Understanding What it Means to Have a High Blood Sugar

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • About a month ago I had my first endocrinologist appointment since well before Mateo was born.  During the pregnancies, my perinatologist (high-risk OB) took care of all of my diabetes management with a focus on tightly controlled blood sugars.   In the weeks leading up to the endo appointment, I'd had a couple epiphanies I was looking forward to acting on. 


    First of all, I noticed that the blood glucose range I'd unconsciously been striving for was probably too restrictive for a non-pregnant diabetic.   All the years of trying to keep my blood glucose level between 70-140 mg/dl had really skewed my perception of what constituted a "high" blood sugar.  For instance, I would get a result of 150 mg/dl and correct it, which often led to lows.  It dawned on me one day, "I don't have to correct for a 150 mg/dl!" 

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    This led me to another revelation: if I'm able to keep my blood sugar steady within a slightly wider range of blood sugars, I could conceivable have fewer highs and lows.   My logic was that by striving to keep my blood sugar always in that tight range, I'd have to give myself a lot of insulin at meals or for correction boluses.   So if instead I tried to keep my blood sugar, say, under 175 mg/dl at 1-2 hours postprandial, I'd avoid lows between meals.  Likewise, by not overcorrecting for blood sugars around 160 mg/dl I'd avoid lows that could lead to a high blood sugar (by overcorrecting with carbohydrates).  In short, by slightly relaxing my conception of a "high" blood sugar, I'd be able to keep my blood sugars "in-range" much more easily.


    Sure enough, when I met with the endo, the first thing he asked when reviewing my log was, "What's your target blood sugar range?"  I replied with the numbers that had been drilled into me the past four years and commented, "But, then again, I'm not pregnant anymore so I guess it doesn't have to be that tight, right?"  He agreed and gave me a new blood glucose target range: 70-180 mg/dl. 


    Ah, freedom.

Published On: September 24, 2011