Blood Sugar Converter

Created by Małgorzata Koperska, MD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
American Diabetes Association 2. Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes Diabetes Care (January 2017)
Last updated: Mar 12, 2022

This blood sugar converter helps you easily interpret your glucose levels in venous blood by switching between the international standard mmol/L and the popular mg/dL glucose units. If you're confused about what is considered a normal blood sugar level or what's the glycemia definition, read on!

If you feel that your blood sugar level grew a lot after eating too many donuts, don't worry - check how to burn those calories with our donut calculator. It can be useful to see how many calories a day you need.

Glycemia definition and measurement

Glycemia means precisely the presence of glucose in one's blood, but the term is also used for the concentration of glucose in the blood. The analysis is most accurate in venous blood serum, as glucose in capillary blood used by popular glucose meters tends to grow significantly higher after meals.

  1. Hypoglycemia - in healthy people glycemia below 2.8 mmol/L (50 mg/dL), in people with diabetes levels below 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL).
  2. Normoglycemia - the so-called 'normal blood sugar' is between

2.8 mmol/L and 5.5 mmol/L (50 to 100 mg/dL) and 3.9 and 5.5 mmol/L (70 to 100 mg/dL) for diabetics.

  1. Hyperglycemia - sugar levels higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl) are considered to be hyperglycemic.

Glucose units - how does our blood sugar converter work?

There are two manners of presenting the concentration of glucose in the blood. The international standard way of measuring blood glucose levels is in terms of a molar concentration, measured in mmol/L (millimoles per litre; or millimolar, mM for short). In the United States, and continental Europe mass concentration is predominantly measured in mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre).

The conversion between the glucose units is very simple. It's based on the fact that

1 mmol/L = 18 mg/dL,

but calculating it in your own head can be a bit overwhelming. Our blood sugar converter solves this problem for you.

Normal blood sugar

In healthy people, the body's homeostatic mechanism of blood sugar regulation restores the blood sugar level to a range of about 4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L (79 to 110 mg/dL). The blood glucose level may rise temporarily after meals, in non-diabetics up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL).

According to the American Diabetes Association, the blood glucose target range for diabetics should be 5.0 to 7.2 mmol/l (90 to 130 mg/dL) before meals, and less than 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dL) after meals.

If you are having high glucose levels do not hesitate to check also cholesterol ratio calculator!

With our other useful calculators, you can estimate how many calories your body burns at rest or when you're walking. You can also use our maintenance calorie calculator to find out how many calories your body needs to maintain your current weight.

FAQ

How do I convert American blood sugar to Canadian?

To convert American blood sugar units to Canadian:

  1. Take the American value (in mg/dL - milligrams per deciliter).
  2. Divide it by 18.
  3. Change the units to mmol/L (millimoles per liter).

How do I convert Canadian blood sugar levels to American?

To convert Canadian blood sugar units to American:

  1. Take the Canadian value (it's in mmol/L - millimoles per liter).
  2. Multiply it by 18.
  3. Change the units to mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).

How do I keep my blood sugar normal?

To keep your blood sugar normal:

  1. Eat healthily. Focus on complex carbohydrates (dark bread, brown rice, groats), fiber (vegetables, legumes), healthy fats (plant oils, oily fish, nuts), and a good source of protein (legumes, fish, skim dairy, lean meat).
  2. Don’t overeat. If you’re overweight - lose the extra kilos. Unnecessary fat deposits increase the risk of diabetes, as fat tissues can release hormones.
  3. Move a lot. Try not to sit longer than 30 minutes at once. Even a one-minute walking break is valuable.
  4. Forget about smoking.
  5. Minimize your alcohol intake. Choose dry red wine over beer, sweet wines, and colorful drinks.
  6. Maintain good sleep hygiene. Try to sleep at least 7 hours every night.
  7. Learn how to manage your stress. Stress induces certain hormones production, which can lead to high blood sugar levels.
  8. If your physician tells you you’re in a prediabetes state, consider it a call to action. It’s your last chance to escape diabetes in the future, and it’s possible. All is in your hands.

If any medical issue concerns you, please consult your physician as soon as possible.

Can sugar convert to alcohol in the bloodstream?

No, sugar can’t convert to alcohol in your bloodstream. Humans lack the specific enzymes that are necessary for alcoholic fermentation to happen.

What units are used to measure blood glucose?

The most popular units to measure blood glucose are:

  • milligrams per deciliter, and
  • millimoles per liter

They can differ not only between countries but sometimes even between a country's regions. It’s important to know what units your laboratory uses so you don’t get confused.

Małgorzata Koperska, MD
mmol/L
mg/dL
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