If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes you probably give a good deal of thought towards your blood sugar levels.
You might be somebody who checks your blood sugar every day before meals, or perhaps just once every couple months when you go to the doctor. Either way, blood sugar levels are a really important indicator when it comes to managing diabetes. This begs the question: what is considered an "unsafe" blood sugar level?
In this article we will discuss blood sugar ranges, and at what point you ought to be concerned about your blood sugar.
What Is Considered an "Unsafe" Blood Sugar Level?
There are actually two answers to this question.
Generally when we are talking about blood sugar levels in relation to diabetes, we are always focusing on blood sugar levels that are too high and what we can do to bring them back into the normal healthy range.
But it's important to mention that blood sugar can also be too low (yes, even for people living with diabetes). This is called hypoglycemia, and it can cause confusion, dizziness, shakiness, and even fainting.
What most experts will tell you is that any blood sugar under 70mg/dL is too low, and puts you at risk for hypoglycemia.
So one answer to the question: what is an "unsafe" blood sugar level is: anything under 70mg/dL.
The second answer to this question is a bit more complex.
A fasting blood sugar level between 100 - 125mg/dL is considered to be in the pre-diabetic range, and anything above 125mg/dL is considered to be in the diabetic range.
All of these blood sugar levels are considered to be at least mildly "unhealthy" but that doesn't mean they are necessarily "dangerous."
Over time even moderate diabetes (such as a blood sugar around 150mg/dL) can lead to some healthy complications, but severe acute health issues are not likely to occur quickly unless blood sugar levels are significantly higher.
Most doctors and diabetes experts agree that fasting blood sugar levels over 300mg/dL are considered dangerous.
If you do take a blood sugar reading above 300mg/dL, you should contact your doctor and see what treatment options might be available for you.
What Can Happen If Blood Sugar Exceeds 300mg/dL?
If you have consistent blood sugar levels above 300mg/dL, this can put you at significantly increased risk of developing complications such as: neuropathy, retinopathy (blindness), kidney failure, and heart issues.
The most immediate and severe symptom of high blood sugar is a diabetic coma. Diabetic coma can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
Even if you don't ever experience something as acute and severe as a diabetic coma, the consequences of consistently high blood sugar levels can cause significant damage to your body over time.
What To Do If Blood Sugar Is Too High
If your blood sugar levels are too high and you want to lower them, there are plenty of actionable steps you can take.
Medications like insulin and metformin can be helpful at managing highs and keeping blood sugar from getting too high, but they alone will not be enough to consistently lower blood sugar back into the normal healthy range.
The number one way to consistently lower blood sugar is to change your diet. In most cases you don't need to eat less, you probably just need to eat differently. Specifically, a low-carb diet is one of the fastest and most effective ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
Unfortunately the low-carb diet is one of the most confusing and complicated diets to follow, which is why we created the 14 Day Blood Sugar Challenge.
It's a super simple and easy to follow program designed to get you seeing results with your blood sugar levels in as little as 14 days. This "done-for-you" program makes following a low-carb diet easy - all you need to do is follow along and you can start seeing the same great results as thousands of other people.
There are two different ways that blood sugar levels can get dangerous.
- Hypoglycemia is generally defined as blood sugar under 70mg/dL.
- Hyperglycemia is more loosely defined but most clinicians would agree that anything above 300mg/dL should be of serious concern and needs medical attention.
While both can be dangerous, it is typically hyperglycemia (or high blood sugar) that can develop into chronic lasting conditions such as nerve damage, blindness, and kidney disease.
Fortunately, high blood sugar levels can be managed naturally with lifestyle adjustments such as dietary changes and increased levels of exercise.
If you're interested to learn more about how we make it simple to start seeing results with blood sugar levels fast, you can click this link: 14 Day Blood Sugar Challenge.
We hope to see you in the program and look forward to helping you achieve your blood sugar goals.