Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetics

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Blood glucose levels in diabetics should be between 80 and 120 in the morning and less than 140 or 180 two hours after a meal depending on other health issues. Control blood glucose levels as a diabetic with help from a doctor and information from a licensed dietitian in this free video on diabetes.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Supplements
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness and I'm going to talk to you about what are blood glucose levels in diabetics. A person is diagnosed with diabetes in a variety of methods. The most common method is to use a fasting blood glucose test. In that test if a person had a blood glucose level of 126 or higher they are diagnosed with diabetes. Typically a lab or a doctor will ask for that test to be run at least twice on two completely separate occasions, not on the same day. It would have to be two completely different days and the reason why are there are a variety of things that can temporarily cause your blood glucose to be elevated, if you are sick, if you have an infection, if you have a very large physical trauma to your body such as a car accident, those types of things can temporarily elevate your glucose so again your doctor will want to check you again on a completely separate occasion. If it happens twice or more than twice then he knows that likely you do have diabetes. Another test that can be done is called a random glucose test and if something is diabetic, that random number, if it is 200 or higher then they can be diagnosed with diabetes and in someone who does not have diabetes their blood glucose level will almost never get above 140 no matter what they have eaten, whether they have just eaten or it's been two hours, three hours, if they have just had a piece of candy or if they had a piece of cake. Again if their pancreas is working properly and the liver is functioning properly their blood glucose will never get above 140 whereas somebody who has diabetes it will hit 200 or higher. So typically in controlling your blood glucose your doctor will give you different goals depending on what organization you are looking at. A typical goal for a fasting glucose level in the morning would be anywhere in the range of 80 to 120. Some guidelines will say 70 to 130. Two hours after a meal some guidelines will say less than 140 and other guidelines will say less than 180. The reason for the variation in guidelines is dependent on other health conditions. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol the doctor may want you to have stricter glucose control, blood glucose control whereas if you don't have those conditions you may have a little more flexibility. Part of the reason why they don't recommend you getting all the way back down to normal is that you are at risk for treating your diabetes with too much medication and therefore suffering low blood sugar reactions which are not good either. In general blood glucose below 70 is considered low. So those are the blood glucose numbers for someone with diabetes.


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