Metabolic Health
Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

What to do if your Fasting Blood Sugar > 120 mg/dl?

The importance of having a good range of blood sugars is vital. The happiness you would see on the face of a person with diabetes when they check their blood sugars and find them to be in the normal range or when they get their HbA1c results back and they are fine too would be insurmountable. These factors may seem small to a third person but might mean a lot to someone who has been striving day in and day out to get those numbers on the screen. The self-control when you go out to eat, the consumption of sugar-free and gluten-free cakes on birthdays, having to eat sugar-free ice cream, the inability to eat French fries freely, etc all seem worth it when you see a good number on the glucometer and a low HbA1c level. 

Blood sugar readings can be taken at any time in the day, but doctors usually provide a guideline that people can follow

  • Pre and post breakfast (2 hours post)
  • Pre and post lunch (2 hours post)
  • Pre and post dinner (2 hours post)
  • 3 am
  • Random testing

The pre and post-format are usually done to identify spikes in the blood sugar readings post meals, to see how the body and the glucose react with certain kinds of foods, and to also check if the assigned insulin dose is correct. 

Fasting Blood Sugar Test

The tone of the day is usually set by the morning blood sugar levels. Waking up to a normal range of blood sugar will lead to having higher chances of normal levels throughout the day as well unless you eat something with high carbohydrate content or an unprecedented stressor comes your way. Doctors emphasize and place a lot of stress on the morning sugar levels. Even when routine blood tests are done, you may have heard of the term ‘fasting sugar’ that people usually get tested in labs. This is because fasting sugars are also an indicator of the control that people may have over their diabetes. 

High fasting blood sugar can also be construed as a sign of prediabetes or uncontrolled diabetes. There can be several factors for why the numbers would be 120 fasting blood sugar or higher. However, this can be a cause for concern for people. Diabetes and the diagnosis of this condition are primarily categorized by the test of fasting blood sugars. Prediabetes, gestational diabetes, type 1, and type 2, the first test that is usually undertaken for the diagnosis of these medical issues would be fasting levels of blood sugar. It is one of the most accurate and reliable tests that provide a lot of guidance and information to healthcare practitioners in terms of further testing or prognosis.

What are Fasting Blood Sugar Levels?

You may have heard of this term very often regarding blood tests. Many times, we also get our blood tests done and include the fasting sugar in it to rule out any unwanted issues regarding high blood sugar levels and even get ahead of diabetes in case we are aware of the risk factors and our genetic predisposition. However, what exactly is fasting blood sugar and why is it so important?

To understand simply, fasting blood sugars refer to the blood glucose levels of the body after a period of not eating. Usually, the period of fasting is about 8-10 hours. After dinner, you will not be allowed to drink or eat anything except water to gain an accurate and appropriate sample of blood that can be used to test fasting levels. The ADA (American Diabetes Association) has set a guideline of not eating for at least 8 hours before this test. 

After a meal, the blood sugar might witness a rise for a while. The extent of the rise would depend on what you ate and how much you ate. It would approximately take an hour for these levels to rise and would see its peak at one hour after you finish eating. It then slowly comes down and is expected to reach the normal range around 2 hours post-meals. Fasting and testing sugar levels would give a proper insight into how well the body manages blood sugars. Higher levels after an 8-hour fast would indicate improper regulation of blood sugars. 

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Fasting Blood Sugar Chart - General

“I want a 110 fasting blood sugar” or “I wish the numbers are in the normal range” are some things we might hear most people with or without diabetes say. Who would not want their levels to be in the normal range? The number of issues that can come along with improper blood sugar levels can cause significant distress and problems in later life. Ensure that your fasting sugar tests have been done by an authentic and genuine laboratory. In case you are new to understanding what the numbers might mean, you can visit your healthcare team with your reports for proper guidance.

The Centre for Disease and Control (CDC) and ADA have come up with this classification of fasting sugar levels 

Even if your at-home glucometer shows 115 fasting blood sugar, it would be vital to visit a lab to get these tests done. This is because the finger pricks and glucometer tests at home may not be entirely accurate and several factors could affect the results. A diagnostic test should only be conducted in a lab setting.

Fasting Blood Sugar Charts - Children

For children, the parameters of blood sugar levels may differ. Since their bodies are still growing and their organs have not been fully developed to reach the functional level, they would probably see more fluctuations and ups and downs in their levels. Additionally, since most of the responsibility for the management of diabetes lies with their caretakers, they may take some time to understand the signals of their own bodies.

Fasting Blood Sugar Charts - Teens

Teenagers engage in a lot of activities and hobbies. This is the age where a person would be the most physically active and engaged in tasks. From school to classes, to sports, to hobbies, a teenager’s time is occupied constantly with something or the other. They would have just begun to take responsibility for regular sugar testing and managing their health. They also witness several fluctuations and might experience more lows owing to their physical activities. A 120 fasting sugar or a fasting sugar 110 would be common for them

Fasting Blood Sugar Charts - Gestational Diabetes

A woman with gestational diabetes would be undergoing major changes in her life at once. Along with the pregnancy and hormone changes, the diagnosis of gestational diabetes can be a huge turmoil all at once. Dealing with two major conditions at once might be a little tough. However, this is the time when she would have to make the most care of herself to avoid any further complications during pregnancy or even after pregnancy. 

Bottomline

A high fasting sugar level can create certain problems for sure if it is left untreated and if it happens regularly. Understand your patterns and get a diagnosis in case you have high fasting levels. Be aware of what should be the normal levels of fasting so that you can keep your diabetes or prediabetes under control.

FAQs

Why is my blood sugar 120 in the morning?

A 120 fasting blood sugar can occur due to several reasons – too many carbs in the night, Somogyi effect, etc. While 120 may not be very high, it is still considered higher than normal. In case this level is persistent, visit your doctor. 

How do I get my fasting blood sugar down?

Several methods can be used to get the fasting blood sugar down –

  1. Morning exercise
  2. Not having a high-carb breakfast
  3. Replacing tea with green tea or lemonade (without sugar)
  4. Drinking a lot of water
  5. A correction dose

Is 135 blood sugar high in the morning?

The answer to “is 135 blood sugar high in the morning” would be yes. While it is high, it is still not a number that should be super concerning or worrying as it has the potential to come down by taking a few steps like exercising and having ample water. 

References

https://www.emedicinehealth.com/is_120_blood_sugar_normal/article_em.htm

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