Is My Normal Glucose High? Diabetes Questions & Answers

Q: Last week, I felt like I had low blood glucose[1], but when I checked with my meter, my glucose level was fine — in the 120s. This has happened to me a few times. Does this mean my normal blood glucose[2] is higher than for most people?

A: I had to laugh when I read your question because I asked my doctor the same thing soon after I was first diagnosed. But no, normal blood glucose is the same for everyone: generally, around 70-110 mg/dl[3].

To get cutting-edge diabetes news, strategies for blood glucose management, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletters[4]!

However, hypoglycemia (low glucose)[5] symptoms can be produced by a number of things, including a rapid decline in blood glucose level. A glucose that drops from, for example, 250 to 150 very quickly can “fool” the brain into thinking blood glucose is low, when clearly it isn’t. This can also happen to someone who usually spends a lot of time with elevated glucose levels and then tightens up their control. Even though the glucose is not in a hypoglycemic range, the brain still generates signals that cause the usual hypoglycemia symptoms. We call this “relative” hypoglycemia. The good news is that after several days, the brain readjusts to the new, lower glucose levels and stops generating the signals that produce symptoms.

Whether caused by a rapid decline or an overall drop, normal glucose levels do not usually require treatment with carbohydrate. In fact, treatment is often discouraged because it can cause the glucose to rise too high. It is always a good idea to perform a finger-stick when symptoms of hypoglycemia occur, not only to verify that the glucose is truly low but also for determining how much carbohydrate is needed for treatment. Use of a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)[6] can also be helpful for determining if the symptoms are due to a rapid decline or a true low.

Want to learn more about blood glucose management? See our “Blood Sugar Chart,”[7] then read “Blood Sugar Monitoring: When to Check and Why”[8] and “Strike the Spike II: How to Manage High Blood Glucose After Meals.”[9]

  1. low blood glucose:
  2. normal blood glucose:
  3. around 70-110 mg/dl:
  4. sign up for our free newsletters:
  5. hypoglycemia (low glucose):
  6. continuous glucose monitor (CGM):
  7. “Blood Sugar Chart,”:
  8. “Blood Sugar Monitoring: When to Check and Why”:
  9. “Strike the Spike II: How to Manage High Blood Glucose After Meals.”:

Source URL:

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information, which comes from qualified medical writers, does not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.