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When Your “Normal” Blood Sugar Isn’t Normal (Part 1)


In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of “normal” blood sugar. I say concept and put normal in quotation marks because what passes for normal in mainstream medicine turns out to be anything but normal if optimal health and function are what you’re interested in.

Here’s the thing. We’ve confused normal with common. Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s now becoming common for kids to be overweight and diabetic because they eat nothing but refined flour, high-fructose corn syrup and industrial seed oils. Yet I don’t think anyone (even the ADA) would argue that being fat and metabolically deranged is even remotely close to normal for kids. Or adults, for that matter.

In the same way, the guidelines the so-called authorities like the ADA have set for normal blood sugar may be common, but they’re certainly not normal. Unless you think it’s normal for people to develop diabetic complications like neuropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular disease as they age, and spend the last several years of their lives in hospitals or assisted living facilities. Common, but not normal.

In this article I’m going to introduce the three markers we use to measure blood sugar, and tell you what the conventional model thinks is normal for those markers. In the next article, I’m going to show you what the research says is normal for healthy people. And I’m also going to show you that so-called normal blood sugar, as dictated by the ADA, can double your risk of heart disease and lead to all kinds of complications down the road.

The 3 Ways Blood Sugar Is Measured

Fasting blood glucose

This is still the most common marker used in clinical settings, and is often the only one that gets tested. The fasting blood glucose (FBG) test measures the concentration of glucose in the blood after an 8-12 hour fast.

It only tells us how blood sugar behaves in a fasting state. It tells us very little about how your blood sugar responds to the food you eat.

Up until 1998, the ADA defined FBG levels above 140 mg/dL as diabetic. In 1998, in a temporary moment of near-sanity, they lowered it to 126 mg/dL. (Forgive me for being skeptical about their motivations; normally when these targets are lowered, it’s to sell more drugs – not make people healthier.) They also set the upward limit of normal blood sugar at 99 mg/dL. Anything above that – but below 126 mg/dL – is considered “pre-diabetic”, or “impaired glucose tolerance” (IGT).

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)

The OGTT measures first and second stage insulin response to glucose. Here’s how it works. You fast and then you’re given 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. Then they test your blood sugar one and two hours after. If your blood sugar is >140 mg/dL two hours later, you have pre-diabetes. If it’s >199 mg/dL two hours later, you’ve got full-blown diabetes.

Keep in mind these are completely arbitrary numbers. If your result is 139 mg/dL – just one point below the pre-diabetic cut-off – you’ll be considered “normal”. Of course this is perfectly absurd. Diabetes isn’t like catching a cold. You don’t just wake up one day and say, “I’m not feeling so well. I think I got a bad case of diabetes yesterday.” Like all disease, diabetes—and diabesity—is a process. It goes something like this:

malfunction > disease process > symptoms

Before your blood sugar was 139, it was 135. Before it was 135, it was 130. Etcetera. Would you agree that it’s wise to intervene as early as possible in that progression toward diabetic blood sugar levels, in order to prevent it from happening in the first place? Well, the ADA does not agree. They prefer to wait until you’re almost beyond the point of no return to suggest there’s any problem whatsoever.

[End rant]

The other problem with the OGTT is that it’s completely artificial. I don’t know anyone who drinks a pure solution of 75 grams of glucose. A 32-oz Big Gulp from 7-11 has 96 grams of sugar, but 55% of that is fructose, which produces a different effect on blood sugar. The OGTT can be a brutal test for someone with impaired glucose tolerance, producing intense blood sugar swings far greater than what one would experience from eating carbohydrates.

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Hemoglobin A1c

Hemoglobin A1c, or A1c for short, has become more popular amongst practitioners in the past decade. It’s used to measure blood glucose in large population-based studies because it’s significantly cheaper than the OGTT test.

A1c measures how much glucose becomes permanently bonded (glycated) to hemoglobin in red blood cells. In layperson’s terms, this test is a rough measure of average blood sugar over the previous three months.

The higher your blood sugar has been over the past three months, the more likely it is that glucose (sugar) is permanently bonded to hemoglobin.

The problem with the A1c test is that any condition that changes hemoglobin levels will skew the results. Anemia is one such condition, and sub-clinical anemia is incredibly common. I’d say 30-40% of my patients have borderline low hemoglobin levels. If hemoglobin is low, then there’s less of it around to become bonded to glucose. This will cause an artificially low A1c level and won’t be an accurate representation of your average blood sugar over the past three months.

Likewise, dehydration can increase hemoglobin levels and create falsely high A1c results.

The “normal” range for A1c for most labs is between 4% and 6%. (A1c is expressed in percentage terms because it’s measuring the percentage of hemoglobin that is bonded to sugar.) Most often I see 5.7% as the cutoff used.

In the next article we’ll put these “normal” levels under the microscope and see how they hold up.

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Join the conversation

  1. I was 27 when I first became pregnant & I was told I had gestational diabetes. I am not over weight by any means & I eat healthy. I was given insulin & it helped lower my sugars because exercise and watching what I ate didn’t help control my numbers. My sugars were still moderately high after birth but I was told I didn’t have diabetes. My 2nd pregnancy the same things happened. The 3rd pregnancy insulin didn’t help at all. My sugars were out of control all the time. I was not over weight & nothing was making a difference. I had a fourth pregnancy and same thing happened as the third. Uncontrolled with insulin. I tell you that I ate healthy food choices & exercised. I have had so many health problems since that the Dr.’s cannot explain. My feet & legs hurt, burn, throb, all the time. At times I am in a wheel chair because I cannot stand for very long. My sugars have been checked through the A1C & I’m being told all is normal by my doctor. The thing is… I use a few different monitors & my sugars are reading in the 300’s. My fasting sugars are usually 150. I crash though when I haven’t had anything to eat. So I demanded another fast A1C test & my fasting sugars came out to 114 which is rock bottom for me. I can’t get my doctor to listen to me. My levels on my monitor are ignored. Why is my A1C reading within normal ranges when my sugars are 200+ every single day? What can I do to get my doctor to listen to me? I am very sick for going on a year now & nobody can explain this to me. I have done so much testing and its ridiculous. My sugars are high all the time & there is nothing I can do to fix them. Why is my tests saying normal when different sugar meters are telling me that everything I eat is sending me over the edge? I’m in tears & I don’t know what to do.

