Blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the foods you eat and is your body’s main source of energy. When you check your blood sugar levels, you’re measuring the amount of glucose in your blood. Knowing if you have low or high blood sugar levels is important because it could indicate that you have an underlying health condition such as diabetes.
The goods news is diabetes can be effectively managed if it’s caught early. However, if diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to devastating complications like nerve damage, heart disease, and kidney damage. In this article, we explore what is considered normal blood sugar levels based on age. We’ll also review what is considered normal for healthy individuals versus individuals with diabetes.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Healthy People
So what is considered a normal blood sugar level? The ideal blood sugar level for adults after fasting (who haven’t eaten in the last eight hours) is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This applies to anyone without diabetes or prediabetes.
During an oral glucose tolerance test, you fast overnight then your fasting blood sugar is measured in the morning. “Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours,” reports the Mayo Clinic. Normal blood sugar levels are anything under 140 mg/dL. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes. If the reading shows levels between 140 and 199 mg/dL, this indicates prediabetes.
Keep in mind, many different factors can affect your blood sugar levels throughout the day. Some of these include food, medications, age, stress, dehydration, illness, and so much more. Next, we’ll explore blood sugar charts by age for individuals with diabetes.