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mg/dl vs mmol/l

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#1
Olidus

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I am new to Diabetes and new to this forum.
Still learning all the lingo and what not.

I have noticed that alot of you talk mg/dl when it comes to readings? Since I have been diagnosed I have been taught to take my readings in mmol/l and pass that information along.

Is this another US thing? And Canadians use mmol/l?
Can anyone offer some insight as to what is the standard?
I know it all comes down to oranges and apples but want to make sure I am on the page as everyone else.

Thanks in advance

Mark K~
Mark K~
Type 1
Dx June 21st 2007

HbA1c
-June 22, 07 - 12.8 - _ -Jan 23, 09- 5.8 - _ - _ - May 16, 2011 - 7.8
-Sep 27, 07 - 6.6- _ - _ -Aug 4, 09 - 6.2 - _ - _ - Nov 2, 2011 - 7.4
-Jan 3, 08 - 6.0 - _ - _ - Nov 3, 09 - 6.5
-April 16, 08 - 6.1 - _ -_Mar 8, 10 - 6.8
-July 21, 08 - 5.5 - _ - _ July 23, 10 - 6.8
-Oct 8, 08 - 6.1 - _ - _ - Nov 29, 10 - 6.9

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#2
HelenM

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Some countries use one system and others the other, ( most but not all of the Commonwealth and ex Commonwealth countries use mml) . I've know idea why. list @ FAQ Unit of measure - Abbott Diabetes Care (MediSense Products)

PS I live in France which uses mg/l and throw my doctor when I forget and say 126 rather than 1.26

#3
JediSkipdogg

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And just an FYI....to get from one to the other just multiply/divide by 18. It's technically not an exact 18, but that number works for the most part unless you convert like 30 mmol to mg/dl then you may be off 1 mg/dl which is minor.

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~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#4
REDLAN

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no it's just a UK thing - like us driving on the left, when everybody else drives on the right (the notable exceptions have been evilly influenced by us Brits)

#5
notme

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I use the multiply by 18 to convert. As Jedi said, it is not exact, but it gives you a good idea.

I just use the computer calculator.
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#6
BriOnH

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Its mg/dl versus mmol/dl (diciliter not liter of blood).

I believe mmol/dl is the proper scientific way to read bgl, but I use mg/dl since I was raised in the US.

#7
shockme

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i just use the convertor on the right...trish
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#8
xMenace

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Many other tests are measured with different systems too. This site may help.
Reference ranges for common blood tests - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Virginia Woolf: “Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature”
Back on MDI and doing well. Trying Victoza and loving it. A1C 6.0, no major hypos; a few highs; lots of shots. Diagnosed Oct 19th, 1975.
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#9
June91

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Its mg/dl versus mmol/dl (diciliter not liter of blood).


It's deciliter for mg (milligrams) but definitely liters for mmol(millimols): What are mg/dl and mmol/l? How to convert? Glucose? Cholesterol?.

#10
Geoff

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Hi all, Stop knocking the Brits "mmol/l is millimoles/liter, and is the world standard unit for measuring
glucose in blood. Specifically, it is the designated SI (Systeme
International) unit. "World standard", of course, means that mmol/L is used
everywhere in the world except in the US." Quote taken from "What are mg/dl and mmol/l? How to convert? Glucose? Cholestrerol"
Diagnosed June 10 2005. Type 1

A1C Feb 6.3 2008
A1C Nov 6.1
A1C Aug 6.1
A1C May 6.0
A1C Mar 6.0 2007
A1C Dec 6.3
A1C Sep 6.0
A1C Jun 6.1 2006

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#11
mg_2204

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I do like Trish, I use a converter. Always have it handy when I'm on the forum.

#12
BriOnH

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It's deciliter for mg (milligrams) but definitely liters for mmol(millimols): What are mg/dl and mmol/l? How to convert? Glucose? Cholesterol?.


My bad. Thanks for correcting that June.

#13
JasonJayhawk

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WARNING: Science and math content!

I saw some mentions of "multiplying 18 (or dividing by 18)" as not being precise, but I respectfully disagree, unless you're interested in getting to hundredths or even thousandths of a gram in precision, which is useless information in terms of measuring blood glucose!

And since I like stoichiometry so much, here's a lesson to prove that multiplying and dividing by 18 is indeed very, very precise!

