What Should Be Blood Sugar Level Before Eating – Even if you know the typical ranges for normal blood glucose levels (and if you don’t, this article can help), you may still be wondering if your age matters here. And it can!
Since blood sugar levels are important to overall well-being, it’s a good idea to understand more about them. And as it turns out, your blood glucose levels can fluctuate for many reasons, including your age.
What Should Be Blood Sugar Level Before Eating
Blood glucose levels can vary between different age groups and at different times of the day. It can be challenging to figure this all out on your own, especially if you haven’t taken a closer look at your blood sugar levels before.
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Read on to learn what “normal” is, then check out some blood sugar charts to learn more about the typical target range for blood glucose levels based on your age
Before we start talking about the numbers, it’s important to note that a “normal” blood sugar level varies depending on many factors. A good way to learn more about what your levels mean for your wellness goals is to consult with a qualified health professional.
“Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is your body’s primary energy source. The pancreas then releases insulin to transport the glucose to your cells, where it is converted into energy. The glucose can also be stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles stored. or as fat in adipose tissue. Insulin and glucagon, along with other hormones, help regulate the amount of glucose in your blood.” – Heather Davis, MS, RDN, LDN
To read more about how the body regulates glucose balance, see our article on glucose homeostasis. Remember, it is normal for glucose levels to fluctuate to some extent. Blood sugar levels are affected by many factors, including:
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Typical glucose values are often listed as a range to help capture any normal variations that may occur within that range. Additionally, for those who may have health conditions such as prediabetes or diabetes (characterized by some insulin resistance), a normal range of glucose may be wider or more lenient.
According to the National Children’s Hospital, children aged 6-12 without diabetes should have a normal glucose reading that looks like this:
Parents or caregivers will not usually check a child’s glucose throughout the day unless they have a medical condition such as type 1 diabetes. Still, it can be helpful to know what his health is.
For children with diabetes, the amount of glucose in the blood will vary from when they wake up, depending on their activity levels, and before they go to bed at night.
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It is important to remember that despite all this, recommendations suggest that blood glucose levels should remain between 80-180 mg/dL throughout the day.
There are no guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association for typical blood glucose for a teenager without diabetes. You should always consult your doctor for specific guidance. The Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for the same guidelines for healthy children/adults without diabetes, keeping glucose between 70-140 mg/dL.
For teens with diabetes, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor for specific guidance. Some research on teenagers with type 1 diabetes recommends aiming for blood glucose levels between 70-150 mg/dL throughout the day.
Most research on normal glucose levels has focused on adults. Although you may notice that different labs may have different reference ranges, studies show that the optimal fasting glucose to reduce the risk for prediabetes may be between 70-90 mg/dL for adults without diabetes.
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Research also shows that fasting glucose levels above 90 can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
There are many factors that can have an impact on a higher fasting blood glucose value. It is essential to pay attention to things like:
It may also be helpful to monitor your alcohol consumption, note any supplements you take, and monitor your overall physical activity and body weight. Working one-on-one with a qualified health professional, including a certified dietitian or nutritionist, can help you make sense of some of these patterns and how they may affect your overall well-being.
Of course, the expected glucose levels for adults with diabetes will differ from the target ranges for adults without diabetes. The American Diabetes Association also suggests different glucose ranges for healthy adults, adults with prediabetes, and adults with diabetes. Healthy adults without diabetes should maintain glucose between 70-140 mg/dL.
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According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) guidelines, adults with a healthy glucose metabolism should stay below 140 mg/dL after meals. Healthy adults with standard glucose tolerance have been shown to stay below 140 mg/dL between 95-99 percent of the time.
Spikes above 160 mg/dL can be problematic. Monitoring your glucose over time with the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional can help you determine your risk for conditions such as prediabetes and diabetes. Remember, most healthy people will see their peak glucose value within 30 minutes of eating.
Wondering where prediabetes all comes into play? The ADA classifies prediabetes as fasting glucose levels above 100 mg/dL and up to 125 mg/dL and a two-hour postprandial level between 140-199 mg/dL. It is usually diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test. An A1C between 5.7-6.4 percent is considered a prediabetic level by the ADA.
Diabetes is typically diagnosed after two repeated fasting glucose tests above 125 mg/dL or a two-hour reading above 200 mg/dL after an oral glucose tolerance test.
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Additionally, an A1C above 6.5 percent is considered a diabetic level by the ADA. Diabetes can also be diagnosed if a random blood sugar test is above 200 mg/dL at any time of the day.
Let’s spend a minute discussing average levels for adults over 65. Those who do not have diabetes can be kept in the same glucose range as healthy younger adults, keeping glucose between 70-140 mg/dL during the day.
For older adults with diabetes and comorbidities or severe symptoms of diabetes such as neuropathy, kidney damage, or retinopathy, the recommended glucose threshold and A1C values may be more lenient. It all depends on how much damage is done to the pancreas.
Related article Normal blood glucose levels: what they are and how to monitor them What you need to know about blood sugar levels and what normal blood glucose levels look like. Read our blog post for more information. Read more
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Although there are ways to detect, monitor and determine if you have high blood sugar levels, you may not always know when you are experiencing them. Often there are no warning signs until your levels rise well above the expected range.
For example, adults with prediabetes may not realize they have the condition based on symptoms alone. However, here are some classic symptoms of high blood sugar that
It is easy to attribute these symptoms to other causes, some as routine as feeling thirsty or having a mild headache! This is where wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can be invaluable.
You can often link these symptoms to potential blood glucose spikes during the day when using a CGM. It is best to work with your doctor to help make these connections.
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There are many ways to address high glucose readings that are practical and can be done every day. Here are some suggestions for some lifestyle changes that can help dietitian Liz McKinney, MS, CNS, LDN:
Blood glucose monitoring is not just about learning about high blood glucose levels. There is also a chance to bow! When blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dL, this is known as hypoglycemia.
When blood sugar drops <70, accompanied by any of the common symptoms we have mentioned so far, it may be necessary to work to raise it. One way to do this is to eat 15 grams of fast-absorbing carbohydrates (such as apple juice or a glucose tablet), then wait 15 minutes for blood glucose levels to rise.
Once your glucose returns to a normal range, eating a meal focused on protein or fiber can help prevent future dips. dietitian Liz McKinney, MS, CNS, LDN suggests unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries or one or two hard-boiled eggs with sliced avocado on a slice of whole-grain toast.
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If you’re eating a low-carb diet, seeing your glucose drop <70 may not be cause for concern. This is because your body may already be used to lowering the baseline glucose. In this case, it is important to pay attention to any symptoms and also consider talking to your doctor to help determine appropriate parameters for your body.
Your blood sugar levels can significantly affect how your body feels and functions. This is why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall well-being.
With, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support a healthy life.
When you join the program, our team of accredited dietitians and nutritionists are available for additional support and guidance to help you achieve your goals.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating?
Ready to take the first step? Take our quiz to see how you can support your health. The amount of glucose (“sugar” expressed in mg/dL) found in the blood varies during the day and at night. Our body maintains a level of glucose in the blood for metabolism. The normal level of sugar
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