Blood sugar levels measure the amount of glucose present in your blood. Blood glucose tests are usually taken to determine whether you are at risk for Diabetes Mellitus. If you have diabetes, then the glucose levels in your blood tend to be consistently high. Increased sugar in your body can slowly damage your health leading to various other problems.
The normal range for blood sugar levels before meals is approximately 70-80 mg/dL. Anything below 60 mg/dL would be considered quite low, even after fasting for long periods of time. According to WebMD, the normal range of glucose is maintained by your liver, converting fat and muscle into sugar.
What blood sugar tests are prescribed by doctors?
- Fasting plasma glucose test: The normal range of glucose for a person without diabetes is 70-99 mg/dL. For an individual with diabetes it is 80-130 mg/dL.
- Plasma glucose test 2 hours after meals: The normal range of glucose for a person without diabetes is less than 140 mg/dL. For an individual with diabetes it is less than 180 mg/dL.
- HbA1c: The normal result for a person without diabetes is less than 5.7%. For an individual with diabetes it is 7.0% or less.
Why should you lower your blood glucose levels?
High levels of sugar in your body can slowly erode the ability of your pancreatic cells to make insulin. The organ overcompensates by increasing the levels of insulin. However, this overcompensation can permanently damage the pancreas, over time. High blood glucose levels can also cause blood vessels to harden, causing what doctors call atherosclerosis. All organs in the body can be damaged by increased levels of sugar in the body. Some common problems include strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage and many more.
Who should get tested for diabetes?
Those who are of age 45 or older should consider getting tested for pre-diabetes or diabetes. Strong recommendations are present for those who are obese or overweight, particular over the age of 45. Familial history of diabetes can be a severe risk factor, therefore those with a parent, sister or brother with the condition should get tested. If you are physically inactive, then your chances of the condition can increase. If you were diagnosed with gestational diabetes then there is a high chance that you will develop diabetes in the future. People who have other metabolic disorders like hypertension, cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) should also be more concerned about their blood glucose levels.