What Is Normal Blood Sugar?

Physicians focus so much on disease that we sometimes lose sight of what’s healthy and normal.  For instance, the American Diabetes Association defines “tight” control of diabetes to include sugar levels as high as 179 mg/dl (9.94 mmol/l) when measured two hours after a meal.  In contrast, young adults without diabetes two hours after a meal are usually in the range of 90 to 110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l).

What Is a Normal Blood Sugar Level?

The following numbers refer to average blood sugar (glucose) levels in venous plasma, as measured in a lab.  Portable home glucose meters measure sugar in capillary whole blood.  Many, but not all, meters in 2010 are calibrated to compare directly to venous plasma levels.

Fasting blood sugar after a night of sleep and before breakfast: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l)

One hour after a meal: 110 mg/dl (6.11 mmol/l)

Two hours after a meal: 95 mg/dl (5.28 mmol/l)

Five hours after a meal: 85 mg/dl (4.72 mmol/l)

(The aforementioned meal derives 50–55% of its energy from carbohydrate)

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Ranges of blood sugar for young healthy non-diabetic adults:

Fasting blood sugar: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l)

One hour after a typical meal: 90–125 mg/dl (5.00–6.94 mmol/l)

Two hours after a typical meal: 90–110 mg/dl (5.00–6.11 mmol/l)

Five hours after a typical meal: 70–90 mg/dl (3.89–5.00 mmol/l)

Blood sugars tend to be a bit lower in pregnant women

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What Level of Blood Sugar Defines Diabetes and Prediabetes?  

According to the 2007 guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists:

Prediabetes: (or impaired fasting glucose): fasting blood sugar 100–125 mg/dl (5.56–6.94 mmol/l)

Prediabetes: (or impaired glucose tolerance): blood sugar 140–199 mg/dl (7.78–11.06 mmol/l) two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucose

Diabetes: fasting blood sugar 126 mg/dl (7 mmol/l) or greater

Diabetes: blood sugar 200 mg/dl (11.11 mmol/l) or greater two hours after ingesting 75 grams of glucose

Diabetes: random (“casual”) blood sugar 200 mg/dl (11.11 mmol/l) or greater, plus symptoms of diabetes

If there’s any doubt about the diagnosis, testing should be repeated on a subsequent day. 

Compared to impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance may be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and death.  So some researchers and clinicians focus on preventing high blood sugar swings after meals.  The problem with prediabetes, which causes no symptoms early on, is that one of every four cases progresses to full-blown diabetes over the next 3–5 years. 

The numbers above do not apply to pregnant women.  Five percent of pregant women develop gestational diabetes that goes away soon after delivery. 

What Level of Hemoglobin A1c Defines Diabetes?

Another way to consider normal and abnormal blood sugar levels is to look at a blood test called hemoglobin A1c, which is an indicator of average blood sugar readings over the prior three months.  The average healthy non-diabetic adult hemoglobin A1c is 5% and translates into an average blood sugar of 100 mg/dl (5.56 mmol/l).  This will vary a bit from lab to lab.  Most healthy non-diabetics would be under 5.7%.

In December, 2009, the American Diabetes Association established a hemoglobin A1c criterion for the diagnosis of diabetes: 6.5% or higher.  Diagnosis of prediabetes involves hemoglobin A1c in the range of 5.7 to 6.4%.  The aforementioned blood sugar criteria can also be used.   

What Are Blood Sugar Goals During Treatment For Diabetes?

The 2007 guidelines of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists “encourage patients [both type 1 and 2] to achieve glycemic [blood sugar] levels as near normal as possible without inducing hypoglycemia [low blood sugar].”  Specifically:

Fasting blood sugar:  <110 mg/dl (6.11 mmol/l)

Two hours after a meal: <140 mg/dl (7.78 mmol/l)

Hemoglobin A1c: 6.5% or less

The American Diabetes Association recommends normal or near-normal blood sugar levels, and defines “tight control” as:

1) pre-meal and fasting glucose levels of 70–130 mg/dl (3.89–7.22 mmol/l)

2) sugars under 180 mg/dl (10.00 mmol/l) two hours after start of a meal

3) hemoglobin A1c under 7%. 

A hemoglobin A1c of 7% is equivalent to average blood sugar levels of 160 mg/dl (8.89 mmol/l).  Hemogobin A1c of 6% equals, roughly, average blood sugar levels of 130 mg/dl (7.22 mmol/l).  But remember, healthy non-diabetics spend most of their day under 100 mg/dl (5.56 mmol/l) and have hemoglobin A1c’s around 5%.

Diabetic experts actively debate how tightly we should control blood sugar levels.  For instance, Dr. Richard K. Bernstein—a type 1 diabetic himself—recommends keeping blood sugar levels under 90 mg/dl (5.00 mmol/l) almost all the time.  If it exceeds 95 mg/dl (5.28 mmol/l) after a meal, then a change in medication or meal is in order, he says. 

Here’s the over-simplified “tight control” debate.  On one hand, tight control helps prevent and may reverse some of the devastating consequences of diabetes.  On the other hand, tight control in diabetics on insulin and certain other diabetic medications may raise the risk of life-threatening hypoglycemia and may shorten lifespan in other ways.  

Blood Sugar Goals For My Personal Diabetic And Prediabetic Patients

Ideally, normal glucose levels before and after meals, with normal hemoglobin A1c.

Realistically, these are acceptable fall-back positions:

Fasting blood sugar: under 100 mg/dl (5.56 mmol/l)

One hour after meals: under 150 mg/dl (8.33 mmol/l)

Two hours after meals: under 130 mg/dl (7.22mmol/l)

Hemoglobin A1c: 6% or less

Treatment options for those not at goal include diet modification, weight loss, exercise, and medications.  Admittedly, those goals are not acceptable or achievable by everyone with diabetes.  Future studies may prove that such strict goals are not necessary to avoid the complications and premature death suffered by people with diabetes.  Tight control may be less important for elderly diabetics over 65–70.  But for now, if I were a young or middle-aged diabetic I’d shoot for the goals above.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Technical Notes

The gold standard for measuring glucose is a large chemistry analyzer in a lab, which measures values in plasma obtained from a vein with a needle.  The glucose level in capillary whole blood, obtained via fingerprick  and analyzed on a portable/home glucose monitor, is a different value, often 5–10 mg/dl higher than venous glucose.  As of 2010, a majority of home glucose monitors, but not all, are calibrated so as to be directly comparable to venous plasma glucose readings.  Read your monitor’s paperwork to find out about your device. 

Portable fingerstick glucose meters are not as accurate and as you might expect.  If your actual glucose level is 100 mg/dl, the meter may report it as 80 or 120 or anywhere in between, for example.  The meters tend to be less accurate at glucose values over 200 mg/dl.  Some devices are definitely more accurate than others.  Research the available devices before you acquire one.  

Outside the U.S., glucose is usually reported in units of mmol/l (millimoles per liter).  One mmol/l = 18 mg/dl.  To convert mg/dl to mmol/l, divide by 18 or multiply by 0.055. 

Last updated June 1, 2010

171 responses to “What Is Normal Blood Sugar?

  1. BJ

    I’ve read several articles and often mentioned is that Diet Sodas/Aspartame
    can CAUSE lots of various diseases such as diabetes, rashes, etc. Have you done any research on this??? I do consume up to 5 cans a day and have been recently told I have diabetes. No one in my family has ever had it.

    • BJ, I’ve not studied that issue. I personally limit my diet sodas to two daily, and many days I drink none. I tend to doubt there’s an unrecognized epidemic of illness caused by aspartame.


      • Stu Sonntag

        Drink carbonated soda or soft drinks at your peril. My sugar level jumps immediately if I drink one 33cl can. I avoid sugary soda.

