How normal is normal?

When meeting with my diabetes educator, she gave me some numbers I should aim for when testing my blood glucose. I know that a non-diabetic should be between 75 and 100 mg/dl, and that a diabetic person is allowed to range up to 140 mg-dl.

My numbers range between 120 and 145, and I was wondering if this is somewhat normal or if I’m doing something wrong. I know I can go lower… I’m frustrated!

I’ve been poking around Jenny’s website the last couple days, and there is some interesting information there about normal numbers… I do not know just how close to “normal” someone with T2 is supposed to try to get, though. I’m sure someone will chime in soon with better information.


For me it’s around 120

I’d like to ask your diabetes educator exactly WHY they are shooting for any number OTHER THAN normal?! Doesn’t make sense to me. My daughter is Type 1 and we shoot for normal - between 70 and 100. There are ways to do this – keep searching around. Dr. Bernstein has a lot of great information on it.

1 Like

I am a T2 and my doctor likes mine between 80 and 120. If I go over 150 I have to start using the sliding scale he set up for me.

Thank you all for the replies. I got a book prepared by the diabetes educators at my hospital and these are the levels I’m suppose to manage:

90-130 before eating
Less than 180 two hours after eating
110-150 bedtime

I trust them. It seems they are up to date with information about treatments.

I think you should aim to gradually bring your numbers down. I actually sat down with my endo and planned target ranges for my blood sugar based on my own home monitoring records.

Before meals and at bedtime: 4-6mmol (72-102mg/dl)
2 hours after meals: 5-7mmol (90-126mg/dl).

This is based on my own records for the last couple of months. My blood sugar has been under very tight control and so we planned this manageable ranged based on the low baseline readings I had been recording. I don’t know how this might help but I just wanted to chip in anyway.

I agree. The higher numbers come form the ADA and research has shown that 180 is high enough to cause permanent damage to your nerves, retinas, and kidneys and raise your risk of heart attack. You should aim for under 140 at all times and try for even lower in order to protect your organs.

Hi. I agree. I really think those numbers are too high. This might sound bad - but don’t trust the doctors until you’ve thoroughly researched what they are telling you. Only then should you trust them. In the beginning - and especially now, if a doctor told me that 180 was ok, I would seriously question their philosophy. I’ve changed doctors plenty of times until I found one that I did trust. I’m urging you to do a little (or a lot) of research on the advice they have given you.

180 is to high. You can go into DKA at 200. As I said earlier, my doctor says under 150. When I hit 150 I am to take sliding scale insulin. Defintely don’t trust all doctors. I have been to 4 endos in 18 months and can’t find one I trust, so I always end up going back to my GP. He has done a great job keeping it under control and will also look into advancements and let me try other things that might help my sugar.

Well, these numbers are not given by my doctor, but the book the diabetes educator gave me. I think the “goals” are more like a “this is as high as you can go, but not higher than that.” - I know for a fact I can keep completely normal levels, so I was wondering. I’m sure my endocrinologist will increase my meds. I’m only taking 1000 mg of metformin a day.

I think in time you will come to realize as I am sure most of us here have, that we are the best specialist on diabetes, because it is our body, you will learn to read the signs of lows and highs and you can take a pretty good guess by how you are feeling where your sugars are. You will be the one doing research into different treatments for diabetes, you will be the one presenting this research to your doctor. You have to stay very proactive with diabetes because not all doctors know about the latest research on treatments for diabetes. For me I am always doing research and when I find something that I think might work for me I print out all the information, take it into my doctor, he reads over it and 95% of the time he is willing to let me try it as he knows I keep a close eye on my numbers and he knows I can handle the diabetic crisis of low and high blood sugar without going to the e.r. He knows that if I can’t handle it I will page him or I will go to the e.r. One night I had high levels of ketones in my urine and my doctor let me treat at home to see if I could do it without the e.r. I did what he told me to do and I managed to get it down to normal and didn’t have to go to the e.r The more proactive you are in your treatments the better chance you will of finding a doctor that you trust and that trusts you and can see you are making the effort to control it. For the most part I do not have highs anymore, my sugar pretty much stays under 150. Now lows are another story. My schedule has changed and I am getting lows more often so I have to keep a really really close eye on things at this moment. That is another thing set a schedule of when to eat and when to take meds and stick to it. It will help your blood sugars if you are eating and taking medications at the same time everyday. I know when I get off my schedule all hell breaks lose and I fight for 2 weeks to get my sugars under control. Traveling is hard on me, I don’t know if it is hard on anyone else but it is for me.
Sorry for the long post, feel free to contact me anytime Beatriz if you need to talk.


