Part of managing diabetes is understanding your blood glucose levels and knowing your ideal range. More time spent in range yields health benefits and can help prevent long-term problems like heart disease, loss of vision, and other diseases. Here we break down everything you need to know about blood glucose numbers, ideal ranges based by age, and methods to test at home with glucometers.
What is Blood Sugar?
Let’s start with the basics. Blood sugar, or glucose, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the food you eat and is your body’s main source of energy. Your blood carries glucose to all your body’s cells to use for energy.
How Does Blood Sugar Impact Diabetes?
Too much sugar in the blood could cause many different problems in your body, including heart disease, kidney damage, blindness, and loss of feeling in your feet and hands. In this piece, we will talk about the specifics of blood glucose and the different ways to test and manage your blood glucose levels.
What is a Blood Glucose Number?
Your blood glucose number or blood sugar level is the concentration of sugar in your blood at any given time. People diagnosed with diabetes are at risk for high blood glucose levels, and over the years, these high levels can lead to problems and negatively impact one’s health. It is vital to keep your blood glucose in the normal range. The next time you visit your doctor, ask to have an HbA1c test. This is the test that will tell you what your average blood sugar level has been, overall, for the last three months. There’s no one-size-fits-all target when it comes to numbers. A1C target levels can vary by each person’s age and other factors, and your target may be different from someone else’s. The goal for most adults with diabetes is an A1C that is less than 7%. A1C test results are reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. What’s your number? The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7 percent for nonpregnant adults, but more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.
Normal Blood Glucose Ratings
So, what is a normal blood sugar range? Well, that depends on your age, time of day and how recently you last ate. Check out the age grouping below for the normal range and helpful tips.
Blood sugar testing provides useful information for diabetes management. It can help you:
- Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels
- Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low
- Learn how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels
- Understand how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels
- Track your progress in reaching your overall treatment goals
Your doctor will let you know how often to check your blood sugar levels. The frequency of testing usually depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Talk with your health care team about what blood sugar numbers are right for you.
Blood Sugar Range for Baby-Toddlers
- Kids ages 6 and younger should have blood glucose ratings be in the range of about 80 to 200 mg/dL each day.
- This range is considered healthy, however, the amount of glucose in a child’s body can fluctuate throughout the day from when they wake up, to after meals, and again at bedtime.
- See the blood glucose numbers chart below for more specific ranges related to testing and pre and post mealtimes.
Blood Sugar Range for Kids-Tweens
- Kids aged 6 to 12 should have blood sugar levels that range between 80 to 180 mg/dL over a day.
- If needed, try to limit snacks before bed to keep a child’s blood sugar from rising too much before bedtime.
Blood Sugar Range for Teens
- Teenagers should have average blood sugar levels that range between 70 to 150 mg/dL over their day.
- This can be one of the most challenging times to manage diabetes because of the responsibility and discipline needed. Teenagers must be very diligent in watching what they eat, exercise regularly, and strictly adhere to prescribed medications to stay in control of their blood sugar levels.
Let’s take a look at some sample readings and what they indicate.
Blood Glucose Numbers Chart For Children
|AGE||FASTING RANGE||BEFORE MEAL||1-2 HOURS AFTER MEAL||BEDTIME|
|0-6||80 -180 mg/dL||100-180 mg/dL||Less than 180 mg/dL||110-200 mg/dL|
|6-12||80-180 mg/dL||90-180 mg/dL||Up to 140 mg/dL||100-180 mg/dL|
|13-19||70-150 mg/dL||90-130 mg/dL||Up to 140 mg/dL||90-150 mg/dL|
Blood Sugar Range for Adults
- Adults who are 20 years or older will have blood sugar levels that range between 100-180 mg/dL over a day.
- For adults struggling with blood sugar control, reach out to your doctor or healthcare provider for a treatment plan to help you manage your glucose levels.
- It is important to know that some people may not feel the symptoms of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia until their levels are at 250 mg/dL or higher.
Blood Glucose Numbers Chart For Adults
|AGE||FASTING RANGE||BEFORE MEALS||1-2 HOURS AFTER MEAL RANGE||BEDTIME|
|20-Up||Less than 100 mg/dL||80-130 mg/dL||Less than 180 mg/dL||100-140 mg/dL|
Tips to Increase Time In Range (TIR)
- Watch your carbohydrate intake, especially with refined carbohydrates like white flour breads, pasta and sweets which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Include whole grains, and more non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans.
- This is commonly known, but sugar intake will always raise your readings. Eat sweets in small portions and use sugar substitutes when you can.
- Watch your weight! Weight can be an overall indicator of your body’s health so be sure to stay in the range recommended by your physician.
- Exercise daily. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Just 20 minutes a day of light aerobic activity has been proven to lower blood sugar and allows the body to absorb insulin more efficiently.
- Drink more water. When you don’t drink enough water, the glucose in your bloodstream becomes more concentrated. And that leads to higher blood sugar levels. Both mild and severe dehydration can have a notable impact on your diabetes.
How To Administer A Blood Glucose Test
There are different ways to check your blood sugar. The most common way to test is the old-fashioned way of poking your finger and then using a strip to test the blood in a blood glucose meter called a glucometer. It is important that you prick the side of your finger and not squeeze it to draw more blood. Instead, you can point your finger down and let the blood flow out.
Tools To Administer A Blood Glucose Test
This glucometer is one of the most modern and easy to use in the industry. The Accu-Chek comes equipped with a strip ejector as well as high visible lighting. This allows you to test in darker places and dispose of your strips easily. It is known for its accuracy and consistency when it comes to testing your blood glucose. Also, it features a smartphone app connecting your test results to your phone, so all of your previous tests and dates are stored right there on your phone, giving you the freedom to check on the go.
Wanting a glucometer that will help you properly manage your blood glucose? The OneTouch Verio Reflect is the first and only glucometer with a blood sugar mentor feature. This feature provides personalized insight for the patient as well as encouragement to deal with your blood glucose appropriately. It also comes with the ColorSure dynamic range indicator making it easy for people to interpret their results. The OneTouch Verio Reflect also connects to the OneTouch Reveal App, allowing you to store your results and data directly onto your smartphone.
The Nova Max Plus is one of the most convenient glucometers on the market. It is known for being quick, smart, and simple. It comes with great features such as fast testing time, small blood samples, no coding, low cost, and a large 400 test memory.
Not only that, but when the Nova Max System includes:
- Nova Max Plus Meter with the battery included
- 10 Nova Max glucose testing strips
- 10 Nova Max lancelets
- Day case
Advanced Diabetes Supply is Here to Help!
We know that keeping blood sugar in check can sound daunting at first. Just remember that the tips in this article are steps that you can take today to increase your time in range. If you have questions, you can always reach out to our on-staff Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. At Advanced Diabetes Supply we’re proud to offer all of the glucometers listed above, plus diabetes testing supplies and continuous glucose monitors. Contact us to get started today!