      • Stu Sonntag

        My Diabetes started when I had/operated several Tax Duty Free shops, and before that I had unlimited free access to Coke-Sprite due to my job as Export Manager of a beverage produces. Having consumed a lot daily, the doctors recognized my Diabetes after I had my heart attack.

    • Murugan Sadanandan

      Hi BJ, yes! Your experience and mine are identical. My consumption of Aspartame containing sodas was very high for many years before I was diagnosed to be diabetic at 22.

    • Brandy Mearnic, RN

      Hi BJ! Sugar, sodas, diet soda’s or anything with regular sugars or aspartame can NOT cause diseases such as diabetes. That is a misconception. Diabetes is caused by the lack of insulin in the pancreas. The pancreas can not provide enough insulin to keep the blood sugar’s of the body even and so diabetes sets in. Hope this info helps!

      • john

        I don’t know how long you have been an RN Brandy, but diet or regular sodas are extremely bad for not only diabetics, but people in general. Water w/lemon is your best friend and detoxing agent. Water fills you up in between meals and eating non salted mix of walnuts and almonds etc. are great low glycemic foods for you. Diabetes is caused by too many calories that contain simple sugars and raise glucose levels fast. The insulin is the problem. After time the cell receptors occurring in the hormone insulin become less sensitive. Thus Metabolic Syndrome sets in and you become more insulin resistant. Your pancreas is still making insulin for T2 diabetes but the cells are not absorbing the glucose as normally as they used to. Plus the liver is involved IGF and receptors in the liver also become less sensitive. Plus if you are obese or overweight you could have liver steatosis (fatty liver) which will not let the liver turn the absorbed glucose into glycogen energy for the muscles anymore. Potassium is great to improve liver stability to help absorb more glucose to turn it into glycogen. Of course this only works if someone loses weight and reduces their caloric intake. NASH in this country is what is leading to so much diabetic Dx a year also.. A1c is important to measure as well as eAG. A fructosamine blood test is wise and a measurement of the MCV (mean corpuscular volume) is also a good measure. Still even the ADA suggests that watching your calories is more important then your sugar intake. The 2 best measures for reversing or controlling T2 diabetes is still diet and exercise. More non starchy veggies and low glycemic fruits and nuts and less grains and eat legumes. Whole grain breads are also deceiving. This was not meant to criticize you Brandy. It’s just that it is a common misconception that the pancreas is not putting out much of the hormone insulin. Latest research is revealing that too much insulin in the blood is what is more problematic.

      • oli

        Yes john, Brandy is WRONG

      • Shannon

        I am not a physician but my wife passed away just 3 months ago from pancreatic cancer. Her food diet was pretty good. She did not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke or do anything like that. She did consume at least two diet cokes a day at work. When she was diagnosed I immediately went online to find the causes of pancreatic cancer and this was one of the possibilities and the main one. I had been trying to get her to quit those for probably 20 years as I have done research on the harmful effects of Aspertame alone. It is very bad for our bodies as well as the over consumption of white sugar in those sodas. My belief is that she was hooked on these drinks because she did try to stop several times but just couldn’t do it. I miss her terribly! I wish I could tell the world how harmful these drinks are for the body. Water should be the main drink we partake of. I watch with horror as I see children get whatever drink they want at the fast food restaurants. I believe the health of our society is going downhill quickly because of our diets and it just seems no one is doing anything to curb this and especially parents who should teach their children to eat right. Sorry to be so long winded on this but I believe I would still have my sweetheart if it hadn’t been for these drinks she was consuming every day.

      • Shannon, I am sorry for your loss.
        I just reviewed the causes of exocrine pancreatic cancer at UpToDate.com: no mention of diet soda, diet coke, or aspartame.

  2. barbara evans

    my glucose tested 116 with fasting blood test is that normal i am 69?

    • James Kantor

      116, is a little high. it has been four years. What is your blood sugar now.. I good test is to ask what is my blood sugar two hours after eating a meal. Another good test is the HbAic.

  3. Karen Norris

    I am almost 65 and from what I just read its not that important for me to have the tight tight control? I am almost anal in keeping my bs below 120 2hrpp and 140 1hrpp I am on a low carb of 50 or so carbs a day. Am I going overboard? Thanks Karen

    • Hi, Karen.
      It’s an extremely complicated situation. Be sure to get your own doctor’s opinion.

      Over the last few years, we’ve seen published studies suggesting that the average diabetic may have a better overall outcome, at least in terms of longevity, with hemoglobin A1c’s in the range of 6.5 to 7%, not lower. If you successfully achieve your goal glucose levels, you’d be in the 5 to 6% range.
      It’s difficult to be sure about this issue because of the multitude of issues involved, such as type 1 vs type 2 diabetes, underlying type of diet, co-existing illnesses, access to medical care, types on non-drug adjunctive medical care, exercise vs sedentary lifestyle, geographic location, which diabetic drugs are being used and for how long, etc. For instance, the ACCORD trial indicated higher death rates in diabetics with hemoglobin A1c under 7%. But ACCORD participants, at least some of them, were using rosiglitazone. Rosiglitazone was esssentially taken off the market in the U.S. a year ago because of excess cardiac deaths in users.

      In the ideal scientific study, we alter ONE variable and see what happens. It’s often hard to do that in clinical studies on humans.


    • Karen. Better to be safe than sorry. A fasting BG of 116 is not that bad. It could be lower. A good way to monitor your overall average eAG is taking 28.7 X A1C= eAG. As long as your A1C is under 6 you are doing well. But if your A1C is 5.4 you are doing even better. Any A1C between 5% and 5.7% is considered great tight control. Hope this helps.

  4. Thanks for your information. I have listened to you on Jimmy Moore’s podcasts and have also written about your work on livestrong.com. ;) I am actually diagnosed with PCOS and although I am just slightly overweight, I discovered that my 2-hr post-meal blood glucose levels were at 124 mg/dL after a meal of fish, non-starchy vegetables, butter and 2 squares of 85% dark chocolate (for a total of less than 12 g of carbs) (fasting BG ranges between 76 to 88 mg/dL, except for last night when they went up to 115 mg/dL while suffering from insomnia around 4am). I am currently eating a very low-carb diet, with <50 g of available carbs a day and believe that my blood sugar levels should not go that high after eating. What kind of target would you aim for? I am still trying to lose weight and manage my PCOS. Should I restrict my carbs even more?

    • Hi Aglaee. Thanks for chiming in.

      For legal and medical reasons, I can’t be specific about your situation since I don’t have the full picture and haven’t examined you. Be sure to work with your own personal physician.

      Nevertheless, if those were my numbers, I would’t be too terribly concerned. I wouldn’t cut my carbs any further at this point. I might get a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test (after three days of eating at least 100-150 g of digestible carbs daily). That would tell me if I were in the prediabetic or diabetic range (at which point I’d have more concern).

      An exercise program with both aerobic and resistance training components may help reduce after-meal blood sugar levels.

      Hope this is helpful.


  5. Becky

    This is some very helpful information, thank you! I also have PCOS, 33 yrs, and a type II Diabetic on Metformin 500 x 2/day. (I also take Prometrium 12 days out of the month) I am obese and have been taking losing weight very seriously. I have noticed a slight trend where my fasting was 121 (It has never been that high), and then two hours after breakfast it will be around 105. I was sure to retest each time to see if I had a faulty test, and they were correct. Have you had cases where diet and excercise have altered blood sugar like this? I’m use to having a fasting blood sugar of 85-100, and 2 hour post breakfast of around 115. I have a doctors appointment on the 15th, but I would appreciate any input or advice you could give. Thank you!

