What Is a Blood Sugar Chart?
A blood sugar chart is a graphic tool for diabetics that represents the target blood sugar levels that they must maintain. It compares the blood sugar levels of people without diabetes with those who have diabetes.
The way that the chart is set up is that a time frame that is based upon when you check your blood glucose level is given. The appropriate blood sugar level for that time of check is then given.
On a typical chart, the time is given based upon when food is consumed. The following times are given:
Fasting (before breakfast)
Two hours after a meal
Also, an A1C level is given. The hemoglobin A1C is a measure of average blood glucose levels over the prior three months.
The information on a blood sugar chart is necessary for diabetics to know. They must know this information to establish targets for where their blood sugar must fall.
What Is Blood Sugar?
Your blood sugar level measures the amount of glucose that is present in your bloodstream. The way that you measure your blood glucose is with a meter called a glucometer.
The basic problem with diabetics is that excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream because there is not enough insulin to unlock the body’s cells to absorb the glucose. There are long-term health problems that develop from having an excess amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
A person with type 1 diabetes does not produce any insulin at all in their pancreas. Any insulin that they have is provided by injection. A person with type 2 diabetes either doesn’t produce enough insulin for their body’s needs or else has a resistance to the insulin that their body produces.
A diabetic uses oral medications or insulin or a combination of both to regulate their insulin levels. It is only by using this artificial means that they can remain healthy. If blood sugar levels remain too high for too long a period of time, then complications result.
How to Read a Blood Sugar Chart
Blood sugar levels are listed on the blood sugar chart in terms of volume. This measure of volume is listed as how many milligrams of glucose there is per deciliter of blood.
The first listing of blood sugar level is for when you are fasting in the morning. The blood sugar level for people without diabetes in the morning is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter. The target for someone with the condition is between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter.
The next value for blood sugar level listed on the chart is for before meals during the day. The blood sugar level for someone without diabetes is less than 110 milligrams per deciliter. For the diabetic, the range that is given is between 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter.
The next value that is given on the chart is for a blood sugar level that is taken two hours after a meal. For the non-diabetic, the appropriate level is less than 140 milligrams per deciliter. For the diabetic, the proper level is below 180 milligrams per deciliter.
The final value that is given on the chart for the day is for blood sugar levels taken at bedtime. For the non-diabetic, the appropriate level is less than 120 milligrams per deciliter. For the diabetic, the level is somewhere in the range of 90 to 150 milligrams per deciliter.
The A1C level that is given for a non-diabetic is less than 5.7 percent. The A1C level that is given for the diabetic is less than seven percent.
Typically speaking, blood glucose levels are taken at home with a meter called a glucometer. A1C levels are taken by the doctor through a blood test. Monitoring with a glucometer only requires blood that is taken through a finger prick.
Diabetics adjust the amount of insulin that they need to take depending upon the results of their blood glucose tests. Also, diet and exercise are adjusted based upon the results of the tests.
Your blood sugar is affected by the amount of carbohydrate that you consume. If your blood sugar is too high, then you can decrease your blood sugar by cutting down on carbohydrate intake.
Other ways of taking down your blood sugar level include:
– Increasing water intake to maintain hydration and dilute the excess blood sugar
– Increasing physical activity to burn excess blood sugar
– Increasing fiber intake
If you find that your blood sugar levels are generally too high, then it is a wise idea to consult with a dietician to figure out the optimal diet that you should be on.
Blood sugar levels that are excessively high or extremely low can be an urgent medical condition. Blood sugar levels that are too low are called hypoglycemia and blood sugar levels that are too high are called hyperglycemia.