It cannot be overstated how important the numbers on your glucose monitoring screen are. These numbers represent your current state of diabetes so you can understand the short-term and long-term impact of your condition. The possibility of controlling your blood sugar, avoiding diabetic complication and reducing medication all hinge on the numbers from your glucometer.
Getting to Know Your Blood Sugar Units
When we talk of blood sugar numbers, these are the numbers that appear after checking your glucose levels. There are two different units that measure blood sugar levels. One, the mmol/L (read as Millimoles per liter) measures the number of sugar molecules within a drop of blood. For people without diabetes, the normal range is 4 to 6 mmol/L.
The second one is the mg/dL (read as Milligrams per 100 milliliters). This measures the glucose by the value of its weight in a drop of blood. For people without diabetes, the normal range is 70 to 99 mg/dL.
Crunching the Numbers
Depending on the time of your glucose test, the normal range also varies. There are two recommended times to check blood glucose—that’s fasting early in the morning, just before breakfast, and postprandial, about two hours after a meal.
This chart shows the normal blood glucose range for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes:
|Pre-Diabetes||100 – 125 mg/dL||140 – 199 mg/dL|
|6.1 – 6.9 mmol/L||7.8 – 11.0 mmol/L|
|Diabetes||Greater than 126 mg/dL||Greater than 200 mg/dL|
|Greater than 7 mmol/L||Greater than 11.1 mmol/L|
Why are These Numbers Important?
As a diabetic, it’s important to know your daily glucose levels so you can take action if your blood sugar is out of range. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause long-term and short-term negative side effects. Here are some common causes for out of range glucose readings and how to manage.
- If your blood glucose levels are consistently high, even with medication, you are hyperglycemic. You need to contact your Care Team Member. It may be time to change your diabetes treatment plan, including your diet. An unbalanced diet is one of the leading causes of high glucose levels. A consistently high glucose level can lead to serious health issues like kidney failure, eye problems or nerve damage in your legs and feet.
- If your numbers show a low blood glucose, you are hypoglycemic and need to eat a fast-acting carb to raise your blood sugar to a normal range. If it remains low, contact your Care Team Member to discuss your medication and diet. Low blood glucose causes dizziness, fatigue and if left untreated, it can cause heart and kidney problems.
Glucose monitoring may seem redundant and eventually lose its importance, but keep in mind this process is the gateway for overcoming your diabetes and avoiding the negative side effects of diabetes in your body.