  6. Hello, Becky.
    I can’t give you any personal advice since I’m not your personal physician. But I do have a few comments.
    You may be exhibiting the “dawn phenonmenon.” Here’s how it works. Insulin helps to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high. Everybody’s llver helps to deactivate insulin. For mostly mysterious reasons, some livers work more effectively to deactivate insulin in the early morning hours. Deactivation of insulin would allow blood sugars to rise, particularly fasting (early AM) levels. Eating breakfast then “wakes up” the pancreas so it produces more insulin. How to lower fasting glucoses under 100 mg/dl? An exercise program can help. Also eating relatively fewer carbs with the evening meal might help, moving those to earlier in the day, say lunchtime. There are a few other tricks, too.
    The dawn phenomenon effect may last till mid- or late-morning for some folks. I think that’s why Dr. Richard Bernstein recommends eating ony 6 g of digestible carb for breakfast, and 12 g for both lunch and dinner.
    Hope that helps.


  7. Rakesh singh

    after break fast by 80 min my suger level is 116. iam not taking any tablate
    Please tell me iam diabetes patients or not ?



  9. seb

    I have a Ac1 level of 5.4. I am 30 years old, have not been active for 6 months but am willing to restart today my training. Is 5.4 a good level?

  10. mwchow


    Does this look normal to you for an OGTT?

    HBAC1 : 5.2
    Fasting : 5.1
    C-peptide : 1.50 (1.06 – 3.53, Peak: 4-10)
    Insulin : 5.23 (4-16 fasting)

    1 Hr : G 10.3 (ref 6 – 9.4), Insulin 15 ulU/ml (4=16 fasting)
    2 Hr : G 6.5 (ref 4 – 7.4), Insulin 9.28 ulU/ml (4-16 fasting)


  11. Floy O'Neal

    This web site sucks!!!!

  12. Muhammad Niaz

    on 12/3/12 at about 1300 hrs. Blood glucose after 5 hrs. fasting it was 67mg/dl and 2 hrs after meal it was 160 mg/dl . am i glucose patient

  13. blogger141

    I’ve just discovered this website and finally some light sheds on issues lately: whenever I eat, I feel like I am drugged afterwards(never tried, but I assume that’s how it is), I get EXTREMELY tired, sweaty, nauseated, can’t see well, can’t think at all and I just HAVE to lay down. If I can’t lay down, I go on beat for hours until I feel normal again. I discovered this: my pulse goes very high, in the 90’s after I eat, my blood pressure goes higher, 117/74(but normally is very low, like 90/55). Then, my sugar readings were: 116 before eating, then 1h after eating and 2h after eating is 146. Would I be considered a pre-diabetic? I am only in early 30’s, but we’ve been through a lot of stress past years, had four kids one after another, gained ~20lb… We eat pretty healthy, no processed foods, no sodas, no sugars, unless it comes from fruit. There are some diabetes and heart issues in the family history.

    • blogger141

      1h after eating was 154. I missed on writing it. Do I have reasons to be concerned?

    • Good to hear from you, blogger141.
      If those are your blood sugar readings (in mg/dl) while you’re feeling so bad, you can’t attribute the symptoms to blood sugar levels. You better check in with your personal physician for an accurate diagnosis.


  14. Bryce

    i am type 2 and last nite 2 1/2 hrs after dinner (hamberger helper) my reading was 76, where normally it is 117-119 with the same meal.what happened and should i be concerned? ( normally my readings are morning fastings are in the low 90s and after meals are in the 117-119 range) im taking Januvia 100 mg once a day

  15. Bryce

    sorry my email is brycebeaulieu@gmail.com not mail.com

  16. Anna

    I am not diabetic. I have gotten many blood tests done, including the glucose tolerance test to see how my sugar levels change. I got these tests done, because I have noticed that sometimes I get shaky or weak and wasn’t sure if this was because of low blood sugar levels. The lab work has come out normal, which is good. But why am I still sometimes feeling weak or shaky? I try to eat right and don’t want to be worried about my sugar levels fluctuating. what should I do?

  17. brant119

    I am a 65 year old male who is ytpe 2. I am on Amaryl and do not test. My personal doctor of 25 years checks AIC every 3 months. Last was 7.0. Has ranged from 6.5 to 7.5. My fasting sugar was 211 and I am scared especially after reading Mark Hymans book. I am 20 lbs overweight and have HBP and I do exercise regularly and count carbs. I am puzzled. Should I see a specialist? I also take Simvistatin and my cholesteol is borderline. Should I try Medt. diet and should I get more aggressive with a specialist? I have same MD for 25 years. No family history and my parents lived to 90 and 87. I plan to buy your book. Also why is eating cheese an issue. I have basically cut out pizza, rice and pasta-maybe once or twice a month for the latter 2 and I do not like sweets.

    I am just really puzzled.

    • Stu Sonntag

      Please read my Post, down below.
      As a Diabetic I take 2+2 Diformin Retard 500mg morning & night. Also Simvastatin daily for 20 years. Height 5’8. Weight 72-75 kg for 20 years.
      My Fasting Blood Sugar Level hovers around 4.4 – 6 mmol/l.

      This morning, my BS level was 4.6 and after a breakfast of a Toasted Cheese & Tomato Sandwich + 2 cups of Tea with Milk & Fruit Sugar.
      Tested 3,5 hours later, my BS level was 6.1.

      Eat rice-pizza-potato-pasta-white bread + spicy hot Indian curries.
      Drink Red Wine with meals. Minimal exercise.
      I use Fruit Sugar or Stevia in my Tea with Lactose Free milk.
      Plain Yoghurt (without any fruit) with Bees Honey.
      I eat both milk & dark chocolates but occasionally.
      But avoid biscuits, cakes and sugary pasties.

      My simple solution, during the past 5 years, which has worked to maintain my Diabetic Blood Sugar level, is as follows-;
      I make a pot of Ceylon Tea (1 litre with one Tea bag) + 2-3 spoons of normal sugar + 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder. Then refrigerate to cool.
      Drink several cups a day, and the last cup before bedtime.

      Doctors in Finland are excellent. State Medicare system Really Works!

  18. Rufus Groote

    There are some natural food supplements that can help improve low blood pressure like Licorice. *

    Remember to look out for this useful web portal

  19. Jim Allan

    I have just been diagnosed with type 2 and am trying to get a handle on my blood sugar levels through testing periodically per my doctors instructions. I have been ranging before meals 90 to 104. Two housrs after meals I range between 100 and 104. First thing in the morning I range from 90 to 100.
    I am dieting and exercising. Am I wrong or are these good numbers? I am 66, have lost 10 Lbs in the last month since I began testing.

  20. Peggy Middleton

    My husband has a FBS level of 128 his A1C is 6.1. It has been running high 90’s to 112 over the last 5 years. He is 60, 6’2” and weighs 211 lbs. He is furious with our MD because she has “labeled” him diabetic, not pre-diabetic. She has not put him on any oral hypoglycemics and is going to check his labs in 3 months. She told him to exercise and loose 20 lbs. Is he diabetic or pre-diabetic?
    Thanks, Peggy

    • Hey, Peggy. It sounds frustrating. Here’s a page that will have the answer to your question. If there was only one single fasting blood sugar over 125 mg/dl, I’d say he’s more prediabetic than diabetic. But I don’t have all the data. Treatment approach to prediabetes and mild type 2 diabetes would be pretty much the same.


  21. Don Johnson

    I am 74 and have been a type 2 diabetic for some 20 years. I take a variety of pills and my average A1C is always over 7 but less than 8.

    It doesn’t matter what I eat or not eat for my evening meal, my blood sugar is always high in the morning around 160 to 180. After I eat, a couple of hours later, it is around 110 -140. I have had several surgeries in my stomach area and I think this might be a problem.

    I also have lots of lows, etc.

  22. Philo

    I can keep my blood sugar in check, although I had been having a real hard time the past six months or so. I would hit the sack with a blood sugar around 125-129, and wake up with it around 169 or so. I also wasn’t sleeping well. With some Internet research I learned that sleep deprivation does impact blood sugar. I had been napping on my break from work between 2pm and 5pm. I cut that nap out, started making sure I get at least 7 hours sleep at night, and now I’m back to normal for the most part.

