Acceptable BG levels

I was diagnosed with type one in May.I have been on insulin for a couple weeks now,and everything I read says that a fasting BG of under 120 and a post meal BG of under 180 is acceptable.I noticed someone in the forum said BG should stay 90-130.Since I’ve been on insulin I’ve done pretty well at staying in under 120,under 180 range.Are those levels acceptable,or should I be trying to stay lower?I don’t go back to my doctor until the 10th.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!I am new to all of this,and trying to educate myself as best I can.

Matthew, first of all, congratulations in taking control of you diabetes in such a short period of time.
A great website for the newly diagnosed is
Any time your BG goes over 140, you are risking organ damage. The levels set by the ADA and most doctors are too high and will result in complications.
Check out Jenny’s blog at
She explains how high BG levels cause complications. One thing to keep in mind is that if your BG is still 175 2 hours after eating, it could have been much higher for a lot of that time. You may read that non diabetics go up to 180 after eating but it is just not true. Most never go over 120, and if they do go up higher it’s only for a few minutes, not for hours. Another interesting site to look at is
This study of normal subjects found that they spent only an hour over 120, 10 minutes over 140 and 1 minute over 160 in a 24 hour period.
I try to keep my BG in those normal ranges.
However, I see from your page that you had a very high A1C at diagnosis, so you have made a fantastic start in bringing your numbers down. Many people recommend continuing this process gradually, to avoid too big a shock to your system.
Welcome to tudiabetes, you are in the right place to get advice and support. Good luck!


As a new Type 1, you need to balance lowering blood sugars with staying safe from hypos. Ideally you would want to stay under 140 mg/dl at all times. That seems to be the level most compatible with health, but because you are just learning how this stuff works, it is safest to head for that lower target very carefully and slowly, keeping a vigilant watch on the lowest reading you are getting, not just the highs.

The page is more for people who have Type 2 diabetes though many people with all kinds of diabetes find that eating fewer grams of carbs at each meal makes is much easier to get good control without hypos. If you haven’t already read Dr. Bernstein’s book, I’d suggest you do. You DO NOT have to eat his diet, but you will learn a lot about how to think about blood sugars and about how they work in Type 1 and much that is very helpful about hypos and how to treat them.

Also since you are very recently diagnosed, you will be seeing a “honeymoon” period when control is relatively easy. Bernstein says that the honeymoon can be prolonged and beta cells preserved by maintaining normal blood sugars, so if you can get to truly normal levels safely it might be a very good idea to do so.

My personal belief based on my research is that normal is higher than Dr. B believes it to be, and we have corresponded on this subject some. I think as more evidence emerges the idea that normal means a swift rise to no higher than 120 mg/dl followed by dropping below 100 mg/dl by 75 minutes and a mid-80 mg/dl fasting blood sugar will probably be accepted. When Dr. B wrote his book we didn’t have the CGMS research data to draw on we have now. The data about normal blood sugar is on my main diabetes web site at The data about blood sugar levels and complications is here:

But you need to learn how to get those blood sugars into range safely in a way that avoids hypos and if that takes a bit of time, that’s fine.

So based on the numbers I posted you think I’m doing ok for a beginner?

You’ve already had some very good, informative replies. I’m like Chadd, I keep very, very tight control and rarely go over 120. I was only diagnosed 5 months ago, so I remember the feelings. I entered the hospital with a BG of 783 and had been running high for quite some time. When I first started on insulin, I experience a lot of lows, so I continued to try to keep it high for a little while (although it didn’t work) so my body could adjust. My insulin needs also fluctuated frequently for the first few months (the honeymoon period is extremely frustrating) so it was difficult, but now it’s holding really steady and I’m getting to know my body really well. Just read as much as you can, I was on the internet 24/7 the first week learning as much as I could. I wish I’d found this place sooner, it would have been a big help!

“They” (scientists, doctors, etc.) all say to stay between 80 and 120. Of course, as close to non-diabetic is best, but you can’t expect to live that way all the time. Stuff happens. Sometimes it is stress, sometimes it is a miscalculation of insulin or food. And sometimes the sun and the moon and Mars just aren’t aligned correctly, lol. Your doctor and/or diabetes educator will help you determine what’s best for you.

The closer to normal BG the better. But as a new Diabetic I’d advise you against trying to stay too low. Dangerously low hypoglycemia isn’t something to be taken lightly.

A fasting <120 and post meal <180, is a very good starting place for someone new to Insulin and T1. As your body adjusts to the insulin, and you learn to balance exercise, food, insulin, emotions, the wind direction, and every other factor that seems to affect your BG, you’ll probably be able to slowly lower those targets. But I wouldn’t rush it.


Normal bgs range is between 80-120 and something you should aim for. Some believe even stress never going above 120 after eating to avoid complications, hence the reason many diabetics go the low carb route.

In a perfect world this is attainable, but remember we are using artificial means to obtain this perfect scenario.

It sounds to me that you are doing a wonderful job, but it is totally up to you and how you feel if you wish to obtain these perfect goals.

Everyone has great advice, but it is up to you and how strict you want to be. I find with tighter control the more lows I endure, and that is not a fun ride.

One tip I know for sure is that you need to be in the low range of normal to obtain good post meal numbers. It is also important to bolus your insulin about 15 minutes before you start eating to obtain good numbers.

Just remember with diabetes that every day is different and it is so not an exact science.

Keep up the great/hard work.

Hi Matthew,
You have gotten some great replies and there is really nothing for me to add., The olny thing I will point out is that there is a bit of humor in just about all of them. And that is one of the greatest things for us to remember. Find a little bit of humor in something each day. Nothing is written in blood except our blood glucose readings. Everything else is adjustable. Keep up the good work.


You have gotten very informative responses.

I’m (unfortunately, i suppose) not as strict as the others. I aim to be between 70-120. But that doesn’t mean that I am always there! I don’t panic about readings under 250. I just check often and correct immediately. I know that it is damaging for me to be above 140, but I would be careful at how you react when you see a blood sugar level over 140.

I think that it is dangerous to start beating yourself up and having a panic attack when this happens. It undoubtably will! I learned a very good philosophy from the parent of a diabetic. Whenever you see something over 140, say to yourself “I’m glad that I caught that and can correct it right away!”. It sounds silly but this positive attitude makes a huge difference and makes testing your blood sugar a positive thing.

And the more often that you check the better control you can have! Sounds like you are doing GREAT! So keep it up and, as Saundra said, remember to laugh :slight_smile: Life with diabetes is an adventure and there’s so much to learn and this site is a great place for that!

HAHA, good point Cara! I don’t always take into account the alignment of the sun, moon and Mars when calculating my insulin. Perhaps that explains the highs!

LOL. That’s what I always blame the unexplainable on! :slight_smile:

ey Matt !

i would like to commend you for doin good even in just a few weeks, i hope you keep it up…I think everybody said it all, just wanna say, be careful for the lows… especially that you are on an insulin, i know how hard it is to keep our BS in the levels that we want it to be, theres a lot of factors that will make it high, not just foods…

I think your endo can help you what would be a safe range for you… but like they say, the books says different things, what is safe for you may not be for me… i tried to stay at 90-120 coz if i go in the 80’s , im starting to feel the signs of hypos…

youre doin good for a newly diagnosed… keep it up…

Well today was not a good day (numbers wise) but felt good because I had no lows. Woke up at 180 for whatever reason I do not know, corrected to a 129, then I ate breakfast and stayed high cause I did not listen to my advise about bolusing 15 minutes before you eat and two hours later was at 149, I did not correct as lately I bottom out on corrections, but then tested again for lunch and I was 102 (without correction, but busy at work). Two hours later was at 179 and corrected with .8 U and got home two hours later at 102, so I was happy because no lows and no feeling like crapola, but I ran a bit high all day. Sometimes you gotta go with how you feel and what is going on during the day.

In the beginning (which was 4 months ago for me), I think the biggest difficulty is trying to keep your head above water (so much info!) and learning about your body without getting too down about being new type 1. The danger of high blood sugars is long-term, so its more important (I think) that you build good foundations now, learn about your body, and look after your mental health!

Sometimes the standards can be very high here at tudiabetes! Everyone is really awesome and really knowledgeable, and great sources of info. The tighter the better, of course, but not at the expense of your ability to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Some of the people here at tudiabetes are the best of the best diabetics at looking after themselves and managing their glucose levels-- I think most of the diabetic world exerts much much poorer control than many of the people I’ve met on this forum. 90 - 130 is a great blood sugar, but its something to aspire to when you have the time and have learned enough about yourself to achieve it. The ADA requirements are so flexible because so many people don’t even manage that much (although you really should, of course)!

Best of luck!

I COMPLETELY agree with Laura!

This is a great community because there are lots of people with excellent control that we can learn from! But it is SO important to try to get better control with out driving yourself crazy!! I started to get MAD at myself whenever I went above 140 and feel like I am a “bad diabetic”.

70-120 is my GOAL, but I don’t achieve that MOST days. Good luck!