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Normal Sugar Levels

Maintaining normal sugar levels in the body is essential for optimum health. Sugar plays a vital role in the metabolic reaction of cells by supplying the required energy. The level normally fluctuates several times a day under certain conditions. However, when a person’s sugar level has gone beyond the normal range for a prolonged period, doctor’s consultation is often recommended to discover the underlying cause.

The sugar level is determined through a blood glucose test. This test can be done in several ways, depending on the time the blood sample was collected. The blood glucose test measures the sugar level in the blood and helps determine the underlying cause of the abnormal sugar level and come up with the right treatment plan.

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What is the role of sugar in the body?

Sugar fuels the metabolic reactions of human cells as it is their main energy source. When normal sugar levels decline, some psychological processes are impaired. On the other hand, a rise in the sugar level puts one at risk of developing serious medical problems. When there is excess sugar in the bloodstream which cannot be used by the body right away, it is stored in the liver as glycogen or fat in fatty tissues.

Why is it vital to have normal sugar levels?

The entire body greatly benefits from having normal sugar levels. This is because the body has enough fuel to operate basic bodily functions. Keeping the sugar level in check prevents the development of major health problems. The amount of sugar in the blood may either go up or down, depending on the health status of the individual.

How is the sugar level measured ?

There are various ways to measure whether a person has normal sugar levels or not, and these depend on the timing of the test.

  • Random blood sugar test

This type of test can be done anytime of the day.

  • Fasting blood sugar test

As the name implies, this test is done following the required 8-hour fast.

  • Postprandial blood sugar test

This particular test is done 2 hours after mealtime.

Aside from these, there is another kind of sugar level test conducted among pregnant women to diagnose gestational diabetes.  This is known as oral glucose tolerance test.

What are the normal blood sugar levels?

The sugar level naturally fluctuatesthroughout the day.  It is often very low in the morning and rises two hours after mealtime. The normal range of sugar in the body differs with the age and time when the blood sample was taken.

  • Normal range of sugar level for children –70 mg/dL to 100 mg/dL
  • Normal range of sugar level for adults –70 mg/dL to 150 mg/dL
  • Normal range of sugar level 2 hours after mealtime –70 mg/dL to 140 mg/dL

Any deviation from these values could indicate a medical problem such as diabetes. The physician may conduct repetitive blood sugar tests to confirm this.

What do abnormal sugar levels mean?

Abnormal sugar levels could either be lesser or greater than the normal range for sugar.

  • Low sugar level

This condition is referred to as hypoglycemia which occurs as a result of the overproduction of insulin in the body.

  • High sugar level

Known as hyperglycemia, this is a result of the insufficient production of insulin in the body.

What causes the sugar level to become abnormal?

Normal sugar levels decrease due to the following conditions:

  • Overabundance of insulin
  • Skipping meals
  • Insufficient food during mealtime or snack time
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Liver or renal failure
  • Severe infection
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications

Normal sugar levels increasefor the following reasons:

  • Stress, infection or illness
  • Certain medications
  • High intake of carbohydrates
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Insufficient insulin

How will you know that a person has abnormal sugar levels?

Different people will show differing signs and symptoms of abnormal sugar levels. Those who have low sugar levels will manifest severe body weakness along with shakiness and dizziness. On the other hand, those with increased sugar levels will have suppressed appetite, tiredness, increased water intake and frequent urination.

People with abnormal sugar levels should remember three things that will help them regain normal sugar levels faster.

  • Nutritious diet

A healthy and balanced diet is the safest way to get the sugar level back to normal. Fast foods and carbonated drinks must be avoided because they contain high amounts of sugar. Instead, eat fresh and healthy foods like oats, wheat flakes, fresh fruits and vegetables that contain complex carbohydrates which are good for the body.

  • Regular exercise

This helps in blood circulation and prevents one from developing blood sugar problems.

  • Avoid stress

This reduces the chances of resorting to smoking and alcohol consumption which are contributors to having high sugar levels.

Normal sugar levels are essential for keeping a healthy mind and body. With nutritious and balanced diet, regular exercise and proper stress management, abnormal sugar levels can be avoided.

Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart

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