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What is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Seniors?

We, humans, get our energy from food. Our body converts food into a sugar called glucose with the help of insulin and supplies the necessary energy required to continue our daily activities.

Is it okay to have a random level of blood glucose? No! Definitely not!

Blood sugar has also got an optimum level. What is it then? Thus, this is our topic today. Here in this article, I will give you a brief idea about the normal blood sugar levels in our body. But my main focus will be on the geriatric or older adult citizens as altered blood glucose level or diabetes is the most prevalent amongst them. So, let’ dig into the topic quickly!

Normal blood sugar levels chart

Every substance present in our body has an optimum level. Above or below that specific range, that particular substance is harmful to our health. And so is sugar. There is a certain range of blood sugar which is considered as standard for almost all age. However, there might be some changes in the level considering different factors like age and other co-morbidities. Let’s look at the chart:

TimeNormal person (mg/dl)Pre-diabetes (mg/dl)Diabetes (mg/dl)
Fasting<100100-125≥ 126
2 hours after the meal<140 mg/dl140-199≥200
TestNormal personPre-diabetesDiabetes
HbA1c<5.7%5.7-6.4%≥6.5%

Sometimes, random blood is also taken. In this case, the glucose level of ≥200 mg/dl is considered a diabetic condition.

Going through the chart you will notice certain terms regarding blood sugar which you need to understand in order to evaluate your own glucose level. So, I will just give a small brief regarding those:

  • Fasting blood glucose: Here, blood sugar is tested after abstaining from food and drink (except water) for at least 8 hours.
  • Postprandial blood sugar: In this case, blood sugar is tested 2 hours after a meal to access if it’s at the optimum level after having a meal or not.
  • Random blood glucose: Blood is tested at any time of the day.
  • HbA1c: It refers to a blood test which is done to evaluate the average level of blood glucose over the past 3 months. HbA1c is also known as glycosylated haemoglobin or A1C. Moreover, fasting is not required before carrying out the test.

What is Pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition in between normal and diabetes. It means that at this stage the sugar level is above normal but not high enough to consider it as diabetes. Pre-diabetes is also sometimes referred to as impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance test (IGT). It is called IFG if fasting glucose is abnormal and IGT when the sugar level is abnormal after having a meal. This is the stage when your sugar level is just in the borderline and must start following strict diet habits along with regular exercise.

However, you should also report to a doctor in order to ensure if you need any medicine or not.

What Level of Blood Sugar Is Dangerous?

Higher blood sugar than normal is always a matter of concern. When should you become vigilant looking at your glucometer?

If you are a non-diabetic person then it is a basis of distress if your glucometer shows a number higher than 140mg/dl and in case of diabetic the range increases to 180 – 200 mg/dl. This condition is known as hyperglycemia and calls for the necessity to consult with a doctor.

Diabetes, Elta, The Meter

Is testing blood sugar the only way to know your hyperglycemia? What would you do if you don’t have glucometer at home?

Just be conscious of the following 7 symptoms:

  1. Increase in thirst than usual.
  2. Blurry vision
  3. Rate of urination increases
  4. Tingling or numb feet
  5. More appetite than usual.
  6. Increase in tiredness
  7. Injuries take more time to heal

It is not necessary to have all the symptoms. If you have any of these, you should not take this lightly and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Other than the above-mentioned 7 symptoms, you may develop the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Those include:

  1. Extreme thirst
  2. Difficulty in breathing
  3. Vomiting
  4. The fruity smell in breath
  5. Confusion
  6. Flushed skin
  7. Frequent urination

In this condition, your body starts to burn fat to get energy as the cells don’t get enough of it. This produces ketones causing the blood to be acidic and creates a life-threatening condition if left untreated.

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What Are The Delayed Complications of Diabetes?