  23. This is very helpful blog post and useful to see all the thresholds and targets in one place. Thank you.

    My hbA1C was at 6.0 and my fasting glucose was 6.0 in November. Since then I’ve been able to lower my average glucose to about 5.2 through a low carb diet (I haven’t been retested for hbA1C). Here is the difficulty that I have with the hbA1C 6.5 target that you set for your patients: they would still have abnormally high blood sugars and could suffer many of the adverse symptoms of diabetes. My numbers were in the prediabetic range and equal to lower end of the hbA1C target that you set (though admittedly my fasting glucose was higher). Yet, I suffered many symptoms of diabetes, including peripheral neuropathy, obesity, fatigue after meals, dry mouth, tendonitis, arthritis and diabetic dermopathy (shin spots). Thus, I feel it is essential to set a much more rigorous target for myself than you do for your patients. Since going on a low carb diet, some of the symptoms have mostly disappeared–notably the more classic diabetic symptoms–peripheral neuropathy, obesity (down 35 lbs), and arthritis.

    Your targets however are much better than the ADA and for that your patients should be grateful.

  24. Dee

    Hi my name is Dee, I am a type 1 diabetic. My numbers are between 120 and 139 over night. I am suppose to be taking insulin 40g twice a day just before my meal. When I take the 40 grams as prescribed I crash my numbers be in the low 60’s where i have to than get to some sugar. Now when I just excersize after meals my numbers drop in a normal range. Also my age is 51. What could the problem be?

  25. Md Moniruzzaman

    what is the minimum hba1c level to start any diabetic agent

  26. Thanks for the website. It clears up a lot of things my doctor has been trying to explain. Will be bookmarking this and will return often to visit.

  27. Hussain

    Is there a big effect if I leave my blood sugar as high as 250 mg/dl for more than two hours? e.g. five to six hours without exercising, in other word if I failed to exercise after two hours, is it still good to exercise after five to six hours or just skip the exercise for that meal?!
    Another thing is it better to exercise one hour after meal or two hours?
    Thanks for replying

  28. Hussain

    Thanks to Dr. Steve

    Thanks to Mr. Petros
    Believe me I’m doing my best, and that’s out of my hands, because of our culture. I’m still much better than my relatives and friends who are reaching up to 500. I know it’s very impossible for me to go down to 108 even in the morning after fasting.
    Thanks again and I’m very sorry for my poor English!

  29. Akiva Sherman

    I’m 63 years old male.
    This morning after meal I’ve checked my blood sugar and it was 101, In the mornings before eating, I checked for few days, and it tested 70, 71,75,76, and now 2 hours after I had food (tomato, two slices of turkey, peach and a banana it shows 102.
    I feel tiered and dizzy.
    what is normal blood sugar after such meal?

  30. Yousuf F. Choudhury

    I am 26 years old. My height is 173 cm but I weigh 88 kg. I have been self monitoring my blood sugar on and off though I have never visited doctor. I do so because my dad is also suffering from diabetic type 2. My CBG levels always come in the range 90-110. Should I be concerned?? I have one problem too. I am living a sedentary lifestyle as I am busy in studies. Please, advice.

  31. The ACCORD trial was discontinued because cardiac events were higher for the intensive therapy group with A1cs under 7.0. But this is because the intensive therapy group was taking more/higher doses of medication! What about getting a lower A1C without medication?

    I am a 61 year old male. In March 2012, I had an A1c of 6.6. It is now 5.0 without medication. I did it with low carb, whole food, no sugar diet with 5 to 7 hours a week of exercise… no medication! Went from over 30% body fat to under 12% with a 22BMI. Have a friend with even more dramatic results after sharing with him what I was able to do. He had an A1c of 10! (First 4 months he used medication, then went with diet and exercise alone and got much better results after only one week on Newcastle protocol with no medication.

    The 2011 Newcastle study basically confirmed your clinical Medfast experience and shows it’s possible to completely reverse diabetes symptoms without medication.


    Would be interested in your comments on why ADA and AACE can’t figure this out. I’m not a physician but was a top research executive and know how to conduct an N of 1 trial.

    I don’t believe anything until I test it with my meter.

    Eat to the Meter!

    • Blaine, thanks for your inspirational comments.
      Why the ADA and AACE cant’ figure it out, I’ll just blame on “institutional inertia.” They’ve done things a certain way for years, and it’s slow to alter the course of the ship. I have no direct knowledge of how much influence the pharmaceutical industry has over the guideline developers. Clearly, using drugs instead of diet to control blood sugars benefits the drug sellers. The societal move to better diet and away from drugs (esp. in type 2 diabetes) will probably have to be led by the patients, I’m afraid.

  32. Madlyn

    At age 68, Dr says my fasting glucose level of 101 and 4 months later, 110 need to be reduced. I’m not overweight (5’8″ 145 lbs), b.p is 100/60, cholesterol is 233 with hdl over 80. Where do I find out which foods may make my glucose rise 10 pts? A glass of wine raises it how much? A potato or spaghetti for dinner – not much, of course, to keep my weight down. My mother and grandmother did not have diabetes and both were overweight – I’ve been careful with weight and now this worry – very frustrating!

    • Madlyn, the only way to see how different foods affect your particular blood sugar would be to get a home glucose meter and check it 1-2 hours after a meal. Unfortunately, the existing meters aren’t accurate enough to reliably detect a real difference of 10 mg/dl. Even the huge machines in labs may not be that accurate. In other words, I wouldn’t fret about a 9-10 mg/dl difference on only two separate occasions. If fasting blood sugars are repetitively in the 110 range, that’s cause for some concern. The a home meter makes more sense. Browse more on this site and you’ll find which foods tend to spike blood sugars.

  33. Eagle Squad KSA

    Dr Steve

    Good Day

    Here is My laboratory result last week

    After Fasting

    Hemoglobin A1C 7.6 %
    RBS IS 183 mg/dl after fasting

    I am taking my meds everyday and exercise daily
    Metformin 500.. Everyday im doing my exercise in threadmill for one hour and mention there that i burned 150 calories.. Every meal i ate 3/4 cup of rice and lots of vegetable..if you can give a diet method or advise for my meal…it is highly appreciated

    Do you think my blood sugar will goes down in my method?

  34. marcusflores

    I am male,69 years old. My latest fasting plasma glucose some days ago was 5.82 mmol/l. I did not ask for any hba1c to accompany it. Six months ago,however, my fasting plasma glucose was less at 4.99,that time plus hba1c reading of 5.4. Both tests were done by reliable hospital lab. Am i prediabetic or insulin-resistant in your view,judging from these numbers? Regards. Marcus Flores.

    • Hey, Marcus. Those aren’t enough data points to make a definitive diagnosis. So I wouldn’t label you as prediabetic at this point. Might be helpful to check a serum glucose 2 hours after a 75 gram oral glucose load. Or just check another fasting glucose and HgbA1c in six months. If any of this contradicts your personal physician, go with his ideas. He knows the full details of your situation.

      No way I can say if you have insulin resistance. If your body mass index is over 30, odds are about 7 in 10 that you are resistance.


  35. Lillian
    I just took my glucose reading and it has me concerned. My reading was E-5. I have never seen this before. What does this mean? I had an ultra sound done on Friday (11/8/13) and was told not to take my Metformen until I had my blood tested, after which my doctor is to tell me if I should start taking it again on Monday (11/11/13). What should I do if anything?

    • I’m just guessing E-5 is an error message. Check your machine’s user manual.
      The ultrasound/metformin thing also makes no sense to me.
      Contact your doctor with those questions.

