Goals of Treatment

young 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 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 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. To minimize this risk, your provider may recommend that you target higher blood sugars such as a pre-meal blood sugar of 90-130 mg/dl and post meal blood sugar of less than 180 mg/dl.

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.

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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