Hyperglycemia does not affect you right away. But if you are out of control for a prolonged period of time, it can cause:

  1. Heart attack
  2. Eye damage
  3. Kidney damage
  4. Problems in skin
  5. Stroke
  6. Damage of nerves
  7. Rarely cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

Sometimes even with the treatment, elderly diabetic patients develop dementia with time.

What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Seniors?

Seniors – who are they? From which age people are considered as a senior?

This matter is controversial. There exist different opinions regarding this matter. Medicare says people of 65 years old or older are considered as a senior. Again, age of retirement is 67 according to Social security office but a 62-year-old is eligible for social security benefits.

However, you will be getting a senior discount at McDonald’s or Arby’s if you are just 55.

As I said with the increase of age our body becomes fragile and surrender to many diseases. It is seen that strict diet sometimes causes low blood sugar level at this age.

So, in case of seniors with no health problems or cognitive impairments other than diabetes are fine with A1C of 7-7.5%. But if you have a cardiovascular problem, cognitive impairments, functional limitations or are having frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia, then your A1C can be relaxed up to 7.6-8.5%.

Editor Tip: Normal Blood Sugar 30 Minutes After Eating

Does Blood Sugar Level Change With Age?

Many factors changes with age and even sometimes co-morbidities gets added. To adopt with these certain conditions, optimum levels of different substances in blood also changes. So the same goes for the blood sugar. It has been confirmed by different studies that fasting blood sugar level increases with age considering different factors like obesity.

But, now the question comes, how much increment will be considered as normal? Obviously not random! It has a specific level but the increment varies depending on various conditions.

It is said that the ideal level of blood sugar increases with the passing of decade through your adult years due to benign physiological changes which decrease the glucose tolerance.

Basically, if you are quite healthy then, 2mg per 100 ml rise is considered as normal through the advancing years. But this issue is seen to bewilder both clinicians and investigations alike.

However, this small extent is only for fasting. Besides this, you may notice that your postprandial sugar levels are also escalating. Be conscious! Because it must not increase more than 4mg per 100ml. Again, sugar level may elevate up to 8 to 13mg per 100 ml per decade following a glucose challenge.

The above-mentioned levels are for those who are comparatively healthy and are not suffering from any other disease apart from diabetes.

With the proceeding age, people become more vulnerable to diseases and many of them have a direct or indirect impact on your glucose level causing to magnify your blood sugar level to a considerable extent.

For example: Due to steroid administration your blood glucose can surge up to 18mg per 100 ml following a glucose challenge. However, factors related to the metabolic environment, age, character and size of the carbohydrate challenge.

The FAQs About Blood Sugar Levels

Q. What is the blood sugar level for a 72 year old woman?

Answer: If you are aged but completely healthy, then you are likely to have your blood glucose at a standard level. But generally, aged people are more or less vulnerable to diseases. Though it is preferable to have blood sugar in between 100-120 mg/dl rising up to 140mg/dl is acceptable in certain conditions.

Q. Is 70 a normal blood sugar?

Answer: According to the standard chart, 70-99mg/dl is referred to as a normal blood glucose level in the case of fasting. But in case of 2 hours after of meal, 70mg/dl is considered lower than the standard level.

Final Words

Health is our greatest asset. Our mental health is also dependent on our physical health. So, it is very important to look after ourselves from a very young age. Though people of every age should be conscious of their health, it is more important for seniors. They should check their blood sugar level monthly if non-diabetic and weekly in case of diabetics along with yearly overall body check-up.

In the above article, I briefly discussed the normal blood pressure of the elderly people along with the necessary information. So, I hope this article will help you to get important information regarding sugar level and make you conscious about your own health.

Related Reading:

  1. How to Bring Blood Sugar Down Fast if over 400
  2. Can People With Diabetes Drink Coke Zero?
  3. Is There Any Sugar Free Milk For People With Diabetes?

Dr. SM Kamal Hasan, MBBS(Medicine), Rangpur Medical College and Hospital Rangpur- Dinajpur Highway, Cantt, Near Central Jail, Rangpur 5400, Bangladesh