Goals of Treatment

middle aged couple

Blood sugar control means knowing a few important numbers.

The ADA recommends that your glucose levels be:

Before Meal 70–130 mg/dl
After Meal < 180 mg/dl

Goals Of Diabetes Treatment

  • To keep the blood sugar as normal as possible without serious high or low blood sugars
  • To prevent tissue damage caused by too much sugar in the blood stream

Normal ranges for blood sugar

People who don’t have diabetes keep their blood sugars between 60 – 100 mg/dl overnight and before meals, and less than 140 mg/dl after meals. Although the ultimate goal of diabetes management is to return the blood sugar to the natural or non-diabetic level, this may be difficult without excessive low blood sugars or hypoglycemia.

What are the blood sugar (glucose) targets for diabetes?

The ultimate treatment goal for Type 1 diabetes is to re-create normal (non-diabetic) or NEARLY normal blood sugar levels – without causing low blood sugars.

Good blood sugar control requires that you know and understand a few general numbers. The numbers measure how much glucose is in your blood at certain times of the day and represent what the American Diabetic Association believes are the best ranges to prevent complications.

American Diabetes Association Recommendations

A1c*< 7.0%
Before Meal Glucose Level70-130 mg/dl
After Meal Glucose Level< 180 mg/dl

*Hemoglobin (A1c) is a measure of your average blood glucose control over the previous 3 months. Think of the A1c as a long-term blood glucose measure that changes very gradually.

Normal or Non-Diabetic Plasma Glucose Levels

American Diabetes Association Target Plasma Glucose Recommendations Graph

Of course, these are general standards for everyone with diabetes – both type 1 as well as type 2. Ask your diabetes team for personalized goals and blood sugar (blood glucose) monitoring schedules.

For example:

When you have type 1 diabetes you are treated with insulin replacement therapy. The goal is to replace the insulin in the right amount and at the right time.  Sometimes, more insulin than needed is taken and this will cause hypoglycemia.

To minimize this risk, many providers will recommend that individuals treated with insulin target a pre-meal blood sugar (plasma glucose) of 90-130 mg/dl and post meal blood sugar (plasma glucose) of less than 180 mg/dl.

Also, if you are experiencing a lot of hypoglycemia or have hypoglycemic unawareness your provider may suggest you target higher blood sugar levels.

In contrast, pregnant women or women thinking about getting pregnant will have lower blood glucose targets.

Self-assessment Quiz

Self assessment quizzes are available for topics covered in this website. To find out how much you have learned about  Monitoring Your Diabetes, take our self assessment quiz when you have completed this section.  The quiz is multiple choice. Please choose the single best answer to each question. At the end of the quiz, your score will display. If your score is over 70% correct, you are doing very well. If your score is less than 70%, you can return to this section and review the information.

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