How is a person’s blood glucose level measured?
Blood glucose levels are measured with four major tests, including the fasting plasma blood glucose, random plasma blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) tests. The first three tests measure a person’s blood glucose in terms of milligrams per deciliter (seen as mg/dl or mg/dL), whereas the HbA1c (or A1c) test is measured in percentages.
What are considered to be “normal” blood glucose levels?
Although everyone’s blood glucose levels change during the day, when a person’s blood glucose levels are measured, there are some standards advocated by health care professionals. The following chart shows the target ranges most health care professionals use to make a diagnosis of diabetes or no diabetes—based on four types of tests (for more details about these tests, see the chapter “Taking Charge of Diabetes”).
What are considered general blood glucose level targets for a person with diabetes?
Although there are exceptions to every rule, the following lists the general blood glucose level targets for a person who has diabetes (note: these numbers may not apply to all people with diabetes):
- Fasting or before-meal glucose level—90 to 130 mg/dl
- After-meal glucose (or two hours after the start of the meal) level—greater than (>) 180 mg/dl
- Bedtime glucose—100 to 140 mg/dl
Have standard levels for blood glucose levels changed over the years?
A main goal for a person with or without diabetes is to maintain certain blood glucose levels that sustain his or her health. And over the past two decades, the numbers that indicate “normal,” “prediabetes,” and “diabetes” have changed, mainly because of advancements in medical research and technology.