    • Your concerns are interesting but there is so much you’ve only hinted at, it’s hard to guess why you’re seeing what you’re seeing. For instance, what IS your a1c? When and under what circumstances do you test BG? Fasting, after eating, both? What have other doctors said? Rebecca (see below, June 2016) found an endocrinologist who set her up with a CGM for three days. That’s one sure way of finding out how extreme your Glucose swings are.

  2. Hello,
    I will try to make a long story as short as possible. I have been going to the doctors for a few years now telling them I thought my sugar was off because if I didn’t eat breakfast in the morning I see black spots, I would need To get something to eat right away or I feel Shaky. A year ago I didn’t listen to my body when I started to see black spots and go get somthing to eat, the result …….I woke up in a ambulance,I had a seizure. I remember the paramedics asking if I was a diabetic and giving me sugar taps.
    The Doctors ran test I had an EEG and other test they all came back negative . The doctor said (everyone’s entitled to a seizure once in their lifetime with out an explanation)
    I thought that was strange but there was nothing else I could do they found nothing.
    I continue to see black spots when not eating in the morning sometimes they became bad sometimes not so bad but never passed out and have not had a seizure again.
    I’m tired of not feeling good and feeling like I’m going to passout. So I went back to the doctors last week. Its time to get to the bottom of this.

    I asked my doctor if I could start testing my blood at home to see if that would explain anything,She agreed.
    IDay 1 at 8:54 in the morning it was 245, I thought that was high so did it again it was 270 . I eat breakfast and went down to 75.
    Day 2-when I woke up it was 108 started feeling shaky tested again a hour later 120 an hour after that 180 1/2 hour later 219.I ate and went to down to 174.
    Day 3 not as bad as day 1 and 2, I woke up it was 102 then went up to 131 I ate and went down to 112.
    I thought these numbers were high and I was surprised I had thought I was low all this time I decided to take my numbers and go see the doctor. She basically said she does not know what is going on with me or why . She said my lab work she did looks very good I do not have diabetes to have a snack before going to bed and see if that helps. While I’m happy she said I don’t have diabetes I feel like there is more to this and would like answers. P.s I got up three in the morning to check my sugar and it was 110.

    • I’m having exact same thing as you find out what it was they’re checking me for diabetes but I don’t have it and we have and I like to know what your outcome was

  3. Hi there,

    I hope you are well. I was wondering if you might help me understand a phenomenon. I’ll be brief:

    In short, I purchased a glucose monitoring system. My fasting glucose is a consistent 80 – 81 (whether done at home or by a medical professional). However, my postprandial glucose levels are often lower than my fasting glucose, even after I eat something slightly sugary. Postprandial levels have been between 75 and 78.

    Is there a simple explanation for this? I am not diabetic, and became interested in this sort of data after getting off grains and gluten (which were slowly but surely taking my life from me, by way of insomnia and other issues).

    I wasn’t expecting these results, and find them kind of bizarre. Is it normal?

    Female, 36 years old, 129 lbs, 5’8, NONdiabetic. Very active (2 fitness classes per week + consistent running/walking). Very good diet of vegetables, proteins, and fats.

  4. Hi, for a mentally challenged child of 14 years old, fasting blood glucose level is 104 and PP is 106, can it be considered as normal or likely diabetic

  5. Hi, I just went to the doctor and she told me I was pre diabetic. My A1C was 6.2. I also had a A1C at the VA and the said I was in normal range. The tests were one month apart. The problem is I was on Steroids when both test were given. I was on and off for two months. I am or am I not pre diabetic. My fasting blood sugar was 101.

    • Like the article says, need more info. Random blood glucose of 101, who knows. Fasting BG of 101, likely. A1c? 5.9 could be what the VA called “normal,” but it’s certainly on the pre-diabetic end of normal. So you’re not pre-diabetic, what’s that mean; that you can just forget about everything just to end up pre-diabetic three years from now? Pre-diabeties is not a diagnosis, it’s a WARNING. Educate yourself and change your lifestyle now.

    • Steroids are murder on BS, I was on Prednisone for 5 days and went to ED with BS of 443! Now, 2 months later it is 90! Am I “cured” of diabetes now? NO. Also I am chronically dehydrated, I have no sense of thirst, I see from this article that can skew the results of the A1C. Doc say my blood is “sludge”. I will def bring this up and next physical.

  6. I had an infection, KPC, and it took 5 doctors 6 months to figure out what I had.
    During those months my glucose would vary 75 points in 30 days. WTF? This is not supposed to happen I thought?
    It’s @ 124 now and the infection is gone.
    Any ideas as to why a glucose reading in 30 days will vary 75 points?

    • If by “points” you mean mg/dl, a “normal” person can vary by more than 75 within HOURS, let alone days. In the past 24 hours mine has been as high as 350 and as low as 70, but then mine is far from normal. As the author tries to point out in the article a blood glucose reading by itself is a poor indicator that anything is amiss. That being said, 124 is within “range” depending on what you last ate and when. Rather than BG, here’s a better question: what’s your A1c?

