Prediabetes diagnosis

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Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/29/2016 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello! I've used this site often over the years love it. So when something new enters my life, this is the first place I go.

My doctor has been checking my blood work every 6 months for a couple years. My blood sugar was always at 99 after overnight fasting.

about a year ago he said, "your blood sugar is 101, but it may just be a fluke. We will test it again in the next 6 months." So he did, and it was 108. He didn't seem too concerned, just told me to try to eat healthier and lose weight.
Yep, because that's simple, I have been trying to for years now. But instead, due to 2 dual foot injuries and surgery, and having a very stressful job, I've done nothing but gain.

So, about a week ago, it read 117, which he then said with a bit of hesitation; "You officially have prediabetes." And along with that goes elevated cholesterol. My HDL is high at 69, and my blood pressure is 110/77. So he just never seems too concerned. But I'm reading and researching and now I am scared. I really wish he would have used the word "prediabetes" when my level was at 108. Diabetes does run on my father's side of the family, and I see what it is like, and I am so mad at myself for allowing this to happen.

I do have a few questions I am hoping this forum can provide some opinions on:

1.) My doc said I could try to really work on diet and exercise with or without glucophase. I chose without because I really do not want to rely on a pill if I can change with diet; However, I worry since my number is really close to that 125 dreaded diagnosis!!!

2.) He wants to see how I do with the weight loss over the next 3 months. He said he won't take blood then, just gage it on how much weight I have lost, and have me continue to work on it for another 3 months, and then test my levels.

3.) He never even mentioned my glucose levels. Not sure he did that A1C test?? Do they directly coordinate??? Meaning, if my fasting level is 117, he can pretty much conclude that my glucose is out of whack??

4.) I fear if I do not include the meds along with my efforts, and my efforts are not enough, in 3-6 months, I will end up with diabetes. But I fear taking the drug. My question is, once you are on it, and your weight is good, and habits, and blood sugar is lowered, are you able to go off the drug without any ramifications???

5.) Last question, I promise. Should I get a glucose blood test kit??? He said I could, and maybe insurance would pay for it. Because he only gave me whatever the fasting level is, and the meter measures the glucose levels, I'm not even sure I would understand the glucose level part of it. I've only had my blood tested with fasting, not in conjunction with eating food and seeing how my body reacts.

Sorry so long, any help is much appreciated as I attempt to figure out the best way to approach this! Thanks so much!

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6024
   Posted 5/29/2016 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to the Diabetes Forum! First I'm going to answer your questions by their numbers, so here goes:

#1 Yes, you can probably control your blood sugar with diet and exercise and keep it within the normal range. When they say "diet", this means don't eat a lot of carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, anything made with flour or sugar. Exercise, especially cardio, helps use up the glucose running around in the blood. So, both of these can really help control blood sugar. (Glucophage is metformin, usually the very first medication prescribed for newbies. It is very effective with diet and exercise especially and useful for those who are insulin resistant.) Please note that you won't know what your blood sugar is unless you test.

#2 I think it's reasonable for him to see how your blood sugar is after weight loss. Extra weight does affect blood sugar.

#3 Hmm, yes and no. The A1c is only an average of blood sugar over about 90 days, so it could be a person's blood sugar might be very high and then very low and the A1c would be the average. It could also be a person's blood sugar that is pretty much even, not rising too much or falling too much, just the opposite of the other case which is like a yo-yo. And some people seem to always have a higher fasting number but more normal numbers during the day. Others may have "normal" fasting results but higher numbers during the day. So, there may not be a definitive answer to that.

#4 Since you have diabetes in your family and your blood sugar results have been elevating over several tests, your blood sugar will most probably always be a health issue and need to be controlled in some way. You are probably insulin resistant which means your body still makes insulin as it should but for some reason the body's cells are not allowing it to do its job and that is to help the blood sugar circulating in the body get into the cells to be used for energy. So if the blood sugar is not being used by the cells correctly, it's still circulating and showing up as high blood sugar when a blood test is taken. You might be able to control your blood sugar within normal limits by just diet and exercise (I did that for almost 8 years.). If you stop the diet and exercise or change it in some way, your blood sugar would probably rise as mine did. I was hit by bursitis and then sciatic nerve problems which prevented me from doing all the cardio and walking I was doing and my blood sugar started to rise, so I went on metformin but I continue eating low carb. Of course, if you lose weight and your blood sugar is 'normal', then you would test daily to see how your blood sugar is. Everyone is different.

#5 If I were you, I'd get a blood sugar meter. Your insurance will cover it if your doctor prescribes it. Once you get the meter, you would get a monthly allotment of test strips. Or, you can buy one on your own. No one needs a prescription to buy them but the test strips can be expensive to buy, which is why having a prescription helps. Walmart sells its own brand called ReliOn and there are several models, so you would buy the starter kit with the meter and some strips and then you would just buy the test strips after that.

