Euglycemia - What is it and What Does it Mean for You?

Blood Sugar Targets Differ for Individuals

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Ever hear of the word euglycemia? It's a term that typically is used in medical research papers, but is not common vernacular in everyday talk. The American Diabetes Association defines euglycemia, (you-gly-SEEM-ee-uh) as "a normal level of sugar in the blood." Sugar, or glucose, is used by the body as fuel. Your normal level of glucose will depend on whether or not you have diabetes. And even if you have diabetes, your normal blood sugar targets will be set based on other variables, such as age/life expectancy, duration of diabetes, other medical conditions, diabetes complications, hypoglycemia unawareness, and individual patient considerations.

When Do We Check Blood Sugar? 

Typically, we can determine blood sugar levels by checking the blood sugar in a fasting state (when you haven't eaten for 8 hours) in response to a meal or after a carbohydrate load, or we can do a blood test that measures your sugar over the course of three months - this is a test called Hemoglobin A1C (Hba1c) test. These numbers demonstrate how your body is processing sugar, both overnight and in response to food. These tests can also help us to determine a diabetes diagnosis. 

What About Self Blood Sugar Monitoring? 

If you are someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, then you might be checking your blood sugar daily to determine what factors influence your blood sugars. Two times of day that you are likely to check are in the morning before you've eaten anything (fasting) and two hours after a meal. Diet, exercise, stress, illness, and medications are all factors that can influence your blood sugars.

Your targets will be individualized based on a variety of factors but, for most nonpregnant people with Type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association suggests that target blood sugars are as follows:

Before meals or fasting blood sugars should be:

  • 80 – 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • 2 hours after a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL

    This combination of blood sugar readings can help you to achieve a target Hemoglobin A1C of 7% or less.

    What Are the Different Blood Sugar Target Recommendations? 

    The most common blood sugar target determinants are age, life expectancy, and other heath conditions. For example, if you are considered to be a healthy, younger individual with diabetes, your blood sugar targets will likely be set to reflect tighter or more rigid blood sugar control. Elderly patients with Type 2 diabetes may not need to have blood sugar targets so strict because they are at increased risk of having low blood sugars or because they have other health related issues. Women with gestational diabetes have blood sugar targets that are lower than non pregnant people with diabetes to protect the unborn fetus and children with Type 1 diabetes have blood sugar targets that are less stringent, especially if they experience episodes of hypoglycemia unawareness.

    Below are target blood sugar goals for other populations:

    Plasma blood glucose and A1C goals across all pediatric-age groups
    Before meals: 90-130mg/dLBedtime/Overnight: 90-150mg/dL:A1C:<7.5% (a lower goal of <7% can be achieved without excessive hypoglycemia)
    Plasma blood glucose goals for gestational diabetes
    Before meals: less than or equal to 95mg/dL1 hour post meal: less than or equal to 140mg/dL2 hours post meal: less than or equal to 120mg/dL
    Plasma blood glucose and A1c goals for gestational diabetes who have had preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes
    Before meals, bedtime, overnight: 60-99mg/dLpeak aftermeal: 100-129mg/dLA1c: <6.0%
    Plasma blood glucose and A1c goals for elderly

    Patient characteristics/health status: Longer life expectancy, few coexisting, chronic illnesses, intact cognitive and functional status

    A1c: less than 7.5%Fasting or Premeal: 90-130mg/dLBedtime: 90-150mg/dL

    Patient characteristics/health status: Intermediate remaining life expectancy, hypoglycemia vulnerability, fall risk, complex or intermediate illnesses, mild to moderage cognitive impairment

    A1c: less than 8%Fasting or Premeal: 90-150mg/dLBedtime: 100-180mg/dL 
    Patient characteristics/health status: Limited remaining life expectancy, very complex/poor health, long-term care or endstage chronic illnesses, moderate to severe cognitive impairmentA1c: less than 8.5%Fasting or Premeal: 100-180mg/dLBedtime: 110-200mg/dL 

    *Please note: These are the American Diabetes Association Guidelines, however, all blood sugar targets should be individualized.


    American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2015. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan; 38 (Suppl 1): S1-90.

    American Diabetes Association. Common Terms.

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