      On a related note, when we do a CT scan with intravenous contrast, we always have the patient stay off metformin until 48 hours later so we an prove (with a blood test) that the contrast hasn’t damaged the kidneys.

  36. bsnarayana

    i have been diagnised once blood sugar 210 after meals but later i checked both fasting and post meal are at normal .recently i have gone for hba1c it is 5.8 and after one month it is reeated now it is 6.6 whether iam diabetic or need to meet doctorneed any di

  37. chriswattsh2o

    My 14 yr old son, who we tested twice, during a biology exercise, showed a 49 reading on my blood glucose meter. A walk in clinic dr. Said it was normal for teens blood to dip down to such a low level. I havent found info. To support his claim.

    • I’ve not seen a table of normal blood sugar values for young teens and I don’t practice pediatrics, so I don’t have much intelligent to say about your son’s 49 mg/dl. As long as he was feeling fine at 49, it may be nothing to worry about. Measurement error? I do know that some athletes during heavy exertion will dip below 50 and never know it.

  38. All. I wanted to know is if 76 was too low for a diabetic. It only told me averages. My nurse practioner says it is. Thanks
    I do injoy the info you have for someone my age.

    • Hi, Lillian. Blood glucose of 76 mg/dl is in the normal range. It’s not too low unless the patient is one of those who frequently and mysteriously becomes hypoglycemic, with potentially serious consequences.

  39. ann

    My brother was recently diangosed with type 2 diabetes and already has neouropy in his feet. Does this mean he has had this for a long time? Also should he seek out a diabetec dr. Or will a general practitioner do as well? The dr didnt help with diet , just gave him some melformin and said come back in 3 months, very frustrating!!!! – help please with some advise.

    • Hi, Ann.
      Many diabetics already have neuropathy or other complications at the time of diagnosis. Type 2 diabetes is often present for months or years before it’s diagnosed.
      Many, but not all, general practitioners are well-equipped to treat T2 diabetes. Simply prescribing metformin without doing anything else for a brand-new diabetic is inadequate.

  40. maria

    I had severe reactive hypoglycemia for a year and a half, to the point I couldn’t even eat anything without seeing very low numbers right after. I ended up in the ER several times, and even found out I had nocturnal hypoglycemia in the 40′s during the whole night and that I used to spent half of my day hypoglycemic. I was eating the SAD so after 3 months following the paleo diet I can say I rarely have an hypoglycemic episode. It started getting better and better. Well suffering from RH for more than a year certaintly caused me cortisol dysregulation as well and adrenal issues so I would like to know what is happening now is cause for concern or I should ignore it.
    My fasting blood sugar used to be 70 and now is always 90.
    3h after a meal my blood sugar used to be very low (I was probably extremely glucose dependent) and now it rises to 100-110. What I mean is if I eat a meal the pattern is for eg:
    before eating – 80
    1h after eating – 120
    2h after eating – 90
    3h after eating – 100-110
    Also my glucometer shows numbers around 110 every single night around 2-3am. When I wake up around 8.am it’s 90. Also, another question that really confuses me is that I’ve been eating a high protein breakfast with fat and a little bit of carbs for a couple of weeks now (not 50g of protein but fairly high protein) and after 1h my blood sugar is usually 110, sometimes goes up to 120. Why does this happen?
    Should I be concern about any of these new facts or is everything (finally) ok?
    Sorry for bothering and thank you for your help.
    Apologies for my english i’m from Spain

  41. nikita

    I’m concerned my daughter is hypoglycemic. She has a good majority of the symptoms and I have been checking her. Her numbers seem to be low and I’m also curious as to what a normal blood sugar should be in the middle ofthe night, like 1am…. Her levels barely get over a hundred, the lowest fasting she has had is 68 and the highest is 103. Any info would be appreciated. She does have an appointment on the 28th. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi, Nikita.
      I don’t know your daughter’s age and I don’t treat children. I don’t know the normal range for children’s blood sugars off the top of my head. I bet for kids between 6 and 18, the normal range is quite similar to adults. A middle-of-the-night blood sugar for a healthy adult who ate dinner at 8 PM would be roughly 70 to 100 mg/dl. 68 mg/dl is close enough to normal and usually wouldn’t cause symptoms. From 1 to 3 hours after a typical meal containing 50% of calories from carbohydrate, healthy adult blood sugars would range from 80 to 140-150 mg/dl.
      Keep that appointment with her doctor. And good luck.

      PS: To convert mg/dl to mmol/l, divide by 18. This only works for glucose.

  42. nikita

    I just recently bought a new meter because the other one broke, I’m not sure how accurate the other meter was, but with the new one she’s been running high fasting numbers. 103, 106, 109, and 116 today.

  43. Lori Chernyha

    My husband has reactive hypoglycemia and has developed diabetic shin spots, the kind that are red, scaly and indented. I knew diabetics got them but have you ever seen someone with reactive hypoglycemia develop them?

  44. Lori Chernyha

    It makes me wonder if diabetic shin spots can be due to insulin spikes rather than sugar spikes. Which are conditions of both hyper and hypoglycemics, right? Thanks, Lori

    • I had scabby shin spots for a couple of summers. My fasting glucose and Hba1c was in the prediabetic range. Roller coaster blood sugars even if not in the diabetic range can be sign of carbohydrate intolerance, and the result can be symptoms typical of diabetes. I also had peripheral neuropathy.

  45. Lori Chernyha

    The thing is my husband’s blood glucose never goes over 100, but can drop very low if he skips meals or consumes any carbs. So if I understand you correctly, it doesn’t matter in which direction blood glucose fluctuates, it just the fact that it fluctuates that causes the skin condition. If this is correct can he expect other complications associated with diabetes? I have read that uncontrolled reactive hypoglycemia can be a precursor to insulin resistance. Fortunately, he is taking his condition seriously, by avoiding carbs and not skipping meals he has managed to control the extreme fluctuations. He feels much better and has lost 20 of the 30 extra pounds he has been carrying around for the last few years. Thanks, Lori

  46. shah

    I am pregnant and testing my blood sugars for a week (i’m 32 weeks). I passed the 3 hour glucose test (my third hour was slightly elevated but they said I passed). Testing for a week just in case. Fasting has to be between 70-99 and one hour post meals have to be under 135. How many high readings would you consider someone to have GD? What if the high readings are only after breakfast? My breakfast ranges from 140-147, fasting is 90 or below, and other meals are 120 or below.

  47. Stephen Lowe

    My fasting blood sugar level is between 4.6 – 6.8. I have had cardiac surgery, and have high blood pressure. I am 72 years old. Since I have been taking cold Ceylon tea with cinnamon powder + sugar, daiy, my sugar level has reduced from 6+ to average 5. Your opinion please.

  48. Olan

    I have been told that metformin can cause kidney stones. Is there any truth to that?

  49. Lakshmi

    10 Hours Fasting blood glucose 7.13
    2 hour meal is 5.69
    HbA1c 5.7

    am I diabetic?

  50. Wm Thomas

    I have been a diabetic for 15 years and 62 yrs. old. Started as Type 2 and transitioned to Type 1 a few years ago. Not overweight and no family history. My AIC has been in the 7.5 range for some time. I am experiencing signs of peripheral neuropathy but also had two peroneal nerve entrapments (that have been repaired) and spinal stenosis which has not been treated. Does a 7.5 AIC level give concern for peripheral neuropathy or could the calf pain and ankle weakness be from other issues?

    • Hello, William. Yes, the calf pain and ankle weakness could be from peripheral neuropathy or spinal stenosis, among other possibilities. Work with your doctor on those; see a neurologist if needed for clarification. You don’t want your back operated on if the the problem is peripheral neuropathy!

    • I had debilitating peripheral neuropathy with an hbA1C of 6.0. When I went on a low carb diet, it got much better. Now I am doing Wahls Protocol to help the nerves grow back.

