Blood Sugar Levels - Guidelines for Diabetes

Blood Glucose Goals - Desirable Blood Sugar Levels

Source: The American Diabetes Association's Complete Guide to Diabetes

Time of Test    Person without diabetes     Person with diabetes

Before meals           Less than 115 mg/dl                80 to 120 mg/dl 

Before bedtime        Less than 120 mg/dl               100 to 140 mg/dl

Your Blood Glucose Goals

Choosing blood glucose goals can be easy. You can simply follow guidelines supported by the American Diabetes Association (see table). However, these goals may not be easy for you to reach. Or they may not be appropriate for you because of a health problem. Your goals may be consistently higher. Why not see what your blood glucose levels are before and after meals and before bed and compare them to the goals in the table. Perhaps you can make small changes, a few at a time, to slowly lower your blood glucose levels.

Changes may include:
* how much food you eat
* the kinds of food you eat
* how much exercise you get
* how much insulin or medication you take.

Whether you have type 1 or type II diabetes or gestational diabetes, the goals of achieving control of blood glucose levels are similar: to keep blood glucose as close as possible to that of a person without diabetes. For many people with diabetes, getting normal blood glucose levels (like a person without diabetes) just isn't realistic or even desirable. For instance, if you are elderly and live alone, you may be more concerned with preventing severe low blood glucose than avoiding long-term complications. You and your health care team should decide together what goals are best for you.

Tips: Blood glucose goals for children are looser. For example, the target range may be 100 or 200 mg/dl. Most children under the age of 6 or 7 are not yet able to be aware of and respond to oncoming low blood glucose, and it's very important to limit episodes of low blood glucose. Tailor goals to the age and abilities of the child and be flexible with goals as the child grows.