From Texas, USA:
How much should a non-diabetic person's sugar level fluctuate during one day of normal eating? I have been having hypoglycemic symptoms and recently had a 4 hour glucose test done. My lowest reading was 65 mg/dl and my doctor said that I didn't have hypoglycemia. I recently began monitoring my sugar (Accu-Chek Instant) throughout the day to see if there is a direct correlation between my sugar level, diet, and symptoms; but I don't know how much is a "healthy" range of fluctuation within any given day. So far I am always within the "normal" range even though I may have symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, shaking/trembling, a difficult time thinking, short-tempered, etc. I seem to feel better when I eat, and then it may begin again as shortly as 45 minutes after eating. I've seen ranges for blood sugar, but haven't been able to find what would be normal for the same individual on the same day. Any help that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
I am not an expert on hypoglycemia. I agree that 65 is not diagnostic of hypoglycemia during a glucose tolerance test. The GTT is a contrived test, and the American Diabetes Association has moved away from recommending its use. I concur.
Your real question is about the normal variation in blood glucose, or the blood glucose excursion. For most healthy people the variation is surprisingly small. We almost never get a huge glucose load like the 75 to 100 grams of pure glucose, which is the glucose tolerance test. For healthy people the glucose doesn't go up to the 140-160 range of the GTT. This has no relationship to a very big meal where starches are the primary source of carbohydrates. The carbs are tempered by protein and fat. As such the glucose really isn't very high, below 120 for most healthy people after most meals.
The fact that you feel symptoms at glucose levels which are in the "normal" range and feel better after eating suggests to me that you eat when you feel "low". You should feel good that the levels do not suggest you have anything terrible wrong with you. Each of us has a different appetite thermostat. Follow yours.
Original posting 7 Sep 1998
Posted to Hypoglycemia
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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