Proper measurement of blood glucose levels plays a crucial role in diabetes management. With the overall number of diabetics on the rise, the importance of regular glucose monitoring is more critical than over. The good news is, people who take charge of their own glucose monitoring have been shown to have fewer complications and less hospital admissions.
It’s important to have some idea about your target glucose levels before and after meals. These target levels are generally determined by your health care professional. Healthy non-diabetic individuals generally have blood glucose levels in-between 70-120 mg/dl before a meal and less than 120 mg/dl 2 hours after a meal. Individuals who have diabetes should target the following levels:
Levels before meals (also known as fasting blood sugars) should range from 90-130 mg/dl or 5-7 mmol/l.
After meals the sugar levels generally go up. One should measure the levels 2 hrs after a meal and these levels should be less than 180 mg/dl or 10mmol/l.
Just before bedtime, the blood glucose levels should range from 110-160 mg/dl or 6-8 mmol/l.
Before exercise the levels of blood sugar should be above or close to 70 mg/dl but not more than 250 mg/dl. The high levels of glucose before an exercise can increase the chance of precipitating ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetics. The high levels of glucose also cause severe polyuria and polydipsia.
The target levels of blood sugars do vary depending on the situation. For those who are sick, pregnant or receiving drugs like corticosteroids, the target levels may be on the higher side. With age, the blood glucose levels tend to be on the higher side. It is highly recommended that all diabetics make an effort to keep their blood glucose within the target range. However, in many cases this can be difficult but one should always try and get as close to the target levels as possible.
There is a lot of evidence that diabetic individuals who maintain their blood glucose levels on the low side generally have fewer complications. Even when the complications do develop they are not as severe and can be more easily managed.