This blog tracks updates to the Blood Sugar 101 Web site.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Changes to the What is a Normal Blood Sugar Page

Page Changed: What is a Normal Blood Sugar

Changes made: Replaced old text with these paragraphs.

Normal Fasting Blood Sugar

A truly normal fasting blood sugar (which is also the blood sugar a normal person will see right before a meal) is

Between 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L) and 92 mg/dl (5.0 mmol/L) .

Doctors consider any fasting blood sugar between 70 mg/dl (3.9 mg/dl) and 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L) to be normal. But several studies suggest that people whose fasting blood sugar is over 92 mg/dl (5.1 mmol/L) are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes over the next decade.


What is an Abnormally Low Blood Sugar?

Blood sugars under 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/L) are considered to be hypoglycemic. However, if you are not on insulin or a drug that causes your pancreas to secrete insulin, a blood sugar slightly below this range, while it might be uncomfortable, is not dangerous unless there is evidence that it is continuing to drop. The dangerous levels of low blood sugar--the hypos that require a visit to the ER--are those in the 40 mg/dl (2.2 mmol/L) range and lower. At those levels unconsciousness and brain damage can occur.


Why Did My Doctor Tell Me It Is Dangerous to Lower My Blood Sugar Below 6.5%?

Several years ago, The ACCORD Study found a slightly larger number of heart attacks among people who attempted to lower blood sugar using a cocktail of oral diabetic drugs. Another study of elderly patients treated at VA hospitals found that patients with longstanding diabetes whose blood sugar was lowered aggressively with outdated methods of dosing insulin did not improve their health outcomes. Influential doctors interpreted these studies to mean that lowering blood sugar to normal levels using any means was dangerous and family doctors have been brainwashed to believe this is true.
In fact, subsequent analyses of this data has revealed that in ACCORD the patients in the group that strove to lower blood sugar who experienced slightly more heart attacks were those in the "lowering" study group who failed to meet the lowered blood sugar targets. Those who succeeded in lowering their A1c did better than those who did not.
Further analysis linked the increase in heart attacks to the use of the now-discredited drug, Avandia, which raises the risk of heart attack independent of blood sugar level. Avandia was also given to all the participants in the veterans study.
Carbohydrate intake, and hence are prone to cause serious hypos. You can read more about these studies and see the published follow-up studies that debunk the idea that lowering blood sugar increases heart attack risk HERE



rph2go said...

Jenny, so should I reduce my FBG goal to under 92?

Jenny said...

If your posy-meal numbers are good, I wouldn't worry about any fastings under 110.