Blood Sugar Levels

Having a normal blood sugar level is a must as a drop or increase in blood sugar level can be detrimental to one’s health.

The amount of glucose in the blood is determined by various factors such as the time of the day, types and amount of foods eaten, age, exercise, and existing medical condition. (1, 2)

Fasting blood sugar is one of the most common methods of checking blood sugar level image photo picture

Image 1: Fasting blood sugar is one of the most common methods of checking blood sugar level.
Picture Source: diabetesmealplans.com

 

There are various ways used to check the blood sugar level. They are as follows:

Fasting Blood Glucose (FBS)

It measures the level of sugar in the blood after eight hours of not taking anything but water.

  1. Normal fasting blood sugar reading – 100 mg/dL
  2. Pre-diabetic – An FBS result of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
  3. Diabetes – A two consecutive fasting blood glucose result of greater than 125mg/dL. (2, 3)

Postprandial Blood Glucose

The blood sugar level is measured after a meal. This is performed to find out how the body reacts after taking in foods. The normal interpretation is not more than 140 mg/dL. (1, 2)

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

The patient should be put on NPO (nothing per oral) for an eight hour period before the blood sugar level is measured. The patient will be asked to drink a concentrated glucose drink and wait for at least two hours before the blood sugar level is measured.

The normal result should not be more than 140 mg/dL. (2, 3)

Random Testing

Measuring the blood sugar level any time of the day can give the doctor an idea of your day to day normal blood sugar reading. Ideally, the blood sugar level should be between 100 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL.

If the reading is greater than 200 mg/dL and showing symptoms indicative of diabetes, then you are most likely a diabetic. Cardinal signs and symptoms include frequent urination, excessive thirst, and fatigue. (3, 4)

Newborn blood sugar levels chart

The moment a baby is born the body performs its metabolic functions, which also paves a way to blood sugar regulation. Blood sugar (glucose) fuels the brain and play an important role in various bodily processes.

During the first few hours, the blood sugar level fluctuates and will then stabilize after a few days. If the blood sugar level is too high or too low, then it could indicate a potential health concern.

An infant delivered via normal spontaneous vaginal delivery (NSVD) has a higher blood sugar level in the first few days than an infant delivered via cesarean section.

Infants fed using formula milk have higher blood sugar than breastfed infants. (3, 4, 5)

A newborn’s blood glucose level is checked following birth with gestational diabetes image photo picture

Image 1: A newborn’s blood glucose level is checked following birth with gestational diabetes.
Picture Source: www.gestationaldiabetes.co.uk

A low blood sugar level in newborn

An infant born full-term and healthy rarely has low blood sugar level. However, some circumstances can increase the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). These include:

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • High birth weight
  • The infant is deprived of oxygen during birth
  • The mother is diabetic (4, 5)

The need to measure blood sugar level in newborn

There is no need to measure the blood sugar level of a healthy and full-term newborn. However, newborns exhibiting the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar level should undergo a blood glucose screening test. (4, 5)

A high blood sugar level in newborn

A healthy and full-term newborn rarely has high blood sugar level. However, there are instances when a newborn could have a high blood sugar level such as:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Health problems (5)
  • Administration of IV blood glucose and other drugs that could potentially increase the blood sugar level
  • Lack of insulin production (neonatal diabetes mellitus)

Determining the normal and abnormal values of blood sugar in newborns

  • Low blood sugar level in full-term – less than 40 mg/dL
  • Low blood sugar level in premature infant – less than 30 mg/dL
  • High blood sugar level – 150 mg/dL and up
  • Low blood sugar level in older infants – less than 65 mg/dL
  • Normal blood sugar level in older infants – 70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL
  • High blood sugar level in older infants – 140 mg/dL and above (5, 6)

Blood sugar level during pregnancy

Diabetes induced pregnancy is called gestational diabetes image photo picture

Picture 2: Diabetes induced pregnancy is called gestational diabetes.
Photo Source: cdn2.momjunction.com

Some women develop gestational diabetes (too high blood sugar level) during pregnancy. A high blood sugar level during pregnancy may have a detrimental effect on the baby if left unmanaged.

Symptoms of gestational diabetes are quite difficult to identify as symptoms are similar to that of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The best way to determine if the pregnant woman has gestational diabetes is by measuring the blood glucose level sometime between the 24th and 28th weeks. (5, 6, 7)

Pregnant women at risk for gestational diabetes include:

  • 25 years old and above
  • Overweight
  • African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women
  • Family history of diabetes mellitus
  • Women diagnosed with pre-diabetes

An oral glucose tolerance test is performed to check for gestational diabetes. A pregnant woman is positive for gestational diabetes if the result of oral glucose tolerance test is elevated more than ones. Above-normal blood glucose level has the following figures:

  • Fasting blood sugar level – 92 mg/dL and above
  • One hour – 180 mg/dL and above
  • Two hours – 153 mg/dL and above (7, 8)

A Normal blood sugar level chart by age

Adults

  • A normal blood sugar reading in adult taken in the morning on an empty stomach is between 72 mg/dL and 108 mg/dL.
  • Two hours after food intake should be somewhere between 120 mg/dL and 140 mg/dL. (7, 8)

Normal blood sugar level

see this chart with reference : Adapted from ADA – American Diabetes Association

blood sugar level chart

 

Top and Best (True Results) Glucometer List

Children

  • Up to six years of age before eating – 100 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL
  • Up to six years of age before sleep – 110 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL
  • Between 6 and 12 years old before eating – 90 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL
  • Between 6 and 12 years old before sleep – 100 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL
  • Between 13 and 19 years old – Refer to the normal values in adults (8, 9, 10)

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION WITH REFERENCES from (Harrisons Internal Medicine 19thed)

Criteria for the Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus blood sugar levels chart

Criteria for the Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus blood sugar levels chart

 

Spectrum of glucose levels homeostasis and diabetes

Spectrum of glucose levels homeostasis and diabetes

 

Treatment Goals for Adults with Diabetes

Treatment Goals for Adults with Diabetes

 

Please see : What is Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

 

References:

  1. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/normal-blood-sugar-levels-chart-adults
  3. https://www.mannaplus.co.za/normal-range-for-blood-sugar-after-eating-a-meal/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_sugar_level
  5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-sugar-hyperglycaemia/
  6. https://www.virginiamason.org/whatarenormalbloodglucoselevels
  7. http://www.joslin.org/info/Goals-for-Blood-Glucose-Control.html
  8. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/living-with/stabilize-blood-sugar-levels/
  9. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/high_blood_sugar_hyperglycemia/article_em.htm
  10. http://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/blood-glucose-insulin/lows-highs-blood-sugar-levels

Published by Dr. Rajesh MD under Diabetes Information.
Article was last reviewed on January 8th, 2022.

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