Factors that influence blood sugar and recommended targets
There are several factors that can impact blood sugar levels and need to be monitored carefully. The levels included here are the normal range that is considered healthy. However, you should talk to your doctor for advice on more specific targets that should be maintained.
Blood sugar levels
This is the number one focus for all diabetics! Keeping blood sugar levels within the normal range at all times is crucial for good health.
Fasting levels: Taken early morning before a meal, the fasting blood test reveal the effectiveness of medicines in controlling sugar at night. The healthy range is 80-110 mg/dl while a level between 111-125 mg/dl is considered borderline. However, anything over 125 is not healthy and needs correction.
Post meal:This test is done 2 hours after eating to judge how blood sugar levels react to the food being consumed. A target between 120-140 mg/dl is considered healthy with levels below 200 considered fair in some cases. Anything over 200 is a cause for concern and may require changes in the diet plan or medication.
HbA1c test: This is the most trusted vale for diabetics. Also known as Glycated haemoglobin, this level indicates the blood sugar levels over a span of three months. It is considered to be most reliable as it accounts for unexpected fluctuations in glucose levels. In healthy people, HbA1c level is less than 6%. Studies suggest that complication can be prevented or delayed if Hb1c levels are maintained below 7 %
HbA1c level of 8 % or above indicates that better control of blood sugar level is required.
Blood pressure levels should ideally be 130/80 mm/Hg. Elevated levels at 140/90 is considered borderline high, with anything higher than that requiring food and lifestyle changes.
Measuring the levels of good and bad cholesterol levels for diabetes is essential as they not only impact blood sugar levels but can also warn of serious illnesses. Heart problems, hypertension, liver damage etc. can be diagnosed early by monitoring these levels. The ideal values should be:
HDL-cholesterol (Good cholesterol): This number should be higher than 60mg/dl for healthy heart function and not lower than 40 mg/dl at any time.
LDL-cholesterol (Bad cholesterol): Ideally, LDL levels should not exceed 100 mg/dl. However, in otherwise healthy adults a value up to 129 is also accepted. A value of 130 or more outs one at increased risk for chronic ailments.
Total cholesterol: A good judge of overall cholesterol health, total cholesterol values should of under 200mg/dl is considered ideal.
Triglycerides: This level should be maintained at under 150mg/dl while some doctors may accept a value up to 200, anything higher than that is a concern.
Body Mass Index
Obesity is a leading cause for diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight can help one keep their sugar levels in control. While a weighing scale gives you an idea if you are overweight, Body mass Index (BMI) is preferred as it accounts for total body fat. A BMI value of 20-23 is considered best though up to 25 is accepted, higher than 25 puts one at an increased risk for chronic ailments such as heart disease, hypertension etc.
Waist Hip Ratio
Did you know that your body shape can also have a bearing on diabetes? People with higher fat concentrated around their waist (apple shaped bodies) are said to be more at risk for diabetes and other chronic ailments as compared to people with more fat concentrated around their hips (pear shaped).
So we see there are several factors that can have an impact in keeping diabetes under control. Talk to your doctor and find out what your targets are so that you can focus on achieving them.