      • Chart shows 6.7 for the A1c’s.
        Been as low as 5.4 and as high as 7.1.
        It’s just not ‘average’ month to month.
        Took Metformin, did nothing for the tests.
        Too some sugar blocker mineral and it went down 20 points in the Blood Glucose test.
        Don’t eat sugar, was a soup and sandwich person all my life but have cut out as much bread type stuff as is possible whet this thing came to the surface. Lots of high quality meats and steamed veggies for the most part.
        I am old, 65. Some days I get up, am not hungry, have some coffee or a pot of coffee and maybe @ 2 or 3 PM I think, ‘hey I need to eat.’ and go get a peanut butter sandwich or something like that. Don’t drink any alcohol except some red wine from time to time.

        • From the authors “next article” (see above):
          “In spite of what the American Diabetes Association (ADA) tells us, a truly normal A1c is between 4.6% and 5.3%.”
          A1c being just one indicator, all your values 5.4% and above would indicate you have diabetes. The answers are always the same, less carbs, more exercise, and if Metformin didn’t help maybe some other drug will, or start taking insulin.

          • Thanks Kurt.
            I never feel bad, never feel weak, never feel out of energy unless I just forget to eat. I can get up and 8 and not think about eating till 2.
            I’m old 65 and still go out in the dead of the heat of the day here in Texas and play golf or go hit balls at the driving range and sweat like a hooker in a confessional.
            Drink water to stay hydrated.
            Metformin 2 per day 500 mg is all I can take, any more and I have the ‘touristas’ (the shits) and need to hover around the bathroom. Can’t do that.
            I try to eat well, don’t always but don’t eat like others or even like I did when I was 30. Don’t drink alcohol but rarely and it’s usually a glass of wine.
            Just a wonder to me what the fk is going on.
            But appreciate your response. All info in a help in doing better.

    • Because there is an infection in your pancreas. Pancreas is a huge prize for the bugs and thet will fight to the death to keep that area infected.

      I have the same issue. If I use rife frequency on my pancreas I can lower bg 20 points. Or an herbal antimicrobial. Colloidal silver. Etc, apricot kernals.

      Do a test. Get your bg reading. Take some silver or an herbal antimicrobial and then take another bg reading.
      I.m sure not everybody is infected. But I sure am. I struggle with lyme so who knows. Anyway, please post back if you test.

    • Yes it can vary drastically due to diet. I turned myself into human guinea pig and had a completely vegan diet. In one month my blood sugar went from 149 to 99 my triglycerides plummeted to normal levels from 200 to 89 my liver enzymes which are starting to escalate from fatty liver went down to normal levels, my LDL plummeted to normal levels, my HDL which is good cholesterol actually went up! I did eat a little bit of sweets in that month. In essence it was they healthiest bloodwork of my lifetime, and the food was delicious and nutritious and I ate well and did not deprive myself

  7. Hi everyone, I need some advice pls.

    I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, I did not have diabetes before I got pregnant as my blood sugar level has always been normal and my hba1c was 5.3. I had perfect control for my gestational diabetes (by diet and exercise), so I never had any problem. but after given birth. my sugar level has not dropped. fasting has always been good. but after each meal has not been always good. while most two hour value are below 7.8. The one hour one sometimes is high, especially when I have prawns for meal. one hour blood sugar level can be as high as 10. I am not sure what happened, as GD should go away after given birth. My GP told me dont worry about it because my hormone level has not drop back to normal yet. Any ideas? Thank you!

    • I developed GD with my second pregnancy and required insulin. After giving birth, my levels did NOT return to normal. I was prediabetic and I did not have the knowledge to turn it around. This year (6 years after giving birth birth), I was diagnosed with full blown Type 2 diabetes (A1C 7.7). I figured out on my own via the internet about how to heal. I also test my blood sugar every single morning and will continue doing that until I get an A1C of 5.5 or better; testing is the only way to know how food and supplements affects me. I also test 2 and 3 hours after a meal. By 3 hours post prandial, I expect my blood sugar to be back to near fasting. My meals should never raise my blood sugar over 100-1005; I prefer to see glucose less than 100 2 hours after eating. My last A1C was 5.7, but I know that the next one will be even lower. To heal, this is what I did…Cut out all carbs (except for veggies that grow above the ground). I don’t even eat oats, or any other grain; I eat no sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners of any kinds; I do eat these things: lots of green leafy veg, avocados, lean meats–get organic; (some bacon and lunch meat–nitrate free) and wild salmon (eat more veg than protein though); oils–sesame, avocado, olive, coconut–I eat these liberally everyday as dressings and toppings on meat/fish. I also eat butter. I also eat eggs; if I want bread, I make almond bread without sugar, and I found an “oopsie bread” recipe on Google that is FABULOUS. I eat nuts and nut butters in moderation and seeds. I was eating a lot of cheese, but cut down a lot with the dairy and my fasting numbers got even better when I started doing this. I drink half my body weight in ounces of water or unsweetened liquid (i.e. herbal teas–I use ginger and mint). I also steep organic ginger root and hibiscus flowers in water; I do eat sweets (i.e. small serving of ice cream or cake, cookies) on occasion, but only in very small portions and only once in a while. I eat dark greater than 70% if I need a chocolate fix, but eat a small amount only a couple times/week. If I splurge, then I just get back on track with the healthy habits and things fall back into place quickly with my blood sugars. I never eat breakfast, my first meal is around noon, and I try not to eat after 6pm. This gives my insulin levels and chance to fall for a long period of time (this is a form of intermittent fasting–I followed Michael Mosley and Jason Fung on this topic); low insulin levels gives your body a chance to burn fat; lower insulin levels also reduce hunger and sugar cravings; I take a lot supplements: 1000 mg daily magnesium (chelated or ionic magnesium–Mg oxide is a laxative, and I had to try different formulations to find one that I could take in high enough doses; the ionic/liquid form works for me and so does magnesium threonate), 600 mg alpha lipoic acid, 1 gram ceylon cinnamon, 1 gram ground turmeric (I add the ground turmeric and cinnamon to salad dressings that contain sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, and fresh garlic). I plan to add GTF-Chromium and also vanadium to the regimen. I try to use all organic for the oils, foods and supplements like cinnamon and turmeric, all of which I buy on Amazon. I exercise (walking, jogging, elliptical–combo of these alternating; 5 days weekly). I have a Fitbit and I strive to get in 10,000 steps 7 days/week. Finally, I try to lift weights 2 days/week, but I do not always make this goal. In 6 months I lost 50 pounds and feel great. My fasting sugars this week have consistently been at or below 85 mg/dl. I recently added the alpha lipoic acid, which is supposed to be excellent for regulating blood sugar. I am very unhappy that my endocrinologists and medical doctors did not teach me how to turn the prediabetes around; they just said, use “lifestyle changes” the one thing that they did not say is STAY AWAY FROM REFINED CARBS OF ANY KIND. I simply cannot eat brown bread, brown rice, brown tortillas, or steel cut oats; these are things that my dietician TOLD ME TO EAT; well, that was WRONG and now I have full blown diabetes; some of us cannot process carbs; period….At least I know now how to preserve the pancreatic function that I do have, and I am grateful to have finally figure out what works for me.

