Type 2 Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels – What Is “High”?

Type 2 Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is an often serious and long lasting collection of metabolic disorders that are related to the way in which the body uses or produces insulin. Most people are aware of the fact that there are two types of diabetes, referred to most often as simply “Type 1” or “Type 2”. Although the two conditions are related they are incredibly different in many ways. For instance, type 1 diabetes is less common and refers to a typically early in life onset of the condition. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the immune system of the body destroys insulin producing cells, which reduces its amounts in the body. Conversely, Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels are affected instead by the body’s ability to correctly use insulin. In the early onset form of the condition, physiological sources are the cause of the condition. Type 2 diabetes causes can be environmental and related to diet and lifestyle. This is the most common type of diabetes and accounts for almost 95% of all cases.

There are other ways in which the two types of metabolic disorders are different as well. For instance, people who have Type 1 diabetes will commonly experience periods where their blood sugar is low, a condition called hypoglycemia. Unlike Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels do not get low unless certain medicines are being used, they only get high. Blood sugar levels high enough to cause symptoms, health problems and health complications exist with both types of diabetes. For both types of the condition, long term risk of blood sugar levels high enough to cause physiological damage include blindness and failure of the kidneys.

But, just what is “high” in terms of Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels, and how does this top end of the spectrum compare to Type 1 diabetes? To find this answer, many people will turn to a blood sugar levels chart. These visual aids are used to compare normal blood sugar levels to those with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 and also sometimes gestational or childhood diabetes as well. Because the vast majority of people with the condition have the second type that develops later in life, it is not uncommon for charts to not include measurements for Type 1 diabetes at all. Some charts give ranges, while others give top end numbers. There may also be variances from one image to the next, depending on the data referenced.

It can be difficult to pinpoint just what are considered acceptable Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels and which would be considered too high. This is because blood sugar naturally fluctuates and can be extremely unpredictable following meals depending on how much was eaten and what types of foods were eaten. For these reasons, most readings are taking using a fasting blood sugar measurement, as in one that is done prior to any meals being eaten. A fasting blood sugar measurement is ideal because it is a reading that is unaffected by meals. Excessive carbs or overeating can cause large spikes in Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels, and these periods of elevation can last for up to three hours and sometimes longer following a meal.

On the whole, any reading of a blood glucose level that exceeds 240 mg/dL post meal is considered to be too high in people who have Type 2 diabetes. At this level, which can take some time to develop, the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes may become apparent or worsen. These can include feelings of weakness or faintness, nausea or vomiting, blurry vision and frequent urination. When blood sugar levels reach this high end of the range, it is important to take readings often. Should two readings in a row reflect Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more, a call to a health care provider is strongly recommended.

Aside from these dangerously high levels of blood glucose, it is important to note that elevated sugar levels are also something to pay attention to. High readings approaching 300 mg/dL are cause for immediate concern, but those that fall outside the good or acceptable range can still cause some of the symptoms and signs of Type 2 diabetes and cause sufferers to feel unwell. Most medical establishments consider a range of between 70 mg/dL and 150 mg/dL to be included in the “good range” of Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels. Therefore, anything over 150 mg/dL does have the potential to cause symptoms in some individuals. Because just as no two people are alike, no two cases of diabetes are alike, it is possible that symptoms may exist in one person at a lower blood sugar level then they do in another who may have a greater tolerance.

For these reasons, charts, measurements and ranges should serve as primary forms of measurement with symptoms secondary. Taking symptoms into account can help form a better understanding of what blood glucose measurements really mean. For instance, one individual may feel fine with Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels of 170 mg/dL; however another individual may feel horribly unpleasant if their glucose reaches these levels. What is important is to understand that regardless of the presence of symptoms or lack thereof, glucose readings of 240 mg/dL can signal the necessary physiological environment for symptom development or worsening, health risks and risks of complications.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can lead to catastrophic health problems and even death. It requires management by a healthcare professional and diligent attention on the part of the sufferer to maintaining a healthy lifestyle including recommended dietary and lifestyle changes. Monitoring Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels can be a hassle and at times, even confusing. However, it is incredibly important to understanding both the progression and success in management of the condition.

References:
https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/tc/diabetes-differences-between-type-1-and-2-topic-overview
http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hyperglycemia.html

Related posts: