Sunday, March 4, 2012

Non-diabetic glucose levels... also a wild ride.

We were driving home from church today and Carol said she was feeling hungry, and like her blood sugar just dropped. A bad feeling. I offered to check her blood sugar in the car, and she was game. She was 142 mg/dl, and I was kind of alarmed. I tested it again, and made sure there was nothing on her finger (142 also). I know that non-diabetics aren't really supposed to hang out in the 140s. And, it wasn't just after a large, carby meal. She had nibbled a couple pretzels at church and was holding out for real food at home. We had some fun joking with the kids about the implications of having two diabetic parents. I hope you guys enjoyed that pizza last night, because it's over!

When we got home I ran an at home A1C test on Carol she read 5.2 (an average BG of 104). Since I'm not used to thinking about non-diabetic numbers, I wasn't sure if it was totally normal or not. I just knew it was a number I'd love for my own... as it turns out, it's pretty normal. Could be lower, but not considered pre-diabetic or anything.

Next, the kids all wanted to be checked.
Ellie (13), was 111 mg/dl. She had just finished eating some ice cream.
Simon (11) was 85 mg/dl.  Pre-lunch for him. He eats low-carb like me. From what I understand, this is the ultimate "normal" reading.
Penny (7) was 141 mg/dl. Fruit snacks at church. They say that young kids have a higher normal range. She's still young (her first test read 217, but after washing her hands it was more reasonable).

Carol tested again, and it was back down to 93 mg/dl. She had eaten a sandwich and felt better.
Tonight we did another test at about 9pm and she was 94 mg/dl. 

I thought it was funny that Carol's sensation that she had "low" blood sugar had prompted this test fest. It was a bit of a role reversal. I think I was the only one that didn't get tested that hour. I have to say, it was kind of fun to share my pastime with the family.

One more note, while my brother, Dave, was visiting last summer he said that after a large meal and a beer he totally crashes, and he said he thought it was because his blood sugar was going high. I was curious, so we tested after a feast + brew. Surprisingly, his glucose was only 110 mg/dl. It just goes to show that non-diabetics have darn good control, but feel all the icky fluctuations of the sugar and insulin roller coaster. You could say it just never really goes off the rails, just feels like it...


  1. This is fascinating. When I get what feels to me like low blood sugar I start to get nauseated and eventually start vomiting. It makes it pretty hard to get everything back in balance when I can't keep anything down, so I am careful not to let it happen. The kids inherited this lovely trait and so we have spent many evenings coaxing kids to eat some food even when they didn't want to, because we didn't want to have a day of sickness just because of low blood sugar. It's kind of crazy and I wish I had data that could help explain what is going on. I did end up buying a glucose monitor once when one of the kids was sick with the flu. With the possibility that they could inherit diabetes, I have used it more than once to check their blood sugar levels when I am having a hard time evaluating symptoms. So far so good.

  2. Bethany, I'm curious what kind of readings you've gotten from yourself and family members. I've been hearing that some healthy non-diabetics walk around at 60-70 all the time, and I'm wanting to hear more readings. I doubt any of my family members would be willing to wear a glucose sensor, but I'm really interested in comparing some non-diabetic data with what I'm seeing. Probably pretty boring, but just seeing that Carol was hitting 142 (and feeling low) made me realize that there was more variability than I thought.

    1. I've tested my brothers and parents and strangers on my meter many times. I'm responsible for two people making apointments that got them diagnosed with diabetes in one case and prediabetes in the other.

      None of my immediate family members has type 1 diabetes, although one of my brothers has had iffy tests (don't think you were reading my blog yet at the time- he was hospitalized for an unrelated illness and had fastings in the low 100s and an A1c of 5.7%; later numbers were normal).
      My oldest two brothers were trialnet tested and are antibody negative and my younger two brothers have never been tested (the one with the weird numbers is one of the younger ones).
      My parents have not been tested because they were both above the cutoff age when I was diagnosed.

      Anyways, one of my antibody negative brothers has asked to have his blood sugar tested numerous times. The readings have varied from 61 mg/dl on him to 168 mg/dl- those are both post prandials. His fastings have been in the 70s and 80s.

      My parents have fastings in the 90s as does my best friend. From what I've read, I think the 90s are by far the most common fasting numbers for non-D adolescents and adults.