Medical Q&As

Blood glucose - level low?

A friend of mine has diabetes and on the odd occasion while she has been checking her blood sugars I had a go and tested my levels. They always seem very low ranging from 4 to 5. Could you please tell me is there something wrong? Should I see my GP?

The levels that you have obtained when testing your blood glucose level are normal. Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose is defined at a level of blood glucose below 2.5 mmol/L. In contrast an uncontrolled diabetic would be expected to have a glucose level greater than 11 mmol/L if subjected to random glucose analysis. That same subject would be expected to have a glucose level greater than 7.8 mmol/L if the glucose sample was obtained after a period of fasting. Therefore the figures you have obtained fit between the limits of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia and are within the normal range. Non-diabetics can experience hypoglycaemia during periods of fasting. Malnutrition can also cause hypoglycaemia. People who have undergone gastrectomy or removal of the stomach, can also experience periodic reductions in glucose levels. Alcohol consumption is yet another cause of hypoglycaemia. If you have concerns about your health and have particular concerns about your glucose regulation you should have this matter evaluated by your GP. Medical decisions are rarely based on solitary biochemical results. Such results need to be interpreted in an overall clinical context. In summary, if you are worried about your health and the significance of your glucose levels you should see your GP.