-*- -*-
You cannot be mad at yourself because you cannot change your family genes. Diabetes is on my mom's side of the family and we three children all have blood sugar problems/diabetes. I also saw my fasting results rising over several years but since my blood sugar was never over 125, my doctor never said I had diabetes. It was always "watch your diet" and she gave me the American Diabetes and American Heart Associations handouts. They didn't help. They didn't say simply that carbohydrates will raise my blood sugar. In fact, the ADA's recommendations will actually keep your blood sugar high unless you take medication to keep it down.

For a valuable source of information and reference on all things related to diabetes, I would recommend Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein. He is a type 1 and a medical doctor. He also has a section in the book on food and recipes.

And here is a link to a site with lots of information about blood sugar. There is a search box that is useful there, too. www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

I'm glad you posted! Don't worry about asking questions because that's how you learn!

yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Post Edited (LanieG) : 5/29/2016 12:08:44 PM (GMT-6)


Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/29/2016 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much Lanie. Your reply is very helpful! I am just taking it a day at a time and trying to do my best. I'm going to check with my doctor about writing a script for the monitor and strips to see if insurance will help. I have a huge deductible, as most everyone these days.

I'll will continue to research and find my way through this diagnosis. It is genetic for sure, my sister has hypoglycemia, hoTshimotos (spelling????). They are waiting for her numbers to get bad enough to treat it if need be, but she just started taking matters into her own hands with diet and exercise. Even with the pre-disposition, it seems like most of the global population is becoming insulin resistant due to processed foods. I tried the Paleo diet for a while and it helped dropped pounds, but my cholesterol did increase. This was about a year ago. Just have to work through it. Diabetes is a global pandemic really. The whole planet needs a wake up call!!!! Thanks again

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6024
   Posted 5/29/2016 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Sometimes conditions happen in clusters: blood sugar, thyroid cholesterol and probably others. So from my viewpoint and from what I know now, I hope the doctor tests your thyroid levels as well as blood sugar. Very often, people who experience episodes of hypoglycemia when they're younger will have elevated blood sugar issues later in life. If that person is overweight, then higher blood sugar is very likely especially when there are family members with diabetes. All this is in my own family.

From what I've read, I think the Paleo diet is too extreme. I am not as strict with carbs as Dr. Bernstein suggests but I do follow his food guidelines. I eat all vegetables that I like but not potatoes or corn (which is a grain anyway). Root veggies are generally high in carbs even if they have fiber, so I don't eat carrots as a vegetable but I'll grate some on my salad, for example. All leafy greens (different kinds of lettuce, spinach, kale, collard, etc.), celery, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, pickles, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, onions are all good. Meat, poultry and fish are good. Snacks can be nuts, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate. Fruit can be a problem because of their natural sugar but berries seem to be better. To be sure how we react to any food, we have to test before and a couple of hours after eating it.

So, read everything that you can about blood sugar and learn as much as you can!
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 5/30/2016 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Every doctor is different. When my fasting glucose tested at 105 (after a lifetime of 80-90), my doc had me repeat the test in 3 months. It was 110. She then told me: "With two consecutive fasting levels above 100 and a 5-point increase even with increased exercise, I consider you to have type II diabetes and intend to treat you as such." Her reasoning is that my risk was very high, and better to treat proactively.

We rolled out the diet and exercise plan, and this maintained my glucose in the 90's for 5 years. In 2009 I had to start Metformin because it had crept back up. With diet, exercise and medication my fasting glucose now is consistently under 100.

The rate of type II diabetes has skyrocketed over the past 10 years due to a carb-laden diet and the increasing rates of obesity in our country. As people are becoming more aware, the rate will hopefully go down significantly.

Sandwich & fries diet + sedentary lifestyle = obesity +/- genetics = type II diabetes.

It also doesn't help if you ever have to take steroid medications for long periods. These elevate blood glucose and can precipitate diabetes.
Thyroid forum moderator

Ulcerative colitis; 10thyear of remission with Remicade. Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids. Grave's disease post-RAI and now on Levothyroxine. Type II diabetes induced by steroids. #ucsucks

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 5/30/2016 9:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to both of you, very helpful. I've been reading up a lot. I did buy 2 books last week after he told me I was heading toward diabetes. They were ok, but conflicting. I will buy Dr. Bernstein's book.

JuJub, my husband has had Ulcerative Colitis since he was 30. He is now 51. He has been on and off steroids. Over the past 8 years his treatment has been Lialda, which is a steroid that claims to only release the steroids when it gets to the colon, which I don't believe is fully the case. He is thin, a runner. His health markers are all good except for cholesterol. His work has an annual comprehensive health screening. His cholesterol is 300!. He will not go to see our family doctor. Driving me nuts. I wonder if it has to do with his meds. He takes a couple other things as well.