  8. Hello All…

    I am annoyed and frustrated and looking for some help. On May 31st, I had what my Dr is referring to as a “hypoglycemic event.” I had to lay on the floor and shove a Snicker in my mouth to keep from passing out. I tested my BGL approximately 2 hours later and it was 107. An hour later, it was 108. An hour later, it was 89. I have a history of being hypoglycemic and my BGL is normally in the 70 range, but that particular episode came on very quick and I was stumbling trying to get to the vending machine and had lost the ability to formulate sentences. Mind you, I had eaten a very good lunch 2 hours before this happened. Since then, my Dr has asked me to start testing multiple times a day. I completed an OGTT this past Friday. I tested at home before my test and I was at 97. I tested an hour after my test and was 110. Today, I got a call saying that my bloodwork was “normal” but my body isn’t producing something that starts with a G….Since the 31st, my BGLs have ranged from 72 – 122. My Dr asked me to chart my levels for the past 2 weeks and fax them into him. I guess I’m just annoyed because I know that there is something wrong, but not what. Today, my BGL upon awakening was 106. 2 hours after lunch, I started with a bad headache, sweating, and shaking. It was 89. I drank a Coke to see if that would help. An hour later, it was 98. I know that most of my readings are in “normal” range. But, like I said, my normal is in the 70s, which I have not gotten down to but once since I started tracking. Has anyone had anything similar happen to them? Thanks in advance for reading.

    • Rebecca, I have no expertise by which to help, but your narrative I found facinating in spite of so much info which was missing. How long have you had a “history of hypoglycemia.” Is that why you test your BGL? Am I right to understand you are NOT diabetic, or taking any diabetic medications or insulin, which could cause hypoglycemia? Is your concern diabetes, hypoglycemia or something else?What’s your A1c? And of course what is that “something that starts with G..?” (Personally I insist on copies of all my bloodwork.) Recommendations on how to treat hypoglycemia usually say to test BGL 15 minutes after eating and again 15 minutes after that if needed, but I find that for me that is too soon. The author (elsewhere) suggests post-meal blood sugars at 1 and 2 hours are useful for predicting diabetes, but I like testing more frequently than that for a more complete perspective of my BGL rise and fall. Ideally after a few hours your BGL will return to where it was before you ate something (fasting).

      • Hi Kurt, thank you for responding. I have had a history of hypoglycemia for 14 years. Coincidentally, that history started at the same time that I started having grand mal seizures. I was tested extensively for diabetes immediately and all tests came back normal. I have been seizure free for 8 years now and am off of all medications to control it. My seizures were determined to be from scar tissue on my brain and low blood pressure; mine runs around 80/60 on a great day, but has been as low as 40/20 following a seizure. My PCP instructed me to start testing on June 1st after I had what he calls the “hypoglycemic event” on May 31st. You are correct in understanding that I am not diabetic or on any medications that could cause hypogylcemia. I did get my hands on my bloodwork yesterday. My A1c is 4.9, which I understand to be great. My BGL at 7:30am at home that morning was 97. It was 72 at 8:25am when the “baseline” blood was drawn. I immediately drank the glucose solution after that. One hour later it was still 72, 2 hours later it was 67, 3 hours later it was 72, and at home at 12:25, it was 110. After looking at my results, there is not one mention of me not producing anything at all. It seems that my results may have been mixed up with someone elses when they called. My PCP mentioned a possibility of reactive hypoglycemia. I’m not really sure what to do at this point, as all of the bloodwork seems normal, but I get the overwhelming urge to pass out 2 hours after I eat. And when I test, my numbers are always in the high 80s or low 90s, which also seems normal, but I get all of the hypoglycemic symptoms. I have quite a few friends who are diabetics, and they have suggested that I am possibly producing too much insulin? At this point, I am considering seeing an endocrinologist for further testing to see if there is something going on. My PCP ran a full metabolic panel not very long ago and the only thing out of range was elevated RBC, WBC, Hemoglobin, and Hematocrit. I guess it didn’t seem unusual to him, because it was never mentioned to me, I just happened to see it while accessing my chart yesterday. My good cholesterol is in range, but on the low side and my bad cholesterol is in range, but on the higher side. My thyroid is fine. My diet consists mostly of baked chicken and fish and veggies. I limit myself to one soda a day and sometimes do not drink any at all. I do not exercise nearly enough, but am a mom of an active 4 year old and wife to a shift-worker. My job has me sitting at a desk, but I am constantly up. I have lost 55 pounds since 2014, with 35 of those pounds being since November. I think I answered all of your questions (and provided more info than what you asked :)). Thank you for your time!

