Here's what blood sugar looks like in glucose normal people

A study was just published in PLOS ONE showing that even healthy people have pretty high blood sugar spikes some of the time, with some spending 15 percent of their time over 140 mg/DL and 2 percent of their day over 200 mg/DL:

Most of these people were not prediabetic according to their A1C; mean fasting glucose was 93 mg/DL and they passed an OGTT. The study separated people into three groups: low, moderate and high spiking “glucotypes.” The team looked at the causes of this “spikiness” and attempted to tie it to physiological things, like hepatic insulin resistance, or
I think the findings are really interesting. On the one hand it gives me a little relief about those spikes we do see with Samson. On the other hand, the implications of these findings aren’t clear because these data can’t be tied to any kind of long-term outcome like heart disease, stroke, or other complications. If we look at the fraction of people in this study and extrapolate it out to the general population, does that mean a full half of people in the country have “dysregulated” blood sugar responses? And does that mean they’re at greater risk for poor health? Or does it mean that we need to redefine our sense of what’s a normal, healthy blood sugar response?


I thought this was funny:

Cohort characteristics
We recruited 57 healthy participants without prior diagnosis of diabetes.

Thirty subjects completed the standardized meal testing portion of the study.

Out of the 57 participants, only 30 of them were able to make it through the standardized meal testing portion.

-“What? I gotta eat 2 servings of vegetables?!? Forget it, I’m outta here…



Thanks @TiaG.

I love these studies. They make me feel better that my blood sugar is not 83 all the time.

As you say, they do not talk about health outcomes so the study only makes me feel slightly better.

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Interesting article, and maybe somewhat encouraging. Except, I’m pretty sure from experience that it never good to be above 140 whether one is diabetic or not. At least I feel pretty lousy going above 140.

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This is something I struggle with a lot. I can eat low-carb and control my blood sugar fairly tightly (most of the time), or I can eat a higher-carb diet and accept blood sugar that spikes a lot more but feel more relaxed. I want to choose whichever is best for my long-term health, but I don’t know the answer to that question yet.


We actually have a Dexcom on my husband right now because my daughter wanted to see what “normal” is and we had a transmitter with a week left and sacrificed a sensor. He has not changed his eating habits, he is not pre diabetic and is healthy. I have been surprised by the results, one day after drinking cream soda and eating some fruit snacks with pasta for dinner he was just over 200 for a couple readings, but then was back down to normal quite quickly.


That’s so funny, i too am wearing a Dexcom this week as a non-diabetic, non-prediabetic (mainly because we had to switch to the G6 and so we had a bunch of leftover sensors and a transmitter that’s not dead yet). But anyway, I’ve noticed the opposite – weird super low readings in the 40s. But when I test, the BG meter says I’m 86. So I think that’s an added wrinkle here; I’m not sure that all these spikes and drops are all that accurate, depending on how a person responds to the particular sensor.

I wore one in the past and found that eating a bunch of pizza right before bed had me hovering around 140 for hours overnight. So I think we really are just in the beginning stages of knowing what “normal” blood sugar really does all the time.


Yeah I had him test when it was reading over 200 and he tested at 203 and in reality he has had this sensor on since Saturday and besides Saturday his calibrations have been within a couple points. I know though from our daughter however that some sensors are just crazy. He had one period of low readings on Saturday that were a little off but I figured that was just the 24 hour weird period.

We also will be changing to G6 after this new transmitter and will definitely have some extra sensors hence the testing on the husband :slight_smile:

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I used to test my ex-girlfriend a bunch, since she had some vague health symptoms and wanted to rule out (pre-)diabetes, and she was normally pretty tightly in the 80-100 range, but once she was 185 following a super high carb meal. That completely freaked her out, despite subsequent perfectly normal readings, which is when I stopped agreeing to check her blood sugar anymore, heh.


Hey @TiaG, how did you get my sensors?!?


This happened with my daughter. Almost always between 80-110, but I got a 190 from her a few weeks ago (checked because she had ketones in urine), and it freaked me out. Haven’t seen anything above 105 since, so I’m thinking/hoping it was just a random thing.

This paper looks very interesting on so many levels, great find, thanks for posting @TiaG

I identify with this completely! When I adhered to< 30 g daily like Bernstein, my BG was within 80-140 most of the time, but it was SO restrictive. On the other hand, when I eat a higher carb diet, the BG numbers are not as good.

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Yup, I agree with you. I am struggling with this. Although, in my case, I feel more relaxed and happy as I eat higher carb; but when I test and see the BG numbers 2+ hours later -->Then I’m not so relaxed. Does anyone else feel this way? Every BG number is like a “grade”. My reaction to >140, is not good; Less than 140, good.

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I think your post meal expectations are a bit too tight. How about < 140 Feels great, 141 - 200 good, >200 less than good, >300 holy crap I did something wrong.

Thank you for the encouragement.

I do struggle with this. Specifically, my expectations. Based on what you wrote, about 95% of the time, I am in the “good” region, less than 200, when I eat relaxed, high carb. It is an entirely emotional “reaction” that I judge/grade myself. I think I can benefit from learning how to be more relaxed; which is very difficult for me. Allow me to explain. I would love to be able to feel that below 200, I’m doing ok. On the other hand, we all know that diabetes is a slow, progressing condition. Therefore, I am not relaxed because i “worry” about the BG numbers and the potential long term health consequences/complications. Does this make sense?
I’m trying to be a conscientious diabetic. In doing so, I am experiencing disappointments and stress.

That is exactly why I think you need to loosen your expectations! If you look back to our near past that many of our members who were diagnosed prior to the late 90’s experienced, your expectations would not be easily possible, and yet many of them who surely never had a consistent stable BG below 140 are doing just fine. It is only with the advent of the modern insulin tools and tech that we are even able to have a conversation like this. So I personally think you need to give yourself a break from the expectations and loosen your goals just a bit so you have a reasonable chance of being able to maintain your control while eating a healthy and varied diet. It should also have the effect of reducing your stress which is an important goal in and of itself.


I wish I could give you a million “LIKES” for this compassionate post. :heart_eyes: :heart:


Thank you @Chris . Agreed. For now, I need to focus simply on good, better, or maybe not bad. On FUD I read about many who are able to correct a high and land at 100 or 90 and the dialogue that goes on in my head is - gee, why can’t I do that? Maybe perhaps I will check at 2 hours and 3 hours to get a sense of the direction and correct for good, not perfection.


The only way we learned how to land the highs so effectively is with a CGM, when we didn’t have such a device, we couldn’t gauge when to eat the carbs to land the high and so it would only be luck if we were successful. With the CGM landing a high is much much easier because you can see the drop, figure out when your are going to cross your threshold (100 for us) and time the carbs to try and roll that out into a flat landing.

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