Diabetes: Blood Sugar Levels

Topic Overview

Keeping your blood sugar in a target range reduces your risk of problems such as diabetic eye disease (retinopathy), kidney disease (nephropathy), and nerve disease (neuropathy).

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests the following A1c and blood glucose ranges as a general guide. Children, people who have severe complications from diabetes, and people who have trouble recognizing the symptoms of low blood sugar may need a different target range. Work with your doctor to set your own target blood sugar range. This will help you achieve the best control possible without having a high risk of hypoglycemia.1, 2

  • Adults (non-pregnant)
    • A1c: Less than 7.0%
    • Before meals: 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: Less than 180 mg/dL
  • Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who become pregnant
    • A1c: Less than 6.0%
    • Before meals, bedtime, and overnight: 60 to 99 mg/dL
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: 100 to 129 mg/dL or lower
  • Women who have gestational diabetes
    • Before meals: 95 mg/dL or less
    • 1 to 2 hours after meals: 120 to 140 mg/dL or lower
  • Adolescents and young adults (13 to 19 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 7.5%
    • Before meals: 90 to 130 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 90 to 150 mg/dL
  • School-age children (6 to 12 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 8.0%
    • Before meals: 90 to 180 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 100 to 180 mg/dL
  • Toddlers and preschoolers (under 6 years old)
    • A1c: Less than 8.5%
    • Before meals: 100 to 180 mg/dL
    • Bedtime and overnight: 110 to 200 mg/dL

References

Citations

  1. American Diabetes Association (2013). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2013. Diabetes Care, 36(Suppl 1): S11'S66.
  2. Inzucchi SE, et al. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: A patient-centered approach. Diabetes Care, 35(6): 1364'1379.

Other Works Consulted

  • Inzucchi SE, et al. (2012). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes: A patient-centered approach. Diabetes Care, 35(6): 1364'1379.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen LaFranchi, MD - Pediatrics, Pediatric Endocrinology
Last Revised August 1, 2012

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