        • I know nothing of Reactive Hypoglycemia, but I think your intention to seek the advice of an endocrinologist is a good step. I’ve never had an OGTT but from what I’ve read a base BGL of 72, 72 at 1 hour, 67 at 2 hours, and 72 at 3 hours sounds like anything but normal, almost beyond perfect. The real story may be in what your BG did in between those points. (One should expect to see some rise if for no reason other than that Glucose — as opposed to other carbs — enters the blood so much quicker than the body is able to introduce insulin in response.) If your body were producing “too much insulin” I would expect that you would be experiencing Severe Hypoglycemic Events every time you went more than a few hours without eating (perhaps every early AM?). Have you considered CGM (contiuous glucose monitoring)? Gives a glucose level (interstitial, not blood) every 5 minutes. Also you can set alarm levels to hopefully warn you of hypoglycemia before you feel symptoms. I can feel “low” with a BGL in the high 70’s/low 80’s, and at other times can feel normal with a BGL in the mid 50’s. Talk to your Endo and your insurance; I understand systems are acually leased as opposed to purchased, so using one for just a few weeks should not be a huge investment. Higher BGLs first thing in the morning are not unheard of, particularly for diabetics. Good luck!

          • Thank you so much for the insight. I have success scheduled an appointment with an endo. The earliest they could see me is July 8th. A Dr at my clinic (mental health) is married to a Dr in the same building as the endo clinic and is going to see if they can work me in sooner. I will definitely check into CGM.

            • Hi All, I have an update! I went to my Endo on Friday. Since my last post, I have used a mobile app to record and track my glucose levels. I started testing first thing in the morning, right before lunch, 15 minutes into eating, and 2 hours after I started eating. I was able to export all of the data and print it. I brought all of the information, including my OGTT results to the Endo. I am Type 2. I am extremely insulin resistant. My body is not recognizing the insulin that I am producing, and producing it again, thus rendering me hypoglycemic. Reactive hypoglycemia is happening. My insulin levels are more than double what they should be. I have been started on Precose 25mg, 2 daily. I will be set up with a Dietician to modify my diet (already in line with paleo/whole30). Next month, I will go in and have the IPRO CGM inserted into my abdomen for 72 hours. I will go back to have it taken out, do another round of labs, and see the Dr again. I am currently at the 60 pound weight loss mark. I find it remarkable that I lost weight and got a diabetes diagnosis when so many others lose weight and it does away. Even so, I am taking it well. I am honestly relieved to have answers now. Thank you all for your help!

              • Rebecca, I was so excited to see you remembered us with an update! Based on your various test numbers from last month I would have never have begun to suspect that you are prediabetic. Yes, T2 patients do produce excessive insulin but your A1c was right in line with the FBG numbers you reported and your OGTT was super low, all of which indicate “normal” insulin sensitivity. I found this site which differentiates between reactive hypoglycemia and Pre-diabetic reactive hypoglycemia very informative: hypoglycemia.info. Glad to see you will be trying CGM. As one who uses CGM my best bit of advice is to to take exacting notes of what, when and how much of EVERYTHING you eat; then you can later go back and examine how carbs, GI or GL, and even type of sugar effected BG. Drop me a line at [email protected] if you’d like, and good luck!

        • Have you ever been tested for a variety of parasites? You may have been abroad or picked some up off someone who had been abroad or you may have picked up something uncommon in your area. Seizures can be connected to parasites. Here in the UK we have a hospital connected to a university, the School of Tropical Medicine, where unusual and suspicious cases can be referred. Why not try a little personal detective work first?

    • Hi
      1st of all sorry for my english
      I too have the same problem. My hba1c test is 5.6% but i am feeling low all the time after 1hr of my meal. I feel sleepy shaking hands tingling. Can’t do physical activity. i took extended ogtt and the result is 93, 172,152,106,98,83,74 for fasting, 1/2hr, 1hr, 1/2hr,2hr,2 1/2hr and 3hr respectively. Now after 3rd hour of drinking 75gm glucose my sugar level was 74 mg/dl and i fainted and felt so tired as like i can’t even walk after that i again drank glucose to get back normal in 5 mins
      Iam so helpless as i cant do physical activity like others


    • Hello, My normal isnt normal either. My last a1c was 5.7… ok pre diabeties they say. I wake up with a sugar of 90. I feel ok. I drink 1 cup of coffee with less then 1tbs and I start feeling tired and Im passing out. Test my bgl and its 118. If i drop below 80 i start to crash. My sugar has gone from 340 to 27 in one day because I ate a Birthday cake nothing else, then within 5 hours im passed out and somekne is sticking glucose in my mouth. I feel my best when my sugar is 145. No passing out, sweating, mood changes, etc. But if I wake up or once my sugar drops to 80 or below im like a irritated bear with the shakes and no patience. So I know where your coming from. The had me testing my sugar every two hours even if I didnt eat. When they saw the yoyo levels they didnt understand and blamed it as a bad meter. Got a new one and they set it up and tested it and had me do the same thing. Guess what the same results. My sugar would yoyo in one dat from 80 to w5 to 188 to 220 to 70 to 400 to 70. Mind you during this I did eat 3 meals with 1 snack. The ojly thing they memtioned after that was my metabolism, pancreas and liver have to be miscommunicating…. and are un sure. Even after they hospitalized me. They did say maybe your normal may kot be the normal they are use to or maybe there is a different type of diabeties they have never seen and I have it. So I feel you. It sucks and they dont jow to treat me because if they gave me insulin or meds at thisnplijt it would kill me…So Im still being checked out. Going to different doctors, wjo are trying to figuren out whats goin on. The one other tjing onbme that was out of wack that they havsnt done anything about yet and didnt seem shocked was my creatine level in my urine was 682 which extremely bad but my blood came back 10. So Sorry I dont have any real ansaers for you but if i get any I will let you know and please let me know. Thanks for your time. Good luck with everything.

