Blood sugar concentration or blood glucose level is defined as the amount of glucose (sugar) present in the blood of a human or animal. The body naturally tightly regulates blood glucose levels as a part of metabolic homeostasis. The international standard way of measuring blood glucose levels are in terms of a molar concentration, measured in mmol/L (millimoles per liter; or millimolar, abbreviated mM). In the United States, mass concentration is measured in mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre).
"A number of medical studies have shown a dramatic relationship between elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in people who are not very active on a daily or regular basis."
A doctor might order a test of the sugar level in a person's blood if there is a concern that they may have diabetes, or have a sugar level that is either too low or too high. The test, which is also called a check of blood sugar, blood glucose, fasting blood sugar, fasting plasma glucose, or fasting blood glucose, indicates how much glucose is present is present in a person's blood.
When a person eats carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or fruit, their body converts the carbohydrates to sugar - also referred to as glucose. Glucose travels through the blood to supply energy to the cells, to include muscle and brain cells, as well as to organs. Blood sugar levels usually fluctuate depending upon what a person eats and how long it has been since they last ate. However; consistent or extremely low levels of glucose in a person's blood might cause symptoms such as:
Warning signs of dangerously high levels of blood sugar include sleepiness or confusion, dry mouth, extreme thirst, high fever, hallucinations, loss of vision, or skin that is warm and dry.
A blood sugar test requires a finger prick or needle stick. A doctor might order a, 'fasting,' blood glucose test. What this means is a person will not be able to drink or eat for 8-10 hours before the test, or the doctor may order the test for a random time or right after the person eats. If a woman is pregnant, her doctor might order a, 'glucose-tolerance test,' which involves drinking glucose solution and having blood drawn a specified amount of time later. The results of a blood sugar test are measured in milligrams per deciliter.
|Average Blood Sugar Levels|
|100 mg/dL average|
|140 mg/dL 2 hours after eating|
|180 mg/dL 1 hour after drinking glucose|
|155 mg/dL 2 hours after drinking glucose|
|140 mg/dL 3 hours after drinking glucose|
|95 mg/dL after fasting for glucose-tolerance test for pregnant women|
The results of blood sugar tests vary by testing method and lab but generally doctors consider a fasting blood sugar of up to 100 mg/dL to be within the average range. From blood drawn 2 hours after a person eats, doctors consider a level of up to 140 mg/dL to be average. In a glucose-tolerance test for pregnant women, a level of 95 mg/dL after fasting is considered to be the, 'target,' level. A doctor who is concerned might order additional testing at 1,2 and 3 hours after a person drinks glucose. The target levels for those tests are 180 mg/dL, 155 mg/dL and 140 mg/dL. Gestational diabetes is indicated if 2 or more of the 4 levels equal or go over the desired target level.
'Hyperglycemia,' or high fasting blood sugar levels of between 100-150 mg/dL, might indicate pre-diabetes and levels above this range may indicate diabetes. A number of other conditions may cause hyperglycemia too, including:
Hyperglycemia may also be the result of excessive over-eating or taking some prescription medications.
An A1C test is performed to measure the average of a person's blood sugar levels over the last 3 months. The results of the test are presented as a percentage. The average range falls in between 4-6%. A1C test levels of greater than 7% reveal poor diabetes management and the need for changes in the future. Some important facts about blood sugar include the following:
|Blood Sugar Chart|
|Diabetes Check - Blood Sugar Levels||HbA1c||mg/dl||mmol/l|
|low||less than 4||less than 65||less than 3,6|
|Complications Can Arise||8||208||11,6|
|Complications Can Arise||8,1||212||11,8|
|Complications Can Arise||8,2||215||12|
|Complications Can Arise||8,3||219||12,2|
|Complications Can Arise||8,4||223||12,4|
|Complications Can Arise||8,5||226||12,6|
|Complications Can Arise||8,6||230||12,8|
|Complications Can Arise||8,7||233||13|
|Complications Can Arise||8,8||237||13,2|
|Complications Can Arise||8,9||240||13,4|
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If a person does not have perfect fasting blood sugar levels, yet the levels are not quite high enough to be considered diabetes, they should take it as an opportunity to improve their health and achieve average blood glucose levels prior to developing type 2 diabetes. Usually, high blood sugar levels have to do with a poor diet, but even more often they have to do with a person's lack of exercise and physical activity.
A number of medical studies have shown a dramatic relationship between elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in people who are not very active on a daily or regular basis. Many of the same studies have also shown that the most efficient way of improving insulin resistance is to increase the amount of physical activity. Doing so helps a person to achieve weight loss, increase blood flow and circulation, as well as lower blood sugar levels.
Deciding to begin exercising and become active also involves beginning to eat better. Changing eating habits alone will help, yet doing both together will supercharge a person's efforts. Try to find a cookbook filled with quality foods and meal plans that are ideal for people with diabetes, people with pre-diabetes, as well as those with high blood sugar levels who might be insulin resistant.