What Level Of Blood Sugar Is Dangerous?

    Knowing your blood sugar level is very important. This is because the slightest increase or decrease when not properly accounted for can expose you to great health risks. In this article, we will look at what level of blood sugar is dangerous.

    Normal Blood Glucose Levels Before And After Eating

    72-99mg/dL is the normal blood glucose level for adults without diabetes before eating. 

    80-130mg/dL is the normal blood glucose level for those treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes before eating.  According to the American Diabetes Association normal blood sugar levels after eating should be less than 180mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating a meal. 

    What Level Is Dangerous?

    Once your sugar level goes lower or higher than the normal levels, then you may be in the danger zone. 

    Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Just like high blood sugar levels, low blood sugar levels are also dangerous. Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia. This is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar level is lower than normal.  The low blood sugar level is common with people who are diabetic or people who are taking insulin or other medicines that can control diabetes. It’s important to note that diabetic people are people who have high blood sugar levels as a result of impairment in production or utilization of insulin hormone. While a blood sugar level below 70mg/dL is dangerous, the one below 54mg/dL calls for immediate action.

    How Do You Know When Your Blood Glucose Level Is Running Low?

    Symptoms of low blood glucose level include:

    • Feeling weak 
    • Shaking 
    • Excessive sweating
    • Headache 
    • Hunger
    • Feeling uneasy or nervous 
    • Cranky feeling 
    • Blurry vision 
    • Incoherent thoughts 
    • Accelerated heartbeat

    Sometimes your blood glucose level might get very low and will take you by surprise. In this case you might:

    • Faint
    • Experience a seizure 
    • Go into a coma 

    If you have low blood sugar for a long time,  you might experience what is called hypoglycemic unawareness. This is a situation where you will not be able to sense that your blood sugar level is low.  If this has happened to you,  your health care provider might give you a continuous glucose monitor and sensor which will help you detect when your blood sugar is low. 

    What Causes Low Blood Sugar?

    • Exercising excessively especially at times not suitable for you 
    • Taking insulin or diabetes medication at the wrong time
    • Taking too much insulin to correct high blood sugar without an adequate meal 
    • Drinking alcohol

    High Blood Sugar Levels 

    High levels of blood sugar can be dangerous. It is also called hyperglycemia. It is a condition where glucose levels or blood sugar levels are extremely high.  Hyperglycemia is a very good sign for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and also pre-diabetes which when not properly treated,  can become full-blown diabetes.

    To measure high blood glucose levels, sample blood is drawn and measured at the  laboratory for a blood sugar test. When your blood sugar is highly elevated, it can lead to a medical emergency called a diabetic coma. This can be very common in people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  For those with type 1 diabetes, it may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (a diabetic complication where the body produces excess blood acids called ketones), while type 2 diabetes can lead to the hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome. The hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome is a serious complication of type 2 diabetes where the body tries to get rid of excess blood sugar by passing it into the urine.

    Symptoms Of High Blood Glucose Levels

    • Fatigue 
    • Hunger 
    • Double vision 
    • Difficulty in thinking 
    • Constant urination
    • Extra sensitivity to caffeine
    • Pain from sunburn increase blood sugar
    • Insomnia 
    • Gum disease 

    If not properly treated, hyperglycemia can lead to damaged organs and tissues. It can also lead to impairment of immune response,  which will lead to poor healing of cuts and wounds. 

    What Causes High Blood Glucose Levels?

    The most common cause of high blood glucose levels is diabetes mellitus, which is when blood sugar levels rise either due to a low amount of insulin or the inability of the body to utilize insulin well. Aside from diabetes, other medical conditions that can cause high blood sugar level include:

    • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) 
    • Hyperthyroidism 
    • Cushing’s syndrome (elevated blood cortisol level) 
    • Heart attack, stroke, trauma

    How To Stabilize Your Blood Glucose Level

    Asides from appropriate medication,  there are other ways you can control and stabilize your blood glucose levels:

    1. Feed on low carbs foods – blood sugar levels initially rises due to excessive carbohydrates. This is because when you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into simple sugar, which then enters into the bloodstream. This being the case, low-carb diets will help you in weight loss and also reduce the level to which your blood sugar rises, which will in turn stabilize your blood glucose level
    1. Reduce your intake of refined carbs – Refined carbs are also known as processed carbohydrates.  Examples include sugars or refined grains. This can be acquired from bread, white rice, soda, candy etc.  You should reduce your intake because refined carbs are easy to digest and therefore can cause your blood sugar to rise
    2. Reduce your sugar intake –  aside from table sugar, most of the sugar we consume comes from processed foods.  So, we don’t have any nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high – fructose corn syrup
    3. Keep a healthy weight –  if you are overweight, it makes it difficult for your body to utilize insulin and control your blood glucose level. What this means is that your blood sugar will tend to rise
    4. Exercise regularly – exercising allows muscles to absorb sugar from the blood thereby reducing your blood sugar levels
    5. Get more fiber –  fiber is usually divided into soluble and insoluble fiber. But among the two,  soluble fiber helps in controlling blood sugar level and prevents it from spiking.  Sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts,  legumes, some vegetables and fruits
    6. Consume more water – when you don’t get enough water, it can lead in an increase in your blood sugar. A hormone called vasopressin releases in the body when there is a lack of water. This makes it difficult for the body to remove excess sugar through the urine and make the kidney retain fluids instead
    7. Having enough chromium and magnesium in your system – chromium is needed in small amounts as it helps enhance the function of insulin. Magnesium also helps to control blood sugar


    Prevention is always better than cure. If you have a normal blood sugar level, then be careful not to consume things that will spike your blood glucose level on a regular basis. Always maintain a healthy diet.  If you already battle with conditions of high or low blood glucose level, try to stabilize your blood level and always stay in touch with your healthcare provider should any changes present itself.

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