    • yes…your story is exactly like mine…i eat every 2 hours but if i don’t i am sweating and shaking….i don’t know what to do so i
      am tolerating it…what did your doctor tell you to do..

  9. I started 10 years or so ago with elevated BGL’s that still allowed my A1C to be within 6 to 6.5. But after 10 years diet alone didn’t and it’s a slippery slope from adding Metformin to Victoza and then Basil Insulin. I think most people need to look at diabetes and it’s treatments as no cure or real solution. It’s more about treating the symptoms and trying to reduce average BGL. In fact diet alone could control many people’s type two diabetes and pre diabetes especially. But people don’t eat right and rely on drugs to counter the bad eating habits. When I realized that any drug or treatment only reduces your BGL’s about 3 to 5% it’s no wonder people are on a multitude of drugs. That’s in itself makes you feel bad with side effects from many of them. I went from 9.8 A1C to a 7.9 A1C with basil insulin. I should be feeling better but in fact I really don’t. One thing I have realized about diabetes. You can’t take a day off and be bad without some lasting negatives days after. Yes, we have more treatment options these days. But in my opinion many are simply more expensive without a significant improvement in results.

  10. Hello All, I used to have hypo, hyper when I was younger with the spells of passing out and get to a candy bar or OJ fast and I thought that was scary……now being said it looks like I have diabetes from these A1C tests that just randomly showed up, I am really scared.
    This flip side of diabetes started since getting Rheumatoid Disease at 42yoa and lists of other health problems since then, and with the addition of so many medications that cause side effects and other diseases, maladies that has all changed.
    14 years now my sugar has went steadily high with A1C tests. Now it appears I AM diabetic, thank you getting older, getting Rheumatoid Disease, and the list of all others. Most medications will cause the additional serious illness’s and thus important you have or you doctor “remembers” to always each year check your thyroid, sugar, lungs, heart, liver and kidneys(each month), pneumonia, blood clots,or some medication or illness’s cause thin blood and this test for blood thinness/thickness is called INR, sugar, swelling around feet, ankles, calves, face, eyes checked, teeth are a constant care, adrenal gland functions especially on steroids off and on or all of the time like I am causes even more health problems.
    Now I did not get these all overnight. It was one or so at a time and crept up on me and some the doctor did not even take notice of even when putting in the symptoms for these on the internet come back right up first time!! There are a few, like sugar I did not even know about this A1C test and it had been high for a few years!! RAWR as I could have watched it soon and not being such a sugar eater as it was I would not have thought. But with the other issues and all this medicine trying to get through my liver and kidneys I never felt good anyway

    I know this is super long, but if can help anyone out there then keep reading.
    Another few to watch out for when with a new or long term disease, or the medications for them,
    are little sores, and it can be very little and clear, yellowish, 1 or 100, anywhere on your body, can be filled with clear, yellowish or red like blood fluid or dried fluids, bumpy, flat, basically can look like a flea bite to a huge allergic reaction to a flea bite where your whole leg swells up. If they are a little pin prick type I will try neosporin, corticosteroid cream, a benedryl pill, along those lines for a day or two unless it gets worse fast, and I have someone look me all over to see if there are more. They usually strangely enough will run on both sides of the body in similar places but NOT always. I started years ago having these items along with benedryl on hand raising our 5 girls and now grand children as they are always getting bitten and sure enough had a allergic reaction to my middle daughter being bitten by a black bee when she was 4, first one and last one and her arm swollen within minutes as paramedics got there and we say it blow up. Was first time for me to see that and scared me senseless, so I NEVER forget that benedryl as they were telling me over 911 to get do wn her, and thank goodness for liquid as it works faster! Even for adults.! Keep that in mind to save a life.
    Read up an article or two on the internet and make sure its a current one and you can learn a lot that will stick and help in need of an emergency. I also learned that diseases, medications can attract the “bitters” to you from sweat and smell, that you can get a bite type appearance from diseases, and from medications and can be the sign of a bad reaction that could take 24 hours to fully develop into larger liquid filled bubbles all over your body, or just your feet and calves, your thighs, belly, back and you need to be in ER NOW. The first couple blisters do not bother you, but then you wake up and find them all on you somewhere, with some intense pain you will be lining up in ER, faster if there is redness, (mark as soon as you see it to see how fast its spreading), swelling, drainage and could be signs serious infection going into your bones. If its small and your Doctor is open you can go to him too. My first time awakening was all over my left leg to my groin(big red circle from foot, toes, half way up thigh with some into groin, belly a bit and marked, right leg up to calf from toes and marked. By the time I got to ER left leg fully covered in red blisters,clear fluids, swollen from toes to groin, bottom half of belly fully covered and right leg now up to thigh in that short amount to time to mark and get to ER.
    I thought I had a few little heat blisters around my left ankle when I went to bed to watch TV the night before from having the heating pad on my feet cause they hurt. Boy was I WRONG.
    WATCH your body, men and WOMEN, and MEN are the worse!! They will end up with sepsis before wife can get to the phone to call ER right?? Oh they are stubborn.
    Good luck to all of you with Diabetes and other illness’s and seems I have a lot to learn to stay alive with a 178 after 10 hours of fasting :/

  11. I have autoimmune disease issues and was taking methotrexate . recently stopped for two months as I developed severe lung issues with breathing and congestion. During the time and after i stopped taking methotrexate my blood glucose has been all over the map from mornings with no food or drink and averages have been somewhat in the normal range to 145 and upwards of 154. I have been experiencing being thirsty more as well as having to go to the bathroom more. My weight has gone up I have been working out at least three times a week for the past two weeks, I have incredible appetite always hungry, so we did an A1C test and that came back as 5.5 and my blood glucose was at 91 with bun of 25 . Weigh is not coming off no matter what i do , yesterday morning when trying to get out of bed i fell was lightheaded, So does this mean i could be prediabetic with normal ranges other than blood glucose monitoring levels ?

