What is the appropriate range for fasting and post-prandial blood sugar levels?

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What is the appropriate range for fasting and post-prandial blood sugar levels?

September 4, 2008

Dear Camille,

My mother has been suffering from diabetes for more than 10 years and her glucose level mostly remains high. What I’m worried about is that the difference between fasting and post-prandial bs level is decreasing and she is also losing weight.Is this an indication of something going terribly wrong in her body?Waiting eagerly for your opinion.

I will answer this question somewhat generally as I am not sure of the exact question regarding fasting and post prandial blood sugars. I also do not know what type of diabetes your mother has.  However, if she is losing weight, it sounds more like type 1 diabetes as opposed to type 2 since her glucose levels are high. First, no matter what type of diabetes you have, the goal for fasting and pre meal blood sugar is 80-120 mg/dl (some say 90-130 mg/dl and/or less than 110 mg/dl but the point is somewhere in that range). The recommendation for a 2 hour post meal blood sugar is 140mg/dl or less and at 1 hour post meal no greater than 160-180 mg/dl. If your mother’s blood glucose levels are greater than these, then her medications may need to be adjusted so she should consult with her healthcare provider. If your mother has Type 1 diabetes and high glucose levels, the weight loss can be explained by an inadequate insulin dose. To understand this, you have to think about the normal physiology. When food is eaten, the body converts it to glucose (sugar) and the blood sugar levels rise. The brain sends a message to the pancreas and requests that insulin is secreted to take the glucose into the cells. Insulin acts like a key opening the cell to allow the glucose to go from the blood into the cell. If there is not adequate insulin available, the glucose molecules are sent over to the kidneys and excreted in the urine. When this happens, a person loses weight because they are not holding on to those calories contained in the glucose.It seems to me that if your mother’s glucose levels are elevated and she is losing weight, she needs to be seen by her health care team for additional recommendations.