You are a Type 2 not using insulin, so there is NO reason for you not to shoot for much lower numbers.

The only time going lower might a a problem is if someone is using insulin and isn’t able to match the insulin to their carbs safely enough to avoid lows.

But for a Type 2, the ideal targets would be a fasting as close to 85 as possible, and definitely under 100, and post meals under 140 at 1 hour and under 120 at 2. These numbers will prevent neuropathy, the earliest diabetic complication which leads to many of the others.

Probably all you are doing “wrong” is eating more carbohydrates than your remaining beta cells can handle. There really is no way of controlling Type 2 except by cutting back on the carbs.

Fortunately, the research now makes it very clear that replacing carbs with fat is safe and effective. And that the low fat diet does nothing but worsen blood sugars. It doesn’t prevent heart disease or cancer!

I eat carbs all the time. I eat as much as I want. I just match my insulin to the carbs. So Type 2’s can control their sugars while eating carbs. My doctor has told me I can eat what I want if I just match the insulin up and I keep a good eye on my blood sugar. It is a myth that diabetics can’t eat what they want. Yes a low carb diet helps you lose weight. When I was first diagnosed and it wasn’t under control then no I couldn’t eat what I wanted but once I got my sugars under control and my doctor saw I was keeping them that way then he told me I could eat more carbs if I wished as long as I stayed in good control which I am very very diligent about. If my sugar has been running a bit high then I do cut out carbs on that day.

“[…] research makes it clear that replacing carbs with fat is safe and effective.”

Thank you for this information. :slight_smile:

As you can see from all the different opinions, there’s not even a consensus here. Each of us are different. There are trade offs between health (having non-diabetic levels) and quality of life. Your levels right now are “good” but you want to shoot for “great”. Like Daena said, you want to have your own individual goals. So your goal should be to be slightly better than now. And when you reach that, try for a lower goal. At some point, you may find that the changes aren’t worth the payoff, and then you’ll have a balance of what works for you.

But if you are a Type 2 who is NOT taking insulin, you can’t match the insulin to carbs, so you are going to have to test after eating and see if you have to lower your carbs, or increase your exercise or both to stay in the target range.


Many Type 2s can’t get doctors to prescribe insulin. Usually doctors want your blood sugar to be catastrophically out of control before they’ll try it, out of a fear that adding insulin will cause more insulin resistance and weight gain.

For someone who has blood sugars in the range that the original poster mentioned, very few doctors would allow insulin. I had to demonstrate post meal blood sugars in the 200s after only eating about 40 grams of carbs to get my doctor to sign on.

Mine was rather easy to convince as any of the oral medications were making me so sick I was winding up in the hospital with dehydration on a regular basis.


The thing to keep in mind is that the more carbs you eat, the less fat you should eat. But if you bring your carbs down to 100 grams a day or less, fat is quite safe.

The book “Protein Power” by the two Dr. Eadeses explains a lot of the science behind Low Carb dieting in an easy to understand way.

The recent book by Gary Taubes, “Good Calories Bad Calories” gives 600+ pages looking at all the research done in the diet area since the 1940s and shows how a few politically powerful scientists were able to get authorities to ignore all the research that conflicted with their own beliefs and their own sloppy studies which spawned the “low fat” diet fad.

Taubes cites a lot of research linking cardiovascular disease with a high carb diet and also showing why sugar with it’s high load of fructose is harder on the body than even starch. The high fat diet appears to turn off some of the mechanisms that cause raging hunger.

Just don’t combine fat with a lot of carbs, because that is an unhealthy diet.

I was very lucky that I was raised in the days when people knew that starch and sugar were what made you fat and that sugar in particular was hard on blood sugar. I never signed on to the low fat dogma except for one horrible month right before I was diagnosed when eating a low fat diet made me near-crazy.

But dieting with a low carb diet all my adult life kept my weight normal, even though I come from a family with a lot of heavy women.