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 or pre-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 ADA (American Diabetes Association) Guidelines for blood glucose control are:
|Before Meal Glucose Level||70-130 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.
The ADA recommendations are general guidelines and may be modified according to individual situations. Discuss with your medical provider what treatment goals are best for you. For example, if you are not taking any medications or your diabetes treatment doesn’t increase the risk of low blood sugars your provider may recommend that you keep your blood sugar in the normal range or closer to the normal range. Pregnant women or women thinking about getting pregnant also have lower blood glucose targets.
When you have diabetes and are treated with insulin replacement therapy or medications that increase insulin release from your pancreas, the insulin levels in your blood stream are imperfectly matched to how much insulin you actually need and there is always a risk of having too much insulin effect. Too much insulin effect can cause a low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. In this case, most providers recommend targeting higher blood sugars, such as blood sugars in the 90-130 mg/dl range before meals.