  51. dlmtleArt

    is it safe to eat the same carb counting meal plan as my diabetic family member? I thought it might be helpful for them if I did that.

    • d’Art, that question has too many variables for me to try to answer specifically yes or not. If the diabetic diet is well-designed and the non-diabetic is healthy overall, eating the same “carb counting meal plan” probably won’t be a problem.

  52. Dan Keat

    Hello Dr. Steve,

    I am a 23 year old male that is 5’10”, consistently less than 160 pounds, and very active, but for a while I have been feeling generally terrible. All my research kept pointing to diabetes, which I thought was impossible given my physical state and the lack of diabetes in my family, but to be on the safe side, I bought a blood sugar monitor and gathered the below results:

    Fasting bs level – 59
    1 hour after a bagel – 143
    2 hours after the bagel – 104
    3 hours after the bagel – 70
    1 hour after lunch – 79

    Are these normal levels? My Dad is a doctor, and he said that 143 is a bit high. I’ll be crushed if I have diabetes.

    Thank you.

  53. Bunny

    I woke up checked my fasting blood sugar and it was 81. I consumed 4 glucose tablets because I felt shaky. I checked it again and it was 148! I’m still hungry and want to eat breakfast but now I’m afraid it is too high?

  54. Harshitha

    Hi, Myself 29yrs old female, yesterday I had a check for blood glucose as prescribed by my physician, the results are as follows:

    Fasting Blood Glucose : 105
    Blood Glucose after 2 hrs : 110
    Today my physician said I m diabetic, can anyone please help me out with this.

  55. Diana

    About 2 years ago I came down with some autoimmune conditions sjogrens syndrome, and UCTD. I already had thyroid issues for a few years and have had inflammatory bowel disease since teenager, 48 now. During a workup to try to get to the bottom of symptoms, my endocrinologist did a GAD antibody test on me. Mine was positive, but my blood sugars were not extreme. Fasting 82 to 95..post meal 120 to 145.

    My doctor says the GAD test is usually indicative of autoimmune diabetes like type one, and that I am most likely heading that direction. As of now according to the ADA I am not diabetic. Is it true that a positive GAD test means I will be insulin dependent diabetic? When I try to ask my endo he tells me not to stress over it it may happen or it may not. I am getting mixed messages. And is a type one kind of diabetes more insidious in its arrival? Father had diabetes, told it was type two, but he was never able to control it, passed away from massive heart attack. Could he have been type one, and would that be where I get it from?

    • Hi, Diana. I agree with your endocrinologist. Regarding your father: T2 diabetes is usually pretty easy to diagnose; if several physicians labelled his case such, they’re probably right. Type 2 is usually much more insidious that T1.

      • Tina Smith

        Pease help, my mom is 73 and less then a month ago she was hospitalized with a blood sugar level of 40 and stroke like symptoms. since she has been home all she is doing is sleeping and not eating properly last night she fell flat on her face she said everything went black in front of her and she woke up on the floor. she said this happened because her sugar was high. what should her sugar levels be before a meal and then 2 hours after a meal and what should it be when she wakes up.

      • Hi, Tina. I’m sorry that I can’t give specific advice in your mom’s situation since I’ve never examined her and don’t have all the details of her case. She should see a doctor in-person as soon as possible.

  56. Irina K

    Hello Dr. Steve,

    My blood glucose always was normal in the past. My doctor sent me to do A1c test because I have relative with type 2 diabetes. it’s came A1c=5.8. After I had been diagnosed as prediabetic condition, I started to check my fasting blood glucose every morning and never had it higher then 90mg. I am 63 years old and do not have any symptoms so far. I am skinny, I do exercise four times a week and eat healthy food. I took nutrition classes two years ago. After three month I went to recheck my A1c and it become 5.9 What can cause its climbing, if my fasting morning blood sugar is in range from 78-90mg? Do you have any suggestion what I have to do to stop it climbing?
    Thank you.


    • Hello, Irina. A change in HgbA1c from 5.8 to 5.9 is not clinically significant, so don’t feel like your situation is worsening. In other words, they could draw your blood from a right elbow vein and left elbow vein at the same time, immediately run it throughout the chemistry machine, and get readings of 5.8 and 5.9. Since your HgbA1c is in the prediabetic range but you have normal fasting sugars, I’m guessing your blood sugar two hours after a meal is sometimes in excess of 140-160 mg/dl. This could be due to the particular foods you’re eating, especially refined/over-processed carbohydrates. What’s your doctor say?

  57. Satyendra

    My sugar level is 90 before fasting and 87 after 2 hours of eating. Is it OK ?

  58. julia

    hi there, I am prediabetic and my a1c is 6.2, but for the last week my glucose levels are over 200, even first thing in the morning. I just got home from work and I checked my glucose level and it was 302. what does this mean. should I consult with my dr.?

  59. Mon Salvador

    Hi Dr Steve, last May and just yesterday, my fasting blood sugar result is 5.5 [99 mg/dl – ed.], yesterday also, my doctor requested for hba1c, the result is 6.65, my urine result is negative of sugar. Does this mean i am diabetic? I’m kind of worried, though my doctor tells me not to worry. Hope to hear from you thank you

    • Mon, I’d be concerned about that hemoglobin A1c. It makes me wonder if you are having diabetic-range blood sugars after meals, or other fasting blood sugars higher than 5.5 mmol/l (99 mg/dl).

      • Mon

        Hi Dr Steve, my doctor advised to retake hba1c as she is doubtful of the result. The advised to take the test in the main hospital rather than on their satellite clinic. The result came out 5.8

  60. Hi,

    My 95 year old father was a type II diabetic staying in a nursing home that failed (and would not let him) take a finger stick or any other kind of blood glucose test for 3 months. When they finally did blood work, his glucose was 790. It was tested again by the lab and confirmed. Have you ever heard of a number this high? What are the implications of a number this high and could it develop overnight?


    • Hi, John.
      I’ve seen blood sugars close to 1000 mg/dl (55 mmol/l). A value of 790 could develop overnight in a type 2 diabetic, but usually not unless there is some other medical problem going on, such as an infection or dehydration or corticosteroid drug therapy. Type 1 diabetics commonly can have glucose values shoot up that high over the short-term. Most folks with glucose of 790 are going to be and feel sick. On the other hand, an emergency physician last week told me about a patient he had just seen, who had known diabetes and a glucose around 600 mg/dl. He declined admission to hospital. Guess he wasn’t feeling too bad.

  61. Just Wondering

    I am a visiting nurse. What is the point of restricting a demented 90 year old’s diet? What are we saving him for? Why can he not eat donuts and ice cream if that’s what he wants? Who cares if he’s diabetic? He’s 90 years old and demented. And this is what we do. Insane.

  62. gerda

    I am 61 years old and has always been healthy. lately I am always tired. have a pain on my back next to my vertabra on the left hand side. sometimes a burning pain. This weekend we were binging on some chocholate, maybe 7 or eight assorted chocholates with coffee or tea. our normal diet is very low on carbs. we do not eat bread, rice, potatoes. we love our veggies and they are just cooked. After the chocholate excursion I felt sleepy and went to sleep. The next morning I felt incredibly tired and thought that I should test my blood sugar (my mom was a diabetic) the reading was 11.8. On Tuesday Morning I tested it again and my bloodsugar reading was 12,8. (during Monday we normally fast and we had a very healthy bean vegetable soup for Lunch and supper.) Tuesday morning we hd our normal breakfast of 2 eggs, 2 rashers of bacon and 3 slices of tomatoes. with rooibos tea during the day. For lunch I ate nothing and had
    just fruit ( 3 apricots an apple and 2 prunes) for supper. I was feeling fine but not hungry at all. THis morning I tested my bloodsugar again and the reading was 15,9. (I must mention that I was at the gym yesterday and was working in the garden picking up bricks)

    Why would my bloodsugar all of a sudden go up like that. ( must mention that I have extreme back ache the last few days. ) could it be caused by pain.

