What Is Normal Nonfasting Glucose?

When an individual has diabetes, blood glucose levels can rise higher than normal or decrease lower than normal.

If a person has type 1 diabetes they don’t properly produce insulin. When a person has type 2 diabetes it means they don’t respond properly to insulin. This is an issue because insulin is the hormone that moves blood glucose into the body’s cells. This is needed for energy and health.

woman checking glucose levels

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What Is Blood Glucose?

Blood glucose comes from food. When an individual eats, the food is broken down into sugar and sent to the blood. The insulin is what helps the sugar go into the cells. Once this happens, the sugar that has moved from the blood into the cells is used for energy or is stored.

Glucose is known as the body’s main energy source. Too much glucose in the blood, or if it is not absorbed properly, can create health issues both long and short term. To keep a healthy blood sugar level, it is important to:

  • Eat healthily
  • Regularly exercise
  • Check blood glucose levels
  • Keep in contact with your healthcare provider

It is important to keep in contact with a healthcare professional, eat properly, check your blood glucose, and exercise regularly to keep a healthy blood sugar level. 

Fasting vs. Nonfasting Blood Sugar

Fasting blood sugar is a test that measures blood sugar and is used to determine if an individual has diabetes. When a person takes this test, they are not to eat or drink for at least eight hours prior to the test. The results determine whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic.

The results are measured in milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL. The following results indicate whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic:

  • Normal: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • Prediabetes: 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
  • Diabetes: 126 mg/dL or higher

To test nonfasting blood sugar, an A1C test is administered to determine the average blood sugar level of an individual over a period of two to three months. There is no need to fast prior to taking this test. The following results indicate whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic:

  • Normal: 5.7%
  • Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4 %
  • Diabetes: 6.5%

Normal Blood Sugar Levels

It is important to work with your healthcare provider to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The following is a list of healthy blood sugar levels.

If an individual has type 1 diabetes the blood sugar should be the following:

  • Before meals: From 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults
  • After meals (1 to 2 hours after eating): Less than 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) for adults
  • At bedtime: From 90 to 150 mg/dL (5.0 to 8.3 mmol/L) for adults

If an individual has type 2 diabetes, levels should be the following:

  • Before meals: From 70 to 130 mg/dL (3.9 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults
  • After meals (1 to 2 hours after eating): Less than 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L) for adults

Blood Sugar Levels for Children and Babies

Normal blood glucose levels for children include:

  • 0 to 5 years old: 100 to 180 mg/dL
  • 6 to 9 years old: 80 to 140 mg/dL
  • 10 years old or more: 70 to 120 mg/dL

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a glucose level below 70 mg/dL. If the body doesn’t have enough glucose this can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fast breathing
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Feeling anxious or weak

If a person has diabetes, hypoglycemia can sometimes be a side effect of diabetes medication.

If a person has hypoglycemia and the glucose is too low, it could result in a diabetic coma. If the person is unconscious it is important to call 911 immediately. Anyone with diabetes should always stay in contact with their healthcare professional regarding any questions or concerns.

When to Seek Emergency Help

If the blood sugar falls below 70 mg/dL or you are feeling symptoms of tiredness or dizziness, call 911.

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is high blood sugar. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough insulin and there is too much sugar in the blood. 

Some of the symptoms of hyperglycemia include:

  • High blood sugar
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger and/or thirst

If hyperglycemia is not treated properly this can lead to both health issues in the long term and short term. If the blood sugar is too high and left untreated, a patient could experience a diabetic coma.

Overall hyperglycemia can be maintained and/or prevented by:

  • Eating right
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Taking medication as prescribed
  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol

It is important to work with your healthcare provider to get the best outcome regarding this condition.

Ketoacidosis

If an individual has type 1 diabetes and their hyperglycemia is left untreated, it has a possibility of developing into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is where toxic acids or ketones will build up in the blood. This is an extremely serious condition that can cause a coma or death.

A Word From Verywell

Diabetes can create a lot of health complications if it is not managed properly. Checking blood sugar on a regular basis is essential. If diabetes goes untreated, it can result in dangerous consequences.

It is important to keep in contact with your healthcare provider and follow your plan regarding your health, medications, and lifestyle habits.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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