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What Are Normal Glucose Levels?

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

  • Keep in mind that there are a number of different ways physicians can determine whether you have normal glucose levels.
  • There are two tests you could take: fasting glucose test and oral glucose tolerance test.


If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, understanding normal glucose levels can help you determine whether or not you’re managing your diabetes properly. It can also help those who believe they may be at risk for developing the disease, also providing an idea of how high or low that risk may be. Keep in mind that there are a number of different ways physicians can determine whether you have normal glucose levels.

Fasting Glucose Test

When a physician suspects you may have diabetes, he or she will most likely order a fasting glucose test. To complete the test, you will be instructed not to eat anything for at least eight hours prior to the blood test. That usually means no food or beverages other than water after midnight. Normal glucose levels on this type of test should be between 70 and 100 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).

If your glucose reading is above 100 but under 125 mg/dL, you are considered to have prediabetes. This means that you may have the actual disease, but your physician may wait to make the diagnosis after repeating the fasting glucose test. Sometimes your normal glucose levels can be altered by illness, prescription medications, or even stress, so the doctor needs to be sure before finalizing the diagnosis.

If your reading is above 125 mg/dL after two fasting glucose tests have been performed on different days, your physician can confirm positively that you are suffering from either type-1 or type-2 diabetes.

If you have a reading between 40 and 50 mg/dL, your physician may diagnose you with hypoglycemia, which can be caused by a number of health problems. He or she may do further testing to determine the cause of your low blood sugar levels.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

Another way to determine how well your body can process glucose is through another test often ordered by physicians. You should have had nothing to eat or drink but water for 10 to 16 hours before beginning this test. The lab technician will do an initial test of your glucose levels; then you will be asked to drink a bottle of sugar water. Additional tests of your blood sugar will be done in 30 minutes, 60 minutes, two-hours, and three hours. While the test is conducted you can’t drink or eat anything. You should also try to remain calm keep relaxed. If you are suffering from any type of illness, even a cold, it’s important to let the lab technician know because this can skew the test results.

Normally, a person’s blood sugar levels would spike after drinking the sugar water, then return to their normal glucose levels soon after. Diabetic patients, however, would see a greater spike and a slower return to normal glucose levels. At the two-hour mark of the test, a healthy person should have a reading of under 110 mg/dL. A diabetic person would have a test result of 200 mg/dL or more. Anything between those extremes is considered to be prediabetes and demonstrates that your body’s ability to process glucose could be impaired.

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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “What Are Normal Glucose Levels?”

  1. 1
    Lillie Vaughn Says:
    I have been taking Acai and my sugar level has gone from 140 to 90. I also exercise 3x's a week. The Acai really gave me to energy to look forward to doing my work out. I have never taken any medication for sugar. Your articles are right on time and thank you!