    I measured my bloodsugar on a monthly basis and it is always between 4 and 5.8.

    Please answer me.


    • Hi, Gerda. Be sure to check in with your personal physician.
      It’s possible that you have a kidney infection or pneumonia causing your blood sugars to rise into the diabetic range. Or your testing device/test strips are malfunctioning.
      See your doc soon.

  63. Emil

    Hi Everybody,
    I am not a doctor, but this is what some doctors say: The Low carb diet can
    help. There is hope! Google Dr.eades !

  64. sara

    I just recently found out that I’m a diabetic. I went into the hospital with pancreatitis and that’s when they found the diabetes. That was December 10th 2014. I have now lost 35 lbs and I eat and drink right. I feel so much better and I don’t allow my diabetes to control me. I have control of them and I have been able to keep my sugar where it need a to be. Diet and exercise is VERY important and totally worth living another day.

  65. Faye

    My Dr. ordered a HgbA1c and it was 5.7. Should I be concerned? My Dr. emailed and said all my tests were “stable”? I m 72 and I am about 25lbs overweight.

  66. giselle

    I done my blood sugar test I am 37 years of age women my result is 79 is this nirmal for me?

  67. JJ

    I have been Pre-diabetic for years. I find the portable glucose machines faulty. I have tried many, and I have taken test after test and the numbers are all over the place. From 108, one minute to 165 then 120 next and so on!
    I also read where the Diabetes Foundation stated for doctors not to rely completely on the A1c.
    The other problems I have: The chart for the diabetic numbers keeps going down and all of a sudden “everyone” seems to be a diabetic. Years ago – I believe the number was OK at 140.
    The other thing is. . . I am a “picker” so let’s say I get up and have a piece of toast. it will raise the numbers, and an hour later, I will have a bowl of fruit, then maybe a half hour later I will have some almonds. The numbers – I feel sure will fluctuate. Now If I eat like this daily, wouldn’t you think that the A1c would not be so accurate because of the constant picking. . .The numbers never really have a chance to go down if I am always picking.
    Just some of my thoughts on the subject☺

  68. Heather

    Hi there- I hope you still respond to posts in this thread.
    About a year ago, I had a standard blood test done while having a physical at my drs. My glucose came back at 99. Somewhat high.
    Fast forward to about a month ago- I had another blood test done- and my glucose # was 68! Here I was ecstatic that I had brought it down until I started looking at it more- then saw that the low end of that range was 70…..made me somewhat worried. I never got any further testing into it and my dr didn’t say anything regarding it.
    I will let you know that about a month before this blood test, I started a low carb high fat diet. And basically cut out all processed sugars, fruit, and a lot of carbs out of my diet. Could this be the reason for the sudden drop?
    I have had a lot of weird symptoms since starting this diet that are making me kind of change my mind about it. I’ve been cold CONSTANTLY…to where i have to stand in a hot shower every night just to stay warm- sweaters and blankets don’t do anything, I had heart palpitations in the beginning (I’ve had them randomly for years), sometimes lightheaded, constipated, sharp joint pain in my hands and feet….
    I’m seeing a endocrinologist at the end of next week- and I’m going to go over a lot of things. I suspect I might have PCOS, thyroid issues…and I’ve been a HUGE carb eater most of my life- so I suspect this sudden change to low to no carbs threw my body off… :(
    Just would like to hear your opinion about the low glucose # and if you have any suggestions I can bring up to the dr. I’m going to have him do pretty much any and every test I can to get to the bottom of my symptoms.

    • Hey, Heather.
      Response to first question: Yes, the LCHF diet could have caused the drop in blood sugar level to 68 mg/dl. Other things can affect it, too, such as recent exercise and what you had eaten (or not) in the previous 3-12 hrs. Even if nothing were different day-to-day, blood sugars could just naturally vary from 99 to 68.
      Most doctors wouldn’t mention the 68 to you if you weren’t clearly having symptoms from it.
      Being often cold makes me think about hypothyroidism. Have your endocrinologist check it out.
      Regarding other symptoms, you might want to get your potassium, magnesium, and calcium levels checked.
      Sharp joint pains are unlikely diet-related.
      Best wishes,

  69. julia

    my A1C was 6.1, dr put me on metformin, got checked today and it went up to 6.3. I thought medicine is supposed to lower you glucose levels

  70. Trinity

    Hi Steve,

    My recent A1C level is around 6.2 and l am taking metforminx500mg 2 per day. I usually go to bed with o low blood sugar around 85-90md/dl around 10:00PM and my fasting sugar as I check every morning around 7:30AM when I wake up is always < 110mg/dl but half hour later 8:00am. It jumps up to 125mg/dl and force me to take breakast and it went back to normal < 100mg/dl after light breakfast with oatmeal and avocado.

    I am not sure how to fix this fasting blood sugar problem. Based on what you said to many patients, This sounds like "dawn phenom ", but how can it get fix by eating less carbs the night early???

    I also excercise twice perday for 45min at least a long with weight lifting, so I am not how I can fix my fasting blood sugar problem.

    Can you help to give me an advice


  71. June

    Is being chronically on the low-end of the normal blood sugar range a concern for a non-diabetic, young person? My fasting blood sugar is sometimes in the 54-70 mg/dl and even after eating (no matter what I eat) rarely gets above 110 mg/dl, usually around 90-95 mg/dl. My A1C is good according to my last blood test. I’m probably the only person who checks her blood sugar relatively out of sheer curiosity.

    Thanks for answering my question.

  72. Stu Sonntag

    I am a 73 year old diabetic with high blood pressure, (75 kg in weight, 5’8 height) after a double bypass heart operation at 54 years age. I check my sugar levels every morning. Depending on my last meal, my fasting blood sugar level revolves around 4.4 – 6 mmol/l. I take Diformin-Retard 500mg 2+2 morning-evening.

    This level has been stable for about 5+ years. My exercise regime in minimal. I drink one or two glasses of red wine in the evening with dinner. Drink tea several times a day with two teaspoons of Fruit Sugar or Stevia.

    I have no restrictions on diet. Eat bread, rice, pasta, potato, with heavily spiced Indian curries, with loads of fresh chillie. At least one banana/day + peanuts, cadju nuts, occasional dark or milk chocolate.

    What really upsets my Fasting Blood Sugar levels is if I eat biscuits or rich cakes, sweet pastries. Reaches up to 8+ mmol/l. The sugar in such food seems to hover around for a day at least. Now I avoid such treats.

    Before I go to bed, I drink a chilled glass of Ceylon Tea with added normal sugar and ground cinnamon powder. My observation is that, since I started drinking chilled Ceylon Tea sugared with Cinnamon powder, my Fasting Blood Sugar has been consistently below 6 mmol/l.

    Like to hear both Medical & Reader opinions.
    Thank you.

  73. Suhail rehman

    Hi, my friend done a blood sugar f n pp some days befre , bt blood sugar f is 95 mgs/dl
    Blood sugar PP is 85mgs/dl , n patient is non diabetic , wht would b yr sugestion , plz reply

  74. Stu Sonntag

    Following my Comment: Stu Sonntag
    March 16, 2015 at 11:27 PM
    I found that having a hard-boiled egg + cheese + tomato snack with a mug of cold Ceylon Tea with powdered Cinnamon (incl sugar), before going to bed, has kept my Fasting Sugar Test at 4.4 – 5.2 during the past two weeks.

  75. g.puck

    I am 72 and in good shape, walk average 16 miles weekley. Feemale slightly overweight, husband type 2 diabetic I used his meeter and was shocked at135, had not eaten for 3 hrs, ate grilled chicken with two small flower torteas, and coke 0. I am out of the country so no doctor. Is this normal?

