What how are glucose levels interpreted?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Setu K Patolia, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Sridevi Devaraj, PhD, DABCC, FAACC, FRSC, CCRP  more...
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Elevated glucose levels (hyperglycemia) are most often encountered clinically in the setting of diabetes mellitus, but they may also occur with pancreatic neoplasms, hyperthyroidism, and adrenocortical dysfunction. Decreased glucose levels (hypoglycemia) may result from endogenous or exogenous insulin excess, prolonged starvation, or liver disease. [2]  

Values for diabetes mellitus are as follows [3]

  • Fasting plasma glucose - Greater than 125 mg/dL
  • Random plasma glucose - Greater than 200 mg/dL
  • Postprandial glucose at 2 hours - Greater than 200 mg/dL
  • Impaired fasting glucose - Fasting glucose of 100-125 mg/dL
  • Impaired glucose tolerance testing - Postprandial glucose at 2 hours of 140-199 mg/dL

The value for hypoglycemia is a blood glucose level of less than 50 mg/dL. [4]

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