Provided by
Yahoo! Contributor Network

Normal Glucose Levels

Health Search

Drug Search

Explore and compare medications

Maintaining normal glucose levels is essential to managing diabetes. While glucose is a necessary part of cell function, too much or too little of it can have an adverse effect on your body.

What is glucose?

Glucose is a type of sugar found in blood. Its primary function is to provide energy to our cells. We get glucose from eating foods like breads, fruit, and pasta that contain carbohydrates. During digestion, our bodies break down these carbohydrates into glucose, which then gets released into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the body regulates glucose levels with two pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon. When blood sugar levels rise, insulin is produced to help transport glucose to our cells. When blood sugar levels are low, glucagon is produced to stimulate the liver to break down glycogen into glucose, which gets released into the bloodstream.

Insulin Resistance Symptoms

How does glucose relate to diabetes?

Diabetics have problems with insulin production and/or sensitivity. In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is not producing enough insulin. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is usually producing insulin, but the body’s cells have become resistant to the amount being produced by the pancreas. That puts diabetics at risk for having excessively high glucose levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Signs of hyperglycemia include thirst, weakness, blurry vision. If glucose levels continue to rise without insulin treatment in type I diabetics, more serious consequences may include coma and even death.

Diabetics can also have troubles with excessively low glucose levels, which is known as hypoglycemia. This usually results from a combination of too much insulin, increased physical activity, and low carbohydrate intake (such as skipping a meal.) Hypoglycemia can occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics, but is more common in those with type 1.

Actos Side Effects

What are normal glucose levels?

Normal glucose levels for men and women without diabetes are between 70-110mg/dL after fasting for eight hours (preprandial) and under 200 mg/dL two hours after starting a meal (postprandial). Some experts put the postprandial levels at 180mg/dL, or even lower at 140mg/dL. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends non-pregnant adults with diabetes aim for a glucose level of 70-130mg/dL preprandial and under 180mg/dL postprandial.

The ADA does not specify normal glucose levels for pregnant women with diabetes. However, they advise these women to keep their blood sugar close to the same levels as for non-pregnant adults with diabetes throughout their pregnancy, to decrease the risks of birth defects in their babies.

As with many health care issues, the definition of what is considered normal can vary from person to person. Speak with your health care provider to determine what glucose levels are normal for you.

How to Lower Blood Sugar

Reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH

Follow Yahoo Health on and become a fan on

Follow @YahooHealth on