What is the range of blood sugar levels that I need to maintain?

The following ranges are guidelines provided by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE, UK) but each individual’s target range should be agreed by their doctor or diabetic consultant. Take extra precautions during pregnancy and special cases under expert physicians.

For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:

  • Normal blood glucose level in humans is about 4 mM (4 mmol/L or 72 mg/dL)
  • When operating normally the body restores blood sugar levels to a range of 4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L (82 to 110 mg/dL)
  • Shortly after a meal the blood glucose level may rise temporarily up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL)

For people with diabetes, blood sugar level targets are as follows:

  • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/L (72 to 126 mg/dL) for people with type 1 or type 2
  • After meals: under 9 mmol/L (162 mg/dL) for people with type 1 and 8.5 mmol/L (153 mg/dL) for people with type 2 diabetes

As is visible from the NICE targets, children with type 1 diabetes have a greater upper limit for their blood sugar levels by 1 mmol/L.

Conversion of Glucose Values from mg/dL to mmol/L

The measurement unit used for indicating the concentration of blood or plasma glucose can either have a weight dimension (mg/dl) or a molarity (mmol/l). The exact calculatation rule is given below; note that this conversion rule refers only to glucose:

mg/dL  X  0.0555 = mmol/L

mmol/L  X  18.0182 = mg/dL


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