Whether you need to fast for medical, religious, or other reasons, doing so can drastically change your blood sugar levels. When you have diabetes, it’s important to know how to fast safely to avoid spikes and crashes. Learn about normal fasting blood sugar levels and what is a safe fasting blood sugar range from the experts at OKRA Care.
Blood Sugar Level in Fasting: What’s a Normal vs. Diabetic Range?
What Is Fasting?
First, let’s review what fasting is. Essentially, fasting is when you purposefully avoid eating (and sometimes drinking, though just eating is more common). Most folks don’t bother checking their blood sugar level in fasting because their body simply adapts to the lower amounts of food.
Why Would I Fast?
There are many reasons you may want to fast. Some religions have fasting holidays or observances. Some medical procedures, like surgeries and certain blood work, require a fasted state.
Intermittent fasting has become quite popular recently as a weight loss tool. People doing this type of fast generally have normal fasting blood sugar levels and simply restrict their eating within a certain time period during the day. Intermittent fasting can take the form of alternate days fasted, time-restricted feeding, or periodic fasting, depending on the person’s goals and body.
Why Should I Care About Blood Sugar Levels in Fasting?
If you have diabetes, you need to be aware of your blood sugar throughout the day regardless of the reasoning behind your fast. When you enter a fasted state, your body doesn’t have access to its usual sources of glucose (simple sugars and carbs). Instead, your body needs to produce its own sugar. This will cause a variety of fasting blood sugar ranges.
For those with Type 2 diabetes, your cells resist insulin and don’t allow blood sugar to enter them. This causes your blood sugar to rise above healthful levels. When you’re fasting, your body produces its own sugar, which can add to your already high levels.
This is why it’s important to pay attention to your blood sugar levels in fasting. High blood sugar can lead to excessive thirst, headaches, fatigue, and more. If it’s ongoing, it can even lead to infections, vision damage, nerve damage, and stomach or intestinal problems.
If you plan to fast and you have diabetes, it’s vital to do so only under the care and supervision of your doctor.
What Are Normal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels?
For those without diabetes, fasting blood sugar will be between 70 and 99 mg/dL (milligram per liter). Or, if you have diabetes and you’re fasting (no food for 8 hours), you’ll hopefully read the same levels.
For reference, a normal blood sugar level two hours after eating is less than 140 mg/dL (this will vary based on the person and food consumed).
What Are Diabetic Blood Sugar Levels in Fasting?
Ideally, your fasting blood sugar ranges are the same as someone without diabetes. However, if you’re getting tested for diabetes, a reading of:
- 99 mg/dL or lower is normal
- 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates prediabetes
- 126 or higher indicates you have diabetes
If you’re getting your blood sugar tested to determine whether or not you have prediabetes or diabetes, your doctor will likely do more than just a single fasting test. They’ll likely also do an AC1 test that measures your blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. You also may get a glucose tolerance test and a random blood sugar test.
When Should I Get Tested for Diabetes?
If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels — in fasting or not — it’s important to get tested for diabetes as soon as you can. The earlier you catch the disease, the easier it is to manage. Watch for symptoms like:
- Excessive thirst/urination
- Frequent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tingling in the hands/feet
If you notice anything out of the ordinary like the above symptoms, it’s time to go to the doctor. They’ll make sure your fasting blood sugar levels are normal, or if they’re not, where they fall in fasting blood sugar ranges.
Manage Your Diabetes with OKRA Care
Whether you’re just starting out in your diabetes journey or have had the disease for years, OKRA Care can help. We’re your go-to resource for everything from blood sugar levels in fasting to providing you with affordable and convenient medical supplies.
Check out our Starter Kit or learn more about diabetes on our blog. We have over 25 years of experience creating hospital-grade testing supplies backed by extremely competitive low prices. Trust OKRA Care to help you manage your diabetes today.