Diabetes: Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes: Blood Sugar Levels

Topic Overview

Keeping your blood sugar in a target range reduces your risk of problems such as diabetic eye disease ( retinopathy ), kidney disease ( nephropathy ), and nerve disease ( neuropathy ).

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggest the following A1c and blood glucose ranges as a general guide. 1 , 2 , 3

  • Children of any age with type 2 diabetes and most adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (non-pregnant)
    • A1c: Less than 7.0%
    • Before meals: 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: Less than 180 mg/dL
  • Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who become pregnant
    • A1c: Less than 6.0%
    • Before meals, bedtime, and overnight: 60 to 99 mg/dL
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: 100 to 129 mg/dL or lower
  • Women who have gestational diabetes
    • Before meals: 95 mg/dL or less
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: 120 to 140 mg/dL or lower
  • Adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes (13 to 19 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 7.5%
    • Before meals: 90 to 130 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 90 to 150 mg/dL
  • School-age children with type 1 diabetes (6 to 12 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 8.0%
    • Before meals: 90 to 180 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 100 to 180 mg/dL
  • Toddlers and preschoolers with type 1 diabetes (under 6 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 8.5%
    • Before meals: 100 to 180 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 110 to 200 mg/dL

Some people can work toward lower numbers, and some people may need higher goals.

For example, some children and adolescents with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, people who have severe complications from diabetes, people who may not live much longer, or people who have trouble recognizing the symptoms of low blood sugar may have a higher target range.

And some people, such as those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes or who don't have any complications from diabetes, may do better with a lower target range.

Work with your doctor to set your own target blood sugar range. This will help you achieve the best control possible without having a high risk of hypoglycemia.

References

Citations

  1. American Diabetes Association (2013). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2013. Diabetes Care, 36(Suppl 1): S11–S66.
  2. Inzucchi SE, et al. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: A patient-centered approach. Diabetes Care, 35(6): 1364–1379.
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics (2013). Clinical Practice Guideline: Management of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in children and adolescents. Pediatrics, 131(2): 364–382. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/2/364.full.html.

Other Works Consulted

  • Inzucchi SE, et al. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: A patient-centered approach. Diabetes Care, 35(6): 1364–1379.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last RevisedJune 24, 2013

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