There are many misconceptions about the normal range of blood sugars for people with diabetes. A quick scan of some popular internet diabetes message boards can reveal a “normal” range of blood sugars that is wildly different, depending on who is chiming in with their opinion. The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) official guidelines are as follows:
Blood sugars between 70-130 before meals, and under 180 two hours after the start of each meal This normal range of blood sugar is for people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It is also important to note that these guidelines are for people with “tight control.” Tight control became a buzzword in the mid 1990’s, after the completion of a long-term study that was conducted from 1983 to 1993.
The DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial) revealed that, “keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible slows the onset and progression of the eye, kidney, and nerve damage caused by diabetes. In fact, it demonstrated that any sustained lowering of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, helps, even if the person has a history of poor control.” The findings of this study caused a paradigm shift in diabetes treatment, and resulted in the new normal blood sugar range guidelines from the ADA, as listed above. Diabetes was no longer a death sentence. Complications were no longer considered inevitable.
Since the conclusion of the study, many follow up studies have been done, which consistently show that the closer to normal and more consistent the blood sugar range of an individual, the less likely they are to develop just about any complication of diabetes. This normal range of blood sugar is a general guide, however, it is important to understand that everyone’s body is different, and each individual should work with a doctor or medical professional to set their own personal goals. What works for one person may have the complete opposite effect for another. Achieving a normal range of blood sugar will definitely take time, practice, and patience, but the end results will absolutely be worth the effort.