The target level for your blood sugar depends on who you are and on the other circumstances of your health. Various authoritative expert bodies have published blood sugar targets to aim at before and 2 hours after meals at various stages of life, including for children, adults, pregnant women, and the elderly. The variousrecommendations differ in certain respects, but are gen- erally similar and those of the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists are shown in Table 8. Wherever pos- sible, otherwise healthy individuals with diabetes should aim to achieve blood sugar levels that are as close to normal as possible, as long as these can be reached with- out side effects that are either distressing or dangerous. This is a matter of judgment between you and your physician. The target levels for blood sugar can either be described by blood sugar levels themselves or in overall terms, according to the Hemoglobin A1c
Table 8 Blood Sugar and A1c Targets for Diabetes
Time ADA (mg/dl) AACE (mg/dl)
2 hours after eating
Less than 180
Less than 7.0%
and as close to
6% as is safely achievable; less than 8% in young
children, the elderly, and those at high
risk of hypoglycemia
Less than 110
Less than 140
Less than 6.5%
Source: Data from ADA: American Diabetes Association; AACE: American
Association of Clinical Endocrinologists..
(HbA1c or A1c), which is an average measure of blood sugar over the prior 3–4 months, approxi- mately. For all people with diabetes, but especially those who do not need to perform frequent self- monitoring of blood sugar or who are unable to do so, the HbA1c is a very helpful measure and the American Diabetes Association recommends that it is performed at least twice per year. Recently, it has been recommended that the HbA1c should be reported in terms of the estimated average blood glucose (eAG) to which it corresponds, which may be more meaningful to most persons with diabetes.