  12. Hello, I don’t have diabetes but I know someone who does. This person has had their A1C at 13.0 for years. This person has recently tried to focus on getting their sugar levels under better control ever since his recent hospitalization where he nearly died due to his extreme high readings. This person hasn’t been so successful, though. He struggles to stick to the insulin therapy because when he takes it, although it helps bring his blood sugar to a “normal” range (100’s 180’s), he starts feeling the normal hypoglecemia symptoms a person would feel when their readings are under 60-70mg/dl. This person feels healthy when his reasings are over 240mg/dl. We have let the doctor know about this to find a solution so he can take his insuling but they don’t seem to understand that the only reason he is not sticking to the plan is because he very much dislikes feeling these symtoms. We didn’t really get an explenation or a solution to how to manage this in order to help him stick to the plan without suffering the terrible low blood sugar symptoms anytime he hits any number under 200 mg/dl. Is there a reason to why this happens and what can we do to help him avoid the symtoms and get his sugar level under control?

    • Bring insulin dosages down slowly exercise like walk and eat right (healthy) and have 3 meals and snacks in between the meals rounding 60 carbs for meal and 30 carbs for snacks. And check check check. Take insulin rather or not you don’t feel right it is right and your body wil get used to it.

  13. I just had a A1c test come back normal and my doctor told me I would be fine and to just eat a little better. I do eat healthy but yet I have all the symptoms of a diabetic. I really don’t think there is “nothing” wrong. Are there any cases where a test could come back normal but the person still have diabetic symptoms. I have a super fast metabolism and I do excercise daily. When I first wake up I always feel light headed and dizzy. When I try to workout in morning I throw up almost every time. I numbness in my legs and or other body parts after sitting for a short time or laying down. My hands and feet get extremly cold during the winter to the point I feel there is no blood circulation. I lose weight very very easily and fast if I do not consume about 4,000 calories daily. I get headaches when I dont eat anything for more than 2 hours. I get headaches every week thursday or Friday regardless if I eat right or not. this has been going on for the past 4 years and my doctors keep teeling me I will be ok but I feel my symptoms getting worse. Any ideas??

      • I have hypothyroidism and have been taking medication for about eight months. Medicine has helped with that and I am having to live with some of the side effects. I wonder if this problem is affecting my sugar levels. I have had a tremendous increase today.

    • You could have issues with Vitamin B12 deficiency. I had many of your same symptoms for years, but additionally ended up with fairly extensive neuropathy in my legs, feet, and hands. I’ve been tested for everything, including B12 deficiency, and was told everything was normal. Then I read that our expert’s “normal” B12 testing levels are inadequate. Long story, short; I have been on a daily split dose of 5000 mcg of the methylcobalamin type of B12 for about two months, and have experienced a remarkable improvement of my symptoms, especially reduced neuropathic pain, and increased sensation in my legs and feet.

      • Neuropathic pain can be cause from your entire spine, discs, compression fractures, and a million gland issues, vitamin deficiencies, and you are out for a long haul to find out what is causing it.
        If Vit 12 has helped you then you are ahead of everyone else and might have found incidentally what is going to help for a lot of people with diabetic neuopathy or any kind of it.
        I will try it myself!!

        Do you get that in shot form from your Doctor or from vitamins? Cause I always ask my Doctor and he says my B12 is perfect but yet I see so many going in there to get those darn shots and saying how much better they feel. AHHH, and he wont give them /

  14. Hi, I just went to my Doctors and had a blood test for my thyroid. My doctor decided to run a glucose test also, I did not know this before hand so I did eat a big meal the night before. The test was at 7:30 am and my last meal was around 8 pm the night before, My glucose came back at 112 and my triglycerides were 184, he told me to just watch my diet and to work out more, so I have and since the test I have lost 7lbs and my glucose numbers have never been over 99 and most of the time they are in the 70s. Does that mean my triglycerides have come down too? Also when the nurse was taking my blood she was horrible and couldn’t find a vain so she went to the other arm and I was very stressed , can that cause a higher reading?

    • Make sure you fill up on water, especially when you are going in with no food for 8+ hours. Otherwise you will be dehydrated and very difficult to find a vein. Those gals at the blood banks never miss unless the patient is pretty well empty of fluids.
      When they tell you do food or drink they mean everything but WATER. You can have that or even coffee with no suger or creamer.
      You must be very young to get that horrified for having to be stuck twice and believe me the blood gal or guy was worse stressed then you I am sure. They never miss, LOL!! and some even have to take a break, or even go home they get so upset. Not just for themselves, but for their patient. :/

      Anyway your sugar sounds great, and your try’s depending on how old you are do not sound horrible horrible, but they are not great.
      But you need a blood test again and cannot determine it by your blood sugar going down or anything else, just the blood test.

      No, stress does NOT make a sugar or Tri blood test higher.

