What numbers should you be looking for in your blood sugar testing?
While individual goals will vary, there are some general guidelines that are suggested by diabetes professionals.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends the following general blood sugar testing goals for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- Preprandial (fasting, or before a meal) — <110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l)
- Two hours postprandial (after the start of a meal) — <140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l)
- A1C (three month blood sugar average) — 6.5% or lower
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests slightly different targets*:
- Preprandial — 70-130 mg/dl (3.9-7.2 mmol/l)
- Postprandial (1-2 hours) — <180 mg/dl (<10.0 mmol/l)
- A1C (three month blood sugar average) — 7.0% or lower
- eAG (estimated average glucose)** — 154 mg/dl equals 7% A1C, 126 mg/dl equals 6% A1C
* These goals are for non-pregnant adults who have no history of severe hypoglycemia. Less stringent goals may be needed for some people, such as those who regularly have severe low blood sugar episodes, older people, people with health problems, and children and adolescents.
** Estimated average glucose, or eAG, is a format your healthcare professional uses for providing your A1C result. The eAG result is reported in the same units as you use for blood sugar monitoring when your blood sugar is checked by the medical lab.
The American Diabetes Association recommends slightly higher A1C goals for young people:
- Less than 6 years old: Less than 8.5 but higher than 7.5%
- 6 – 12 years old: Less than 8%
- Adolescents (13-19): Less than 7.5%
Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, diabetes educator, consultant, and member of the CanAm Care advisory board; and Riva Greenberg, diabetes patient-expert, author, speaker, and Huffington Post columnist contributed to this article.
Reviewed by Susan Weiner, RD, MS, CDE, CDN (06/12)
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