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Blood Sugar Levels After Eating

Jul 20, 2016

Blood sugar level simply means the concentration of a simple sugar (glucose) in certain amount of blood. In the United States, it is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per deciliter. Glucose concentration in the body fluctuates the whole day. Actually, there can be significant variations from minute to minute. Blood sugar levels after eating normally skyrocket and exercising will normally drop the levels. Doctors are interested in fasting glucose, glucose levels after eating, which is at times tested.

Blood Sugar Levels Before and After Eating

Blood sugar levels in our bodies will fluctuate depending on various conditions and circumstances. Here are the different levels:

1. Normal Blood Sugar Levels After Eating

According to the American Diabetics Association, normal blood sugar levels after meals should be 70 mg/dl –140mg/dl.This should be the reading 2 hours after a meal. If the levels are lower than 70mg/dl, it might mean that you have hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar is slightly higher than 140mg/dl, it does not necessarily mean that you have diabetes. However, you might need to have an oral glucose tolerance test later on to determine the severity of your elevated post-meal blood sugar.

2. Normal Levels of Fasting Blood Sugar

This blood sugar level is taken first thing when you wake up before your first meal. A normal level of fasting blood sugar lies from 70mg/dl to 92mg/dl. This is also the blood sugar level for a normal person who has not eaten for the past few hours.

3. Normal Blood Sugar Level for Type 1 Diabetics

American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugar targets should lie between the following:

Before eating your blood sugar should be:

  • Adults: 90-130mg/dl
  • 13-19 years old: 90-130mg/dl
  • 6-12 years old: 90-180mg/dl
  • 0-6 years old: 100-180mg/dl

After 1 to 2 hours after meals, your blood sugar should be:

  • Adults: less than 180mg/dl

When going to bed, your blood sugar should be:

  • Adults: 90-150mg/dl
  • 13-19 years old: 90-150mg/dl
  • 6-12 years old: 100-180mg/dl
  • 0-6 years old: 110-200mg/dl

4. Normal Blood Sugar Level for Type 2 Diabetics

American Diabetes Association recommends the following blood sugar targets for people with type 2 diabetes:

Before eating, you blood sugar should be:

  • Adults: 70-130mg/dl

After 1 to 2 hours after a meal, you blood sugar should be:

  • Adults: less than 180mg/dl

5. Normal Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy

Since the volume of blood increases when you are pregnant, your blood sugar will generally be lower than usual. For pregnant women, normal blood sugar levels after eating and before eating fall in the following ranges:

  • Fasting: 70.9 mg/dl, plus or minus 7.8 mg/dl
  • An hour after a meal: 108.9 mg/dl, plus or minus 12.9 mg/dl
  • Two hour after a meal: 99.3 mg/dl, plus or minus 10.2 mg/dl

For diabetic expectant mothers, the targets should be:

  • Fasting: 79 mg/dl
  • One hour after a meal: 122 mg/dl
  • Two hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl

Know how to test your blood sugar levels from the video below: 

How to Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels

1. Set a Desirable Goal

If you are aiming at an A1c level of 7% or less, which translates to an average blood sugar level of 154mg/dl, the doctor will give you an A1c test every 3 to 6 months. The goals you are aiming at and when you should test will depend on:

  • Existing health problems
  • Personal preference
  • Pregnant or not
  • Age
  • How long you have had diabetes
  • Medication you are on
  • If you have complications like neuropathy or retinopathy
  • If you have low blood sugar without warning symptoms

2. Monitor Regularly

Once you and your doctor determine your blood sugar targets, you should get tested on a regular basis. Monitoring is important, more so if you are taking insulin or medication that can result in hypoglycemia. In addition, it will help you compare your blood sugar levels after eating and before meals. This will give you a better understanding of your glucose patterns and how you can improve them.

  • A fasting blood glucose level should be taken first thing in the morning before drinking or eating anything.
  • You can also take another test right before going to bed.
  • For the other times, a test 1-2 hours after breakfast or before lunch should be able to give you a clear picture of your blood sugar levels, according to CDC. According to the American Diabetes Committee, a test immediately after eating will give your doctor good information in case your pre-meal blood sugar levels are fine but have not achieved your A1c goal.

3. Keep a Record

Testing and not keeping a record is a bad idea. Ensure your doctor or nurse has a record as well as yourself. This will be very helpful if you are experiencing problems managing your diabetes. You will also get to know what works and what does not when it comes to keeping your blood sugar in check. Do record:

  • Time of the day when tested
  • Blood sugar level
  • Amount of sugar or carbs you ate
  • Dose and type of diabetes drugs or insulin
  • Type of exercise you do and how long you do it
  • Unusual events like feeling stressed, being sick or eating different foods

Most glucose meters will allow you to store this information. Your doctor should set a target for your blood levels for different times of the day. If your blood sugar is higher than the set figure for 3 days and you do not know the reason, call your health care provider.

Know how to control you blood sugar with diet from the video blow: