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March 1, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Surry, Virginia, USA:

I am 18 years old and I have not been diagnosed with diabetes, but my grandfather has. I have taken my own blood sugar using my grandfather's home glucose monitor. According to the home glucose monitor, my blood sugar sometimes rises to 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] after meals and then drops to 85 mg/dl [4.7 mmol/L] in a matter of 15-20 minutes. I weigh 150 pounds, but I was larger as a child. Is this drop in blood sugar normal for someone my age, or is this something I should see a doctor about?

Answer:

A normal blood sugar ranges usually from 65 mg/dl [3.6 mmol/L] to 110 mg/dl [6.1 mmol/L], but after meals can increase slightly over that. I would watch for other signs of diabetes in addition to the mildly elevated blood sugars you’re having, which can be found at Symptoms of Diabetes. I would make sure to also discuss your concerns with your personal physician. The drop in blood sugar is not very concerning to me and certainly can be normal. A blood sugar of 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] after a meal is a little high and may require some further monitoring.

MSB