Understanding your blood sugar on the blood glucose level chart is straightforward. The value has somewhat different implications depending on when you or your doctor tested your blood sample. For instance, was it taken while fasting (first thing in the morning before eating) or after eating a meal or a period of hours after drinking a standard glucose tolerance test drink?
If the test is done while fasting, it tells you if your pancreas can get your level back into a normal range, which should be a value of 99 mg/dL or below. Of course a good blood glucose level falls within a range rather than a single value. A too-low level is not safe for you either - so when the value dips into a range of 60-70 or below, your brain may not be able to work properly.
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Think about your ideal blood sugar levels in a Goldilocks way. In the children's fairy tale, the little girl Goldilocks tries out various items in the bears' home, finding that one was too much, one was too little, but one was just right.
Your doctor may tell you that you are prediabetic if your fasting blood level falls in the range of 100-125 mg/dL. Over 126 mg/dL for fasting values meets a definition of diabetes. But there is more to the story. In diabetes, your body cannot handle glucose loads from eating or drinking foods with a lot of carbohydrates or sugars in them.
Therefore, another thing to consider is your body's ability to handle the glucose in the blood (which you need in just the right amounts) that eating can add as a load on your cells' ability to take up and utilize glucose for normal metabolism.
Let's say that your doctor sent you to the lab for a glucose tolerance test. They might check your blood glucose fasting, just before they ask you to drink a standard beverage containing a load of glucose in it. Then they check the rise and peak levels that your levels reach at a set period of time after the beverage, e.g., 2 hours later. In that scenario, the highest that a healthy, non-diabetic person's blood sugar level will go after 2 hours is 139 mg/dL.
Any value 140-199 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetic functioning, and a 2-hour value 200 or above will likely lead to a diabetes diagnosis. If either of these lab results happen to you, it is time to get more serious about using a healthy form of a low carb diet to avoid overloading your system with glucose from carbs that it cannot process properly.
Just a final comment on the meaning of different blood glucose values in different situations - for women concerned about gestational diabetes, the acceptable upper limits of "normal" during a glucose tolerance test are a little lower than for non-pregnant persons.
That is in part because of the health risks to baby and mother if the mother has diabetic glucose levels are significant. It is especially important for a pregnant woman who has blood sugar issues to keep tight control of her blood sugar. Also, if a woman develops gestational diabetes, it will likely go away after giving birth, but it means that she is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on.
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