      • OH, and RUTH, your eating the night before at 8pm, and having the blood test done at 8am or after was well over the fasting time of 8 hours. LOL. So the level they got was correct and you had been fasting. It does not matter if you ate a cow, with stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, a bag of skittles.
        You are fine, and very healthy no matter what age you are!!

        I also made a mistake on my earlier replay saying your Tri’s were not horrible, but not great, when I meant to SAY THEY ARE GREAT. Depending on your age, Sure you could get them lower and usually a small trick is to cut back on any cheese you eat is what I have found is my down fall and my Tri’s/cholest has not been high in some 20 years or so and i still eat a lot of cheese just not a stack everyday on everything, LOL.

        You have great figures, numbers that most of us wish we had.

  15. I am not diabetic. I just had a question about it thou. Yesterday I woke up around 9am Didn’t eat till like 3pm and I had a ham biscuit. I drank water. Then I left my home and I had orange juice and a soda and some chips and candy bar. I then went for a long walk and later just decided to check my sugar around 2 am 5 hrs or so after all the above. My sugar was 162. Then I went to bed around 3 and woke up at 9. Checked it again and it was 144. I am sick just getting over the flu but still don’t feel good. I have been on my period for like 6 months straight bc of hormone issues. Should I give it a few more days and see what it is. This is the first time it’s been high. Ty

    • Stress can raise your levels and it is proven that your levels will be at there peek while you are sleeping cause your body will actually produce all the sugar it needs for the day and release it into your blood stream , the best time to take it is on a solid 6-8 hours good rest

      • I was diagnosed as prediabetic by an endocrinologist with the a1c test. It was 5.9. My MD says he’s not concerned and that I need to eat nutritious foods but that I can continue eating cookies; sweets. I am confused. Can you help me?

        • I went for blood work and it said blood sugar was 6.1 but Doctor was not concerned but the results said pre diabeties I’m confused should I be concerned

          • Yes .. be concerned.. because your near being a diabetic. It is best to heed warnings now, then wait until your numbers are to high to start being concerned.
            I was also warned that I am in the “pre -diabetic” range.. I am checking my blood to keep track of what my body doesn’t like.. so far I have found that macaroni noodles are not good for me. =) and bread.. ! spikes my sugar.

  16. I am trying to get some alternative advice regarding my fathers type 1 diabetes. He is 72 and his blood glucose readings are getting progressively worse. They are constantly getting high. Even after fasting and physically working! He’s really struggling getting his levels back down to a normal reading. Any help or advice would be great. Thanks. Kate

    • Kate, I am a holistic nutritionist (also a diabetic-type 2). Has your father seen his doctor? He may need to increase or change the type of insulin he is using. If he is interested in natural management, there are several supplements that I have seen work well to lower blood sugar, either alone or in combination with medication. Contact a nutrition professional before you do this, and work with his primary care physician on it. Diabetes is a progressive disorder, so it can get worse over time. Often changing out how a person is managing it can help.

  17. Hi!
    I’m not diabetic, but my dad is. I did a quick check on those portable devices after having a heavy breakfast and it measured 2.4!
    This may sound stupid but should I be concerned? I mean, yea I do have almost all of the hypoglycemia symptoms but I thought it was because I have heavy periods; as you know -or don’t you’re not a gynecologist- these too are common for girls who have heavy periods every month, oh and I sometimes get my period twice a month!

    I’m 20 years old, I just need some straight answers before I see a doctor, so again, should I be concerned and book an appointment or wait or keep checking on my own for a while…what should I do?

  18. I have testing my sugar in morning find it some where around 110 to 120. what are the precaution I need to take to avoid medicines.

  19. I’ve had fainting episodes for about 4 years now. Early on, my parents who are both diabetic were concerned that I too might have diabetes. During one of my episodes, my mom pulled out her blood glucose meter and it said that I had a blood glucose level of 60. As I’m sure you know, this is definitely not healthy. Yet when I mentioned this problem to my doctor, he tested me as mentioned above, by a fasting blood glucose test. My levels read in the low 80s and I was told that sometimes healthy people can have low blood glucose levels and it doesn’t mean that they’re hypoglycemic or diabetic. But my episodes have grown more frequent over the years, and I’m desperately searching for a better explanation. For the time being, I treat myself by consuming glucose tablets as soon as I recognize that I’m having an episode. To me, this is not healthy. This is not okay. This is dangerous, and I fear that one day my episodes will reach a severity that I cannot control on my own. If I’m unconscious and can’t consume the glucose tablets, what happens to me?

    • You might have an insulinoma. Research it. Have the doctors do a fasting blood test and have them measure everything. Or even better refer you to go get the 72-HR fasting test that is used to diagnose the insulinoma. I’ve read stories of people going for years with these kinda of symptoms and being brushed aside by their doctors and they ended up finding they had an insulinoma. Surgical removal fixed all their problems. I’ve been having symptoms for 2 years now. Having a hard time getting the doctors to cooperate with me. ?

    • Glucose tablets quickly work to raise your BG levels but will not sustain a higher level. When you feel your BG is low do you test with a portable BG meter to know how low or do you just treat the symptom. After taking carbs do you test again after 15 to 30 minutes to see if your levels have recovered sufficiently or eat more complex carbohydrates? When I am hypoglycemic I like to treat with “carbs that count” like fresh or canned fruit instead of “empty calories” like soda or juice. Of course you know your own body best and how quickly you are able to absorb those sugars.

  20. I have passed out alot and went into seizures but never diagnosed with seizures ,,i hv ckd my sugar on a monitor one time it was25 i ate p.butter it went up but never diagnosed with hypoglacemia thy always ck blood when i go to er in amblance 50 er it goes bck up to normal.i hv hit my face so many times ,scared my grand kids i dont even get up anymore out of fear