test result||Diabetes|
Non Fasting Blood Sugar Levels Chart
Sugar level measured any time during the day regardless of food intake, is called 'random blood sugar level', whereas measured two hours after meal is called 'postprandial sugar level'.
|Non Fasting Blood Glucose Test||Normal Levels|
|Random blood sugar test||about 70-125 mg/dl|
|Postprandial blood sugar test||about 70-145 mg/dl|
Alcohol consumption, smoking, certain other diseases and disorders, consumption of caffeine, excessive emotional stress, use of certain medications, 'eating' before 'fasting' blood sugar test may affect the blood sugar levels. Early detection of symptoms through fasting blood sugar test helps control the disease. It also helps check whether a pregnant woman has developed diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Once diabetes is detected, it is necessary to undergo the test periodically to monitor the sugar levels.
High and Low Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels are associated with hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, kidney diseases or kidney failure, excessive food intake, etc. Low blood sugar levels also indicate a number of diseases or disorders; for example, hypothyroidism, excessive consumption of alcohol, kidney failure, starvation or malnutrition, serious liver problems, insulin overdose, dysfunction of adrenal glands, etc. Very low fasting glucose level (below 40 mg/dL/ 2.2 mmol/L in women or below 50 mg/dL/2.8 mmol/L in men) and presence of other symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), suggest insulinoma, a tumor in pancreas that produces abnormally high amounts of insulin.
Balanced diet (reducing the intake of fatty foods) and regular exercises help maintain normal blood sugar levels. People who are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes need to follow a diabetic diet or low-glycemic index diet along with various exercises to maintain their blood glucose levels. Blood tests during regular checkup help detect abnormal levels in early stages. So, one should not hesitate or avoid regular check-ups. Early detection helps avoid severe health complications.
Mild fluctuations in blood sugar levels are considered normal. However, an excessive rise and fall, or sudden rise and fall in blood sugar level can prove to be harmful for your health. Increased thirst and hunger, increased urination, and slow healing of wounds are some of the common symptoms of diabetes. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels, to rule out the possibility of diabetes.