We typically do eat well about 70% of the time. Fast food is a rarity, as is red meat. We truly do not eat many carbs, but there are many areas we can improve for sure. Evening night caps is a main thing. Just 2 drinks a night can cause issues. His grandfather lived well into his 90's healthy and attributed it to 2 nightly "high-balls." Who knows. We are all genetically unique. It's funny what we take as advice from the influence of our families one way or another. But 2 drinks a night had become my way to "relax" from the stress of banking branch management. It is chaos and, extreme micro management, with the goals hanging over your head. You are only as good as your last month, and then you are likely to be out of a job. And don't get me started on the turn-over rate of employees, and managing them. Other bankers over my career were evening drinkers, so I think I falsely thought if they could do it, and seem healthy, well, that could be my answer too. After this diagnosis, I think I have had like 3 drinks in the past week and a half, and tend on getting to the point where I only partake when on vacations or weekend get aways. I think that will help me a lot. He still likes his, but I think it can't be good for his cholesterol or his colitis. I'm going to keep checking in on this site as I have done in the past. It has always served me well!!! With much appreciation, best of health to both of you!!

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20035
   Posted 5/31/2016 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
diabetes is known as the 'creeper' disease, as it creeps up on ya. as does it with other areas, eyes, heart and so on. follow your dr's advice, however if your numbers keep going up I would seriously consult a endocrinologist. diabetic educators are a good source of info as well. diabetes hit me hard, 20 odd yrs ago it started, resultant with mental illness and it's negating efficacy I went backwards, and it hit slowly but directly. me heart, teeth and eyes and small veins. must be vigilant, it does not care nor does discriminate. take care.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

Virgogirl67
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 6/1/2016 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Happy Turtle, thanks for the reply. You know, in the back of my mind, initially, with annual check ups always being ok despite the fact that I was gaining weight, and became more sedentary, I thought, hmmm, seems like I am getting away with this??? Not a good way to think. My dad's side of the family has diabetes, but they were all very unhealthy eaters, and numerous were smokers. So I always wondered, "is it truly genetic, or are they doing this to themselves."

And I did think, I will never allow myself to get that way, and I would never forgive myself if I get diabetes. 2 foot injuries at the same time 4 years ago, one that required wearing an air cast for over 3 months, and then surgery on the other foot followed by a medical shoe for another 3 months side lined me from a moderate to high level of activity. I was an Irish Dancer from the age of 12. Usually practicing 2 x's per week, and then walked my hilly neighborhood for 3.25 to 4 miles a lot of nights, and worked out in my lower level in winter. After years of being active, but still gaining weight? As I got older and went through infertility treatments, I was still considered a healthy over weight woman. My cholesterol was 220, but because my good cholesterol was close to 70, my doctor said there really is no other health risk, so he felt I was fine.

I am learning what you said, about diabetes to be a creeper, is so very true. I love my family doc., he knows I have a propensity to not want to take meds over the years. I had to cave a number of years ago after suffering the on-set of anxiety and started to take something for it, otherwise I felt my livelihood was at stake.

so, I think he doesn't rush with me, and I am the culprit there. You're correct also about seeing a specialist. My sister has been diagnosed with hoshimoto disease, and has low blood sugar. I never related that to our possible genetic pre-disposition, but now that I am reading everything I get my hands on, I know it is. She stays pretty trim. Recently telling me her doctor told her she was only 10 pounds over the desired weight, and she is working on that now. I have a lot more work ahead of me.

In any case, sorry so long. I think it helps me to type out my thoughts, plus I type fast - so it's like verbal vomit :-). Thank you for your response, and I wish you health and well-being!

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6024
   Posted 6/1/2016 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, a creeper disease. It's a little like high blood pressure; you don't necessarily have any physical symptoms to complain about in the beginning. Knowing what I know now after the past ten years dealing with this, I wish my doctor had been more aggressive in starting me on the road to testing my blood sugar. Unfortunately, the medical profession sets "normal", "pre-diabetes" and "diabetes" blood sugar parameters rather high. I went for years with elevated morning fasting numbers before my doctor finally ordered a glucose tolerance test (GTT) which is definitive in showing I cannot metabolize carbs, that I am diabetic. But even then, I was called "prediabetic" because my results weren't high enough on their scale to be considered diabetic. And, this is a problem.

Many people are led to believe that they are only "prediabetic" so it's not serious enough to take active steps to bring the blood sugar down to normal levels. And ever further than this, many doctors follow the ADA's recommendations of higher than normal blood sugar for diabetics, so many people go on with life with elevated blood sugar not quite at the established diabetic level. After all, they are only "prediabetic". The problem with that is that living with this may cause diabetic health problems that can get gradually worse: neuropathy and glaucoma and then heart and kidney disease.

So, as I said, knowing what I know now, I think it's better to get a grip on this and get the blood sugar back to real normal levels - which are described in the link I put above - not the elevated levels that doctor's offices use given to them from the ADA.

Anywaaaay, I will say that for the past ten years I've eaten and lived much more healthily than before because I learned a lot about what to eat and how to be active which helps my whole health in general, not just the diabetes.

Virgogirl, you'll be ok because you're determined to control your health! I'm glad you're posting! yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

IamCurious
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3071
   Posted 6/7/2016 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Through regular blood work I have seen my fasting blood sugar rise from the 80's, 90's to well over 100 mg/dl, meaning that I was prediabetic and on my way to diabetes. But rather than wait weeks or months for another blood test, I bought my own meter and measured my fