Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the main sugar in our blood. Glucose enters our blood stream after we eat carbohydrates. Glucose gives us energy throughout our day and helps us with physical activity. It also provides nutrients for our organs and muscles. Healthy carbohydrates, such as grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, are very important to a healthy diet. However, for some people, too much glucose can be harmful to their bodies.
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body turns food into energy. There is type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). When your blood sugar increases, your pancreas creates insulin. However, with diabetes, your pancreas can either not make enough insulin or your body can’t use the insulin. Therefore, it’s important to manage your blood sugar levels.
What is normal blood sugar levels for a person with diabetes?
- Fasting normal blood sugar: The American Diabetes Association recommends 80–130 milligrams per deciliter, which is a measurement that indicates the amount of glucose in the blood.
- Normal blood sugar two hours after meals: The American Diabetes Association recommends less than 180 milligrams per deciliter
- HbA1c (the amount of blood sugar attached to a hemoglobin): The American Diabetes Association recommends less than 7.0%
What is normal blood sugar levels for a person without diabetes?
- Fasting normal blood sugar: 70–99 milligrams per deciliter
- Normal blood sugar 2 hours after meals: Less than 140 milligrams per deciliter
- HbA1c (the amount of blood sugar attached to a hemoglobin): Less than 5.7%
Why is it bad to have high blood sugar levels?
When your blood sugar is too high, your pancreas works hard to create insulin for your body. When your insulin levels are too high, this can cause permanent damage to your pancreas. The other health problems include vision loss, heart disease and kidney disease. It’s important to talk to your physician about your blood sugar levels and how to manage it.
What causes low blood sugar?
Hypoglycemia is a condition when blood sugar levels are low. Hypoglycemia can be caused by over exercising, alcohol consumption, skipping meals and diabetes. The symptoms include:
- Fast heartbeat
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your physician. They can prescribe medication and discuss healthy lifestyle changes.