"Normal" Sugar Levels

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"Normal" Sugar Levels

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Old 04-18-2011, 23:08   #1
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Default "Normal" Sugar Levels

Hello everybody,

I want to start a discussion about "normal" blood sugar levels.

My doctor told me that he wants to get my blood sugar levels below 130. I wasn't sure what was so special about 130, but I later read that the accepted range, according to the American Diabetes Association, is 70-130. So, I realized that's where he got that number. My next logical question (which I haven't had a chance to ask him yet) is whether or not that's just a first goal and he wants to eventually get it lower or if that's an accetable permanent number for me.

I have been told by other diabetics that I should try to get my sugar levels down into the 90's and that just below 130 isn't good enough. Something happend this past weekend (and a few times in the past) that made me question what is considered "normal". I had been eating low-carb like I do all week and I didn't skip any meals and felt fine. I woke up the next morning and felt a little shaky, which never happens to me. (I'm Type 2 on slow-release insulin.) So I measured my blood sugar and it was 90. According to some people 90 is perfect, but I sure didn't feel perfect. I had to eat something to feel better.

So the question is how do you know what's "normal"?

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Old 04-18-2011, 23:25   #2
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Hello Traughber

What is normal? such a simple question without a simple answer. Before I was diagnosed my doctor was concerned when my fasting BGL was above 100. That was reason for concern, not because it was a dangerous level, but because it was outside of normal and edging up.

From your Body's perspective, Normal is where you are. If your BGL is running at 250, You may feel horrible at 150 - that is until you body adjusts. Eventually you body will feel great in the 70's and 80's - If you keep your BGL in that range.

So what is normal?.......
I would rather answer what do you need to be aware of. Below 130 - 140 current understanding says your BGL is not damaging your Beta Cells or Organs, But within reason lower is better. I am currently aiming for fasting BGL of 90 -100 and never going higher that 130, Some people here would consider that to be too high, but those are risks I am comfortable with. If I aim higher i will go over 140 more often, I do not feel the current need to aim much lower
But am fine with being lower

What is normal? - It varies person to person, but i want to know what is safe and obtainable today


DX Aug 2007

Currently taking:
1000mg Met 2x/day
50 Units Lantus
around 30 units Apidra
40mg Lisinopril
20mg Omeprazole
Love and support from my wife
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Old 04-18-2011, 23:50   #3
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What Don has outlined is where I try to be as well, although he uses basal insulin and I do not. For several months I've had difficulty getting there, but there were other medical issues that have now (finally) resolved, so I'm looking forward to my fastings edging back toward 90s, which is where they were a year ago when all my eye surgeries began.

Don is also correct about feeling crummy at lower levels - your body will acclimate if you keep at it. You only feel icky because your body is used to running too high. In my opinion, anything over 140 is too high.

My target range is 80-130 (4.4-7.2) & I'm able to maintain that pretty well throughout the day, but dawn phenomenon kicks my fasting higher about half the time. My most recent A1c was 6.3, which is about a 124 (6.8) average BGL - that agrees pretty well with my meter, whether I like it or not.

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Old 04-19-2011, 02:26   #4
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When I was first dx'd my fastings were 240. My doctor wanted me to aim for 130 fastings. It took over a year and several medicine changes to get there. Fast forward 4 years and now I aim for 80-90 in the mornings and 110-120 after meals. I had to do it in baby steps, though. It didn't happen all at once.

diagnosed Feb 2007
low carb organic diet
3 T of Coconut Oil daily
moderate exercise- mostly walking 3-5 miles, tennis - 4 hours per week, weight training, hiking on weekends and vacations 7-10 miles

HbA1c 5.3 3/11
HbA1c 6.1 5/12

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Old 04-19-2011, 05:39   #5
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Originally Posted by traughber View Post
...I had been eating low-carb like I do all week and I didn't skip any meals and felt fine. I woke up the next morning and felt a little shaky, which never happens to me. (I'm Type 2 on slow-release insulin.) So I measured my blood sugar and it was 90. According to some people 90 is perfect, but I sure didn't feel perfect. I had to eat something to feel better.
This seems to be a very-common issue for many diabetics that are working actively to lower their numbers. We're so accustomed to running high that when we get a lower-than-normal (for us) reading, we feel like crap, even if it's a 'healthy' number. This is simply our body's reaction to what it perceives as abnormal... However, it will get better as you get used to it...

Your body will adapt to the lower numbers, but it takes a little time. I used to feel really crappy as I got down under 6.0 range (around 108), now I don't feel 'low' until I'm well-under 4.3 (77)... the lowest I've recorded so far was a 3.7 (67) which was after several hours of intense exercise, and yeah, I felt crappy then...

47 yr. old Male
Alberta, Canada

Dx'd T2 Dec 19, 2010 - Fasting BG: 14.8 (267), A1c: 12.1, Wt: 290lb (over 320lbs at my heaviest)

As of Apr 23, 2013: 14-day Avg Fasting BG: 4.7 (85), A1c (Dec21): 5.1%, Stats: 230lb, 6'3" now with 37" waist

Low-Carb (Usually < 45-60g per day on a 3,000+ calories daily diet)

On Metformin only for meds. Exercise 6 days a week.
Supplement only with: Men's Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D 2000iu/day, Aspirin 81mg, Cinnamon Extract and Fish Oil all 1x per day

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:40   #6
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Well considering you woke up feeling lousy and tested yourself... I'm thinking you actually dropped lower than 90 and your liver dumped to bring you back up. I had this happen to me this morning. I know my liver was dumping because I was sitting on 4.4 (79) at 4.45am and then kept increasing until I had breakfast... so I'm not really sure how low I actually got... but I vaguely recall half waking up early hours with my head spinning and hypo feeling... just didn't wake up totally and went back to sleep (I'm on sleeping pills on docs orders for now). But normal for me is usually between 4.5-7.5 most days.... sometimes I go lower and sometimes a lot higher. I do know that below 4.5 is too risky for me usually... especially when I'm awake. My endo has advised me to stay above 5. My endo considers normal range to be between 4-10 (72-180)... yes they think below 10 is fine after meals here.. although I like to be lower. I think 'normal' is different for everyone as we're all different in how we react to diabetes.

Last edited by onlymep; 04-19-2011 at 12:47.
Old 04-19-2011, 14:30   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone. They're really encouraging.

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Old 04-24-2011, 08:16   #8
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i am for 80 at all times

DxT2: 1/26/2010: 6'2" 268lbs. A1C 7.8, FBG 266
A1C: 1/2010: 7.8 ; 6/2010: 4.7 ; 9/2010: 5.1 ; 12/2010: 5.2 ; 4/2011: 5.3 ; 9/2011: 5.3

Completely Off Medication December, 2010.

9/2011 Lab Work Results (4/2011 in parenthesis)
A1C: 5.3 (5.3)
Cholesterol: HDL 134 (133) LDL: 53 (53)
Triglycerides: 29 (30)
Current Weight: 195

I am sometimes too "harsh". I feel that sometimes one must be "harsh" to get the point across.
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