Millimoles per liter (mmol/L) is the way the world (including most of the scientific community) shares blood glucose concentrations. This is a count of the actual physical count of glucose molecules (moles) per liter of blood.

The USA decided that counting glucose molecules was too complicated, and hence, uses milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), which is the weight of the glucose per deciliter.

To convert from the number of glucose molecules to the weight, we must know much one mole of glucose molecules weighs. Glucose is made up of C6H12O6. Carbon's mass is ~12 grams per mole, hydrogen's mass is ~1 gram per mole, and oxygen is ~16 grams per mole.

Thus, one mole of glucose weighs [(6*12)+(12*1)+(6*16)], or ~180 grams per mole.

Please note that very minute differences between atomic masses would cause this to be somewhere in the range of of a few nanograms of 180 grams per mole (depending on the proton count of each individual atom, but they all measure out to be the approximate masses as listed above--let's not go there, I don't think anyone is counting that closely!). We can safely say with one significant figure that it is 180.0 grams per mole. Good 'nuff. (If you really want to challenge it, look on the periodic table for the average atomic masses.)

That's how we convert 1 mole of glucose into 180 grams of glucose. They're equivalent. If I hand you 180 grams of glucose, I'm handing you one mole of glucose (approximately 6.022x10E23 molecules of C6H12O6).

Still with me? Good.

Since the world uses mmol/L as a measurement, let's start out with one mole of glucose dissolved in 1 liter[b] of solution (we can assume it's blood, but it could be water, too). We know this is the same thing as 180 grams of glucose dissolved in 1 liter of solution.
[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1 mole     180 grams
------ = ------------
1 liter     1 liter
[/FONT]

We are interested in millimoles (not moles) and milligrams (not grams), so multiple each side by 1000, and we'll see the old units cancel out.

[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1 mole   1000 millimoles       180 grams    1000 milligrams
------ * ---------------  =  ------------ * --------------
1 liter       1 mole            1 liter         1 gram
[/FONT]

This leaves us with the following (mmol = millimoles, and mg = milligrams):
[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1000 mmol     180,000 mg
---------- = ------------
 1 liter       1 liter
[/FONT]


Now let's see how many milligrams is in one mmol. Divide by 1,000 on each side so we can see what 1 mmol is in milligrams:

[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1 mmol     180 mg
------- = --------
1 liter    1 liter
[/FONT]

Not done yet! We also know that there are 10 deciliters in 1 liter of solution.

[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1 mmol     180 mg      180 mg       1 liter          18 mg
------- = -------- = -------- *  -------------- = ------------
1 liter    1 liter    1 liter    10 deciliters    1 deciliter
[/FONT]

Now, we can finally see how 1 mmol/1 L = 180 mg / 1 dL.

[FONT="Fixedsys"]
1 mmol       18 mg
------- = -----------
1 liter    1 deciliter
[/FONT]


QED. [b]1 mmol/L = 18 mg/dL


For what it's worth, we could find what 1 mg/dL equals in millimoles, but we'd start dealing with some real numbers.

#14
JediSkipdogg

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I saw some mentions of "multiplying 18 (or dividing by 18)" as not being precise, but I respectfully disagree, unless you're interested in getting to hundredths or even thousandths of a gram in precision, which is useless information in terms of measuring blood glucose!

And since I like stoichiometry so much, here's a lesson to prove that multiplying and dividing by 18 is indeed very, very precise!


Technically, it would be 18.016. Like I said though, unless you get really high (as in 700+ mg/dl), it's pointless and even then only 1 mg/dl off.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#15
JasonJayhawk

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Let's wait until we get a glucometer that has that kind of precision and we'll start including more than one significant figure!

#16
JediSkipdogg

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Let's wait until we get a glucometer that has that kind of precision and we'll start including more than one significant figure!


In the meantime, get out more often math freak. LOL :T

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#17
jenet

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WARNING: Science and math content!

Oh my gosh! Doesn't that qualify as cruel and unusual punishment now? ;)
The above is my personal opinion, and Your Mileage May Vary. ;)
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#18
someone

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mmol/l is the SI unit for blood glucose. mg/dl is non-SI because it uses litres.

Millimoles/Liter mmol/l - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#19
BriOnH

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Nice proof Jay!! I thouroughly enjoyed that, thanks.

#20
pjams

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When you begin with a number which has an accuracy of + or - 20% what difference does it make whether one multiplies or divides by 18 or 18.016? Moot point right?
JayP




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