  76. anshita

    I want many more information contained from this message thank you for given me a this information..

  77. brittnie

    My moms bloodsugar was 45 tonight is that bad she thinks her docter has given her to much medicine cause she has been having dizzy spells

  78. Tamika

    I just got tested for my hgb alc and my fasting blood glucose was 128, which is in the prediabetes range, diabetes primarily does not run in my family but my diet has not been the best and inflammation along with high allergies also play a part a good diet and exercise is in order this is alarming!

  79. Ygri Vicario

    good information. Are the levels the same for people post gastric bypass operation?

  80. jane

    pls dr steve, am a girl of 25yrs, d Dr said I had weak immune system, n d first blood sugar level I did is 223 n d 2nd one is 103, d Dr recommended I take metformin 1000mg n glimepiride (amaryl) 4mg a day bt am afraid, what do I do

    • jane, since I’m not familiar with all the details of your case and haven’t examined you, I can’t give specific advice. I also assume your glucose numbers are in mg/dl rather than mmol/l units.
      In most cases with numbers like yours, I wouldn’t go immediately to two drugs. I’d start with metformin 500 mg twice daily and see what happens. I tend to max out the metformin dose (about 2000 mg/day) before adding a second drug. Talk to your doctor about your fears.

  81. Karen

    Hi, I have PCOS and have been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic. I’m on metformin and I have recently (yesterday) started a diet recommended as a good diabetic diet with low carbs. Yesterday afternoon, I found myself exhausted and feeling ill with a headache. This morning, I woke with a headache. My fasting bs was 70. I felt better after I ate. I felt fine all morning and went for a walk, drinking plenty of water. This afternoon, it started again. I was exhausted and started feeling poorly, even after lunch. I took my blood sugar after I ate and came up with 103. Is this low? Is that what might be causing me to feel ill? I’ve been very careful to stay on the diet. I need to lose about 50 pounds and I want to be healthy so I don’t end up with diabetes (or so I can keep it away as long as possible). I am 43 years old and female. I just don’t understand why I’m feeling so poor. It isn’t like a fever or cold, but I am light headed and nauseated. Thanks for the help.

    • Hi, Karen. I’m sorry you were feeling poorly. Glucoses of 70 and 103 mg/dl are normal and shouldn’t cause symptoms. If you were eating less than 50 grams/day of digestible carbohydrate, you may have had “induction flu,” a term from the Atkins diet community. It reflects your body shifting from a carbohydrate-based energy system over to fat-burning. The “flu” goes away after a few days usually. Sometimes it is counteracted by increasing salt consumption, such as a bullion cube dissolved in water, or a half tsp of salt in a glass of water. Sometimes you just have to “tough it out.”

      Of course, there are 10-15 other things that can cause headache and nausea, and some of them are life-threatening. Work with your personal physician when you have symptoms.
      Best wishes,

  82. Ria

    Hello, so happy to have found this page, My doctor has me on metformin but he says I am not type 2 diabetic, it is just prevention. Does that make sense. I do test as my husband is type 2 and I use his tester, I am usually 110, or like just this morning, I was 119, I ate some sweets before bedtime :( so I expected the blood numbers to be higher. I am usually around 100 with fasting. I am confused. If I am not diabetic why am I taking metformin. Would love your opinion, TY

  83. antonio

    Hello I did some lab test and my. Glucose test was 169 after drinking75 great glucola. Do you. Think I’m diabetic and need meds

  84. Claire

    Hi Steve,

    I am wondering if you can help me. I was T2 diabetic and last July I had a gastric bypass, since then my diabetes has been in remission. Recently it has become apparent that my sugars are much lower than what is classed as ‘normal’, ranging anywhere from 70-90 mg/dl (or there abouts) even after a meal. I have had a couple of instances where I have dropped to around 45 mg/dl and felt the effects of hypoglycaemia (something I would have felt at 72 mg/dl pre op). Are these constant low levels something I should be worried about? I feel fine in myself but am getting myself anxious that it’s not okay (still very much in a diabetic mindset) and I am forever testing my blood sugars because I am worried. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  85. My sugar level is 124 at the fasting time and after two hour take as meals my sugar levels is 187. Kindly tell me is that I am diabetes patient.

  86. gail grandberry

    After fasting 16 hours my blood glucose is 69 is this low

  87. Zahir Qamar


    I am 40 years old and my weight is 65 Kgs. My fasting blood sugar test result is 104 mg/dl. Please advice what should I do further?

  88. Shauna

    My blood sugar is 143 and blood pressure is80/44 and pulse is 89 and I have chronic pancertist will I be ok or what

  89. dawn robertshaw

    Did my bloods today and they where9.4 could I have dietbetes

  90. magila G. Orilla

    I am going to speak Gospel here and anybody that contradicts me well may god have mercy on your soul. Exercise will cure type 2 Diabetes, but they don’t tell you how much. I was type 2 for 6 years and on the verge of going on the insulin pen. I started really working out. I had tried “moderate exercise” walking a couple of miles a day with little or no results. I began working out 3 hours a day I would walk 2 miles every morning, 1 mile after lunch, and then run 3 miles after dinner. Every single day of my life. Every day. I would mix in 25 miles of intense cycling (15 MPH+) once a week to keep from going crazy. I have lost 30 lbs, my A1C is 5.5%, I am off all meds except 500 mg of metformin (just in case), and my peripheral nerves are recovering sensation. The big lie is telling people that walking up a couple of extra flights of stairs will help their diabetes. I guess it is better than nothing, but if you want to change your life you have to exercise HARD every day. In the beginning my blood glucose would spike during and after exercise. Some days I would start my run at 175, and it would spike to 225 by the end of the run. This scared me, but it is part of the healing process. My muscles were calling for glucose, the liver was pumping it out, but my poor pancreas couldn’t keep up. After a while though the numbers started dropping after a workout. Now I eat lunch and leave the office at 145 and come back after a mile walk at 125. If you have tried exercise and failed to make progress, you weren’t working hard enough to make a difference.

  91. Jay

    My father 44 yo is T2 diabteic. He was 114 kg before he was diagnosed. Since then he losses 24 kg. Is it normal to loss weight? BTW. He often do exercise and eat less carb like rice unlike before. I want him to maintain his weight without high BS. what should I do? His fasting blood sugar using Freestyle Optium Glocuse meter ranges 120 – 140 mg/dl.

  92. abul basher

    I am 45 years older. My blood sugar is 7.4 mmol. Please advise i am suffering diabetes.

  93. CJ

    Hi I am not a diabetic. I am sure of that but my husband is. He’s only 44 yrs old and we have two very young kids. I’ve been reading a lot about this disease and I’m so scared. I don’t want to lose my husband to this. He’s on medication and I’ve changed his diet completely. We’re following all the rules except for exercise which he does but could be doing more. I even exercise with him. I’m scared about our kids health too because they’re prone to it now. I just need to know the facts please. Does my husband have a good chance to living a very long life with this disease? I never thought this would happen and I’m so sad. We have to grow old together. My grandfather died when he was 45 and he was diabetic. My uncle died when he was 60 and he was also diabetic.

    • Hi, CJ.
      Use the search box on this site for statistics on longevity of diabetics; search “longevity”, “life span”, or “lifespan”. The numbers will be different for type 2 versus type 1 diabetics, but many studies don’t break it down to those categories. Also note that longevity is gradually improving as science advances. Don’t despair, but take action.

  94. Lena

    I have not been diagnosed with diabetes but think I am prediabetic. There is a family history of diabetes. So I have been monitoring my glucose levels in the morning and after meals.My fasting glucose levels in the mornings are above 100 and sometimes after meals over 170 if I have extra carbs. But majority of the time after meals its in the 130s or less. My question is should I see a Dr. and be placed on medications or should I try to loose weight and exercise to control my levels?

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