Insulin and glucagon are the hormones that determine blood sugar levels of an individual. Take a look at the self-explanatory charts in this article. Read on to know the normal, low, and high values for blood glucose in children, healthy adults, and diabetics…
Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, plays an important role in the production of energy. Healthy diet and regular exercise help maintain normal blood glucose levels in both adults and children. Those diagnosed with diabetes can also control the levels with the help of balanced diet, exercise, and medications. Psychological stress, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and certain medications can seriously affect these levels. Two antagonistic hormones – insulin and glucagon regulate the amount of glucose in blood.
Normal blood glucose range for adults without diabetes is 70 – 100 mg/dl. Actually, the sugar levels keep on changing. They are not constant throughout the day. In the morning, low levels are noticed while after lunch, the levels rise, and then they again come down to the normal value. The amount of glucose present in blood is therefore measured at different times.
Generally, the levels are first measured after fasting for at least 8 hours (usually overnight fasting). This is known as “fasting blood glucose”. In adults, the readings that lie between 70 to 99 mg/dl (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/l) are considered as normal. In children, 100 mg/dl is considered as normal level of sugar after fasting.
The level of glucose measured two hours after lunch is known as “postprandial level”. Blood sample taken at any time during the day is used to check “random blood glucose”. The doctor may ask you to drink a glucose solution, and then he may ask you to submit the blood samples 4-5 times, every 30 to 60 minutes. This is known as “glucose tolerance test”. All these tests help diagnose diabetes.
Causes and Symptoms of Diabetes
The values of blood glucose that are slightly higher than the normal values indicate higher risk of developing diabetes. This condition is known as prediabetes. Regular check ups help diagnose diabetes in early stage which helps control the disease with the help of modified diet, exercise, and medications. Frequent urination, increased wound healing time, increased thirst, strong hunger prangs, blurry vision, frequent infections, weight loss, excessive weakness, and changes in skin are some symptoms of diabetes. Obesity, high blood pressure, family history, insulin resistance, low insulin levels, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides levels, and lack of exercise are some of the common factors which can lead to diabetes.
Chart for Adults
|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 for adults|
|100 to 125 mg/dl (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/l)||Impaired fasting glucose (pre-diabetes)|
|126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l) and above in more than one test result||Diabetes|
|about 70-125 mg/dl||Normal random blood sugar|
|about 70-145 mg/dl||Normal postprandial blood sugar|
|Less than 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l)||Hypoglycemia (Initial Stage)|
|50 mg/dl (2.8 mmol/l)||Hypoglycemia (Fasting)|
|less than 50 mg/dl (2.8 mmol/l)||Insulin Shock|
|145-200 mg/dl||Post meal value suggesting early diabetes|
|More than 200 mg/dl||Post meal value suggesting established diabetes|
Lower than normal values indicate hypoglycemia while high levels indicate hyperglycemia. Take a look at the following chart which describes these conditions in adults and children.
|Normal||70 – 100 mg/dL||70 – 140 mg/dL|
|Low||Below 70 mg/dL||Below 70 mg/dL|
|High||Over 140 mg/dL||Over 180 mg/dL|
Those who have normal fasting sugar may have high postprandial sugar. Low glycemic foods are those foods which do not cause severe fluctuations in your blood glucose levels. Garlic, cherries, cinnamon, almonds, avocados, soybeans, baked beans, boiled vegetables, poached fish, lentils, lamb, oysters, chicken, sardines, skimmed milk, whole wheat pasta are examples of some foods that help lower the levels. Incorporating these foods in your diet can help keep health complications at bay. Proper diet and regular exercise help maintain hormonal balance and thereby the overall health of an individual.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.