The level of blood glucose varies for adults and children, differ slightly, so understanding the range of blood glucose levels can be a key part of diabetes self-management.
In this article you will find ranges of “normal” levels of blood sugar, and blood sugar levels for adults and children with type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes and blood sugar level to determine to people with diabetes.
If a person with diabetes has a meter, test strips and to be tested, it is important to know what the blood glucose level means.
The recommended blood glucose levels have a degree of interpretation for each individual and this should be discussed with a doctor.
In addition, women should establish baseline blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
The following guidance ranges were provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), but the target range of each individual must be agreed upon by your doctor or diabetic consultant.
Recommended NICE reference blood glucose levels are listed below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition, the target intervals of the International Diabetes Federation for people without diabetes is indicated.
Note: An individual goal set by your medical team is what you should aim for.
The table provides a general guide
|Target Levels||Upon waking||Before meals||At least 90 minutes after meals|
|by Type||(pre prandial)||(post prandial)|
|Non-diabetic*||4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L||under 7.8 mmol/L|
|Type 2 diabetes||4 to 7 mmol/L||under 8.5 mmol/L|
|Type 1 diabetes||5 to 7 mmol/L||4 to 7 mmol/L||5 to 9 mmol/L|
|Children w/ type 1 diabetes||4 to 7 mmol/L||4 to 7 mmol/L||5 to 9 mmol/L|
Normal and diabetic blood sugar levels
For most healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 6.0 mmol / L (72 to 108 mg / dL) during fasting.
- Up to 7.8 mmol / L (140 mg / dL) 2 hours after eating.
For people with diabetes, the goals of blood sugar level are as follows:
- Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol / L for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- After meals: less than 9 mmol / L for people with type 1 diabetes and under 8.5 mmol / L for people with type 2 diabetes.
Blood sugar levels before diagnosis of diabetes
The following table establishes the criteria for the diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes.
Blood sugar levels in the diagnosis of diabetes
|Plasma glucose test||Normal||Prediabetes||Diabetes|
|Random||Below 11.1 mmol/l||N/A||11.1 mmol/l or more|
|Below 200 mg/dl||200 mg/dl or more|
|Fasting||Below 6.1 mmol/l||6.1 to 6.9 mmol/l||7.0 mmol/l or more|
|Below 108 mg/dl||108 to 125 mg/dl||126 mg/dl or more|
|2 hour post-prandial||Below 7.8 mmol/l||7.8 to 11.0 mmol/l||11.1 mmol/l or more|
|Below 140 mg/dl||140 to 199 mg/dl||200 mg/dl or more|
A blood sample for a random plasma glucose test can be taken at any time. This does not require as much planning and is therefore used in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when time is of the essence.
Fasting plasma glucose test
A fasting plasma glucose test is taken after at least eight hours of fasting and, therefore, is usually taken in the morning.
The NICE guidelines consider that the result of fasting plasma glucose of 5.5 mmol / l, such as putting someone at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially when accompanied by other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Oral glucose tolerance test (PTOG)
An oral glucose tolerance test consists of taking a first sample of a blood sample on an empty stomach and after drinking a beverage containing 75 g. of glucose.
After drinking this drink you need to stay at rest until a blood sample is taken after more than 2 hours.
HbA1c test for the diagnosis of diabetes
An HbA1c test does not directly measure the level of glucose in the blood, however, the test result is influenced by the increase or decrease in your blood glucose levels that have tended over a period of 2 to 3 months .
Indications for diabetes or prediabetes are given under the following conditions:
- Normal: Then 42 mmol / mol (6.0%).
- Prediabetes: 42 to 47 mmol / mol (6.0 to 6.4%).
- Diabetes: 48 mmol / mol (6.5% or more).