Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
October 1, 2001
Question from Magnolia, Mississippi, USA:
How low is too low for someone with type�1 diabetes?
Less than 4 mmol/L [72 mg/dl].
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:
A normal blood glucose is between 60 and 125 mg/dL. Your Diabetes Team has likely given you a target glucose range, to allow some “cushion” to fall back and allow some wiggle room on days the glucose may be a little low. I think you have to be practical about your management. I would love my patients to have glucose readings in the normal range as often as possible. A blood glucose of 60 mg/dL just before lunch or dinner would not bother me nearly as much as that same value upon awakening or last thing before bed.
[Editor’s comment: As Drs. Robertson and Schwartz indicate, some physicians use very clear guidelines, but also there are some very personalized ones. Another example — during pregnancy, the cutoff value would probably be different for a woman with type�1 diabetes than when non-pregnant.
It’s probably safe to conclude that the decision of how low is too low should be decided by the patient in conjunction with his/her diabetes doctor.