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Is there such a thing as Prediabetes?
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An_255124 posted:
Is there anywhere on this earth, literally, that has the official word on whether or not there is such a thing as "prediabetes" or "borderline"?? I had my first-ever A1-C test done, and it came back 6.0. Fasting glucose was 88. My dr. said the 6.0 was "borderline". When I persisted and asked him if there was really such a thing as "borderline or prediabetic", he said, "I don't think you're a diabetic." I should also mention that all my other lab work was excellent. I am a 40 yr old female, 5'7 and was moderately obese at 207 pounds. I am down to 193 so far. I was put on a diet & exercise plan and told to check my fasting glucose every morning. Even though they didn't ask me to check my glucose after every meal, I did it anyway and logged all my numbers for a month, and took them to my dr. for my 1-month follow up yesterday. They were all excellent, except that I had 3 readings that were above 120 (121, 123, 124) 2hrs after eating. Every else was great. So again I questioned him about the "borderline" terminology, and he pulled up my lab work and said, "Your A1-C was normal." Since when is 6.0 "normal" ????? I'm just confused and aggravated. I have another A1-C scheduled for March. I am thinking about going to another dr. for a 2nd opinion. Everywhere I look and try to find information, all the information I find contradicts itself. One source says normal is 4.5-6.0. Another source says it's 4.7-5.6. It's enough to drive someone crazy. I'm just trying to figure all this out. Also, I asked him about potential damage being done to my body with a 6.0 score, and he pretty much dismissed it --- but I have read several reports saying that "prediabtics" can incur damage to their bodies even with only slightly elevated glucose levels. So how would I be able to find out if any damage is being done to me right now? Just confused and frustrated. Thanks for any responses.
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davedsel2 responded:
Hello.

First, here is a link to the WebMD Diabetes Health Center: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/default.htm

From what I understand, consistent fasting blood glucose readings between 100 and 125 are considered pre-diabetes. Anything 126 and over is full Diabetes. An HBA1C over 6.0 is considered to be full Diabetes. Numbers and statistics do vary depending on the source.

At this point there is no way to tell what damage has been done so far. What you should focus on is a healthy lifestyle that consists of a lower-carb diet and exercise. Making the right choices now will help you enjoy good health throughout your life.
Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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brunosbud responded:
I agree, seek a second opinion!...When you find one that tells you to not be concerned, there's no such thing as prediabetes and to continue with your old lifestyle, please, let us know.

In the end, what difference does it make what a doctor tells you. It's your life. You're in charge. There are people, here, that preach, "You need to consult with your physician." while chomping on jelly donuts. You're right, somewhat, about conflicting information on the treatment of diabetes. Just realize that it's a very complex disease, it's one of the most highly studied diseases in the history of mankind and there is, yet, no "cure". Some of us are "insulin resistant"...Some of us make insufficient or no insulin, at all...Some of us have livers that won't stop releasing glycogen...Some of us are old...and, all of us maintain unique and highly individualized diets and lifestyles. Good luck on finding that "cure", guys!

In the end, we can all take comfort in knowing our body never speaks with forked-tongue. It will reflect, regardless of what baloney we believe, how much we care about our "equipment". With that said, I wish you good luck and better days.
 
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glucerna responded:
I'm really glad that you're looking for more information and taking control of your health. The American Diabetes Association defines prediabetes as an A1c of 5.7-6.4; fasting blood sugar 100-125. The guidelines have changed over the past few years, and it's not easy for general practitioners to always keep up with the lasted guidelines. There's more information here: http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/prediabetes/?loc=atrisk-slabnav that also talks about strategies to prevent prediabetes from becoming diabetes. ~Lynn @Glucerna
 
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1sttimer2006 replied to glucerna's response:
Thank you all for your replies, I truly appreciate it. It's just so frustrating - everywhere you turn there's a different opinion. It makes it very confusing. I guess the good news is that the diet & exercise plan they put me on is going very well. I love my doctor and I've been with him since I was 10 years old, but I feel like I just need to find one that will give me some straight answers and say YES you are a diabetic or NO you are not. Thank you all for your time.
 
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auriga1 replied to 1sttimer2006's response:
It is frusrating. Totally agree with you.

I am not a medical professional. Just want to say that as a student, we as a lab full of students tested each other with glucose meters as credit. There were 17 of us and all of us said we had finished breakfast or some form of food intake about two hours earlier. All of us said we were not diagnosed with diabetes or borderline. Our numbers were all in the 80's range, except for mine. Mine was skyhigh. Teacher suggested I make an appointment with my doctor.

Anyway, my point is that most non-diabetics will have returned to a blood glucose level in the 80's range. I'm not giving you a label.

If you keep on the straight and narrow with your desire to lose weight, your numbers will probably come down. I am glad it's working well for you. The thing is if you want your numbers to stay down, you will have to stick to healthy eating and exercising for the rest of your life. It's best for everyone whether diagnosed with diabetes or not.

Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate metabolism. That is why many professionals recommend a lower carb intake, more intake of veggies and lean proteins.

If it makes you feel better, get a second opinion, preferrably from an endocrinologist. This specialty deals with glandular disorders, the pancreas being a gland that makes and secretes insulin.
 
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jensman responded:
Dear An_255124,
I really don't want to be rough, but I am afraid the best way to advise you is to tell you some things you absolutely don't want to hear. You are craving to hear a doctor tell you that you are not diabetic-so that you can go home, relax and forget about the whole thing (the other possibility you open up in your "digital" choice -a doctor telling you that you are downright diabetic-is just rhetorical, let's be honest about it). Well, the simple but hard truth is that the diabetes world is not digital. It simply isn't true that you are either fully healthy or fully diabetic. There is in reality a continuum of metabolic states from complete healthiness to the most severe forms of diabetes, and the current definitions of what is considered as "diabetes" are arbitrary to a considerable extent. Take the time to look at the statistical curves for health risks as a function of blood sugar level -you will see immediately that there is no jump at any specific level but a steady rise starting somewhere around an HbA1c of 5.6.
With your value of 6.0, you are far from the no danger zone, yet possibly still some distance away from developing clinical symptoms of diabetes. Welcome to the shadow world of pre-diabetes. Going home and forgetting about the whole thing after you finally found some doctor who, irresponsibly, tells you that everything is ok, means taking the fast lane to full blown Diabetes. Wake up, and fight further progression of the metabolic disorder you already have, while you still can!
It's called lifestyle intervention, and it really works. If your doctor can't tell you about it, THAT's a reason to seek a second opinion.
 
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greybeh replied to jensman's response:
I did not read her post the same way as you did, jensman. I respect what you're saying, but I think you're off-target in your interpretation of the original post.

I rarely ever post or read posts on WebMD. I mostly get their emails just to browse their article offerings. This post caught my interest because it's relatable for me.

My mother, aunt, uncle, grandmother all have (or had) diabetes. I'm overweight and am exercising an hour a day most days of the week and I've started Weight Watchers to try to maintain a higher level of motivation/feedback for my diet choices.

That said, my last fasting glucose came back as 104. Quest Diagnostics flagged my result as being high as it's above the 99 max for their normal. Frankly, I've had warning signs and have tried to be vigilant. This result was from routine bloodwork. I'd actually requested that the doctor send me for a fasting test a few months before because I had increased urination (and that result was in the mid-nineties).

An actual diagnosis may mean I get more support from doctors, more help. I've been walking the tight-rope, having a high risk-factor profile... but no solid support from the medical community. Couldn't get obesity counseling before Obamacare because "I wasn't diabetic." (Obamacare now lets me get obesity counseling because I have cardiovascular risk factors -- high cholesterol).

It's frustrating, knowing you're on that tight-rope but having the insurance company tell you that they won't cover a trip to a dietician because you're not diabetic "yet."

Doc hasn't given me a label of pre-diabetes. I get a re-test of fasting blood glucose in 6 months, and I may ask him to do an A1C as well. His advice is to exercise for 30 minutes 5 times a week and eat a healthy diet (and I know what that entails so he didn't have to spell it out with me).

Actually, I'd once lost 175lbs and reached a healthy weight and then I started feeling sicker than I ever had in my life. I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia but eventually I think I got the diagnosis that changed my life -- sleep apnea. (Surprisingly, you CAN hurt all over if you have numerous sleep disruptions all night long). I'm on CPAP therapy now and I have energy and less pain! Unfortunately, I'd re-gained almost all the weight I'd lost because when I was sick, I felt like I was about to drop and fall asleep on the floor, so that left little room for exercising! Fatigue also causes cravings for unhealthy food or food for comfort rather than for hunger. Hunger signals get way out of whack because your body is craving energy.

I don't WANT diabetes, but I also don't want to be denied the resources I need access to. Medicine is not PREVENTATIVE enough. The insurance companies interfere. So, yeah, if I get an "official" diagnosis, I'll get help. But not without a bitter "I told you so!" -- not that it matters to the insurance company.

Walking a tightrope is stressful, frustrating and honestly, depressing. I'm relieved to finally be feeling well enough to exercise and I've been pushing myself because I DO feel that sense of urgency but I also know weight loss is a process, not a race.
 
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glucerna replied to greybeh's response:
Thanks for sharing your story, and I admire the way you're taking responsibility for your health and looking for support and encouragement to continue with healthy habits. ~Lynn @Glucerna
 
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bigred53 replied to glucerna's response:
I only wish I had been told I had 'pre-diabetes'. I had yearly routine blood work done and no doctor ever told me I had metabolic syndrome or said anything about my blood glucose. I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Then in late 2005 I decided to stop drinking soda and get off caffine. I started getting thirstier and thirstier, hungry all the time and losing weight like crazy. A diabetic friend tole me to get myself to the doctor. I went, told him my symptoms and they got a meter and tested me - 402!!! The results of my blood work was an A1c of 13.9, Triclyderides were 1000. Scared the holy living you know what out of me. There is no diabetes on my mother's side of the family and I knew nothing about my father's side. This was in February of 2006.

All my doctor told me was no 'white' stuff - bread, pasta, potatoes or rice. No rice!! I was the Rice-a-Roni queen...lol. And chicken and rice cassarole. OK. I tried really hard, took the meds and in about four or five months my A1c was down to 5.6 and my cholesterol was 'normal'. The Actos I was taking caused me to gain all the weight back so after a year when all the bad news about it came out I quit taking it. My A1c went to 5.8 and stayed there for a few years.

I haven't been perfect by any means a couple of years ago I went a little crazy and my A1c went up to 7.0. Statins cause me pain and I will not take them so we're trying other cholesterol drugs. Since I got off the Actos I've lost about 100 pounds - slowly but steadily - and I'm off the blood pressure medication. My A1c is holding steady at 5.8 and I feel pretty good. I still need to be better at exercising and I know I will get there. I would love to be able to get off the cholesterol meds but I doubt I ever will. My 90 day average blood glucose (from my meter) is 100. My insurance only allows me to test twice a day so I test first thing in the morning and before I go to bed so I know whether to take my glyburide or not so I don't go too low in the morning.

Diabetes is not a death sentence - it is a wake-up call to change your life style to a healthier one. If I can do it anyone can if they want to. I have diabetic friends who still aren't taking care of themselves. One takes two insulins and three oral meds. She is truly a food addict and I'm sure will die young which is a shame since she could be doing something to get healthier.

I understand how many temptations there are out there and you can indulge occasionally. For example, I LOVE Pepsi but I will have some maybe once or twice a month.

Diabetes is here to stay - once you have it you always have it. You may get/have it under control but it will never go away. If you relax your healthy eating it WILL rear its ugly head and complications will set in - blindness, amputations and and early death. Sorry to be so blunt but it is what it is.

Michelle
 
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brunosbud replied to jensman's response:
All of us drive cars. Therefore, all of us use car batteries. Some of us take our cars to a mechanic and he tells us if we need a new battery (or starter or alternator lol). Some of us inspect our battery cables for corrosion and tight connection, watch for dimming lights when starting or are familiar with the common sights or sounds associated with battery trouble and need no one to tell them they need a new battery. Finally, some of us do nothing and wait for our cars to fail in the middle of the road. Regardless, what kind of person you are, everybody's car battery is dying.


This is precisely the same for diabetes...For cardiovascular disease and stroke...For osteoporosis...For depression...

When it comes to diabetes, proactive people are not necessarily smarter or safer. There's no guarantee we won't have a stroke or go blind, tomorrow. We just acknowledge our "battery" is dying and we hate breaking down in the middle of the road. Confused or not confused, who cares? Everyone's gonna die, eventually.
 
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bigred53 replied to brunosbud's response:
Bruno, you are so right! I might get hit by a bread truck on the freeway on my way home tonight too. All I can do is try to be careful and pay attention to the other drivers (idiots) around me. The same, IMO, with diabetes. I hope that by taking better care of myself I will live a long and happy life with no breakdowns, although at age 60 I know I am coming closer to the end of my life and that is just the way it is. I hope I will be able to at least enjoy a few healthy years of retirement.

Bruno at times you can be rather abrasive but I amost always enjoy your posts and views, I have learned a lot from you. I admire your honesty and forthrightness. It is a ray of sunshine in a world that often likes to sugarcoat life and its various trials and tribulations. Keep it up - please.

Thank you for being you!!

Michelle
 
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brunosbud replied to bigred53's response:
"Abrasive"? Moi???
 
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bigred53 replied to brunosbud's response:
Yes my dear Bruno but I love it!! The things you say and way you say them should wake people up or at least get them thinking. I know a lot of what you say is 'tongue in cheek' but it still hits home with me and I appreciate it. You always make so much sense in the midst of this crazy world.

I would rather have someone be brutally honest with me (my feelings may get hurt but I'll get over it) than be kissy sweet and fake. I work with pepole like that and it makes me want to puke. OTH the things you say/write always make me think and learn. My dear grandmother told me that we should learn something new every day even if it is somewhat trivial.

Thanks!!!

Michelle

M
 
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bigred53 replied to brunosbud's response:
At don't you dare think I'm tring to be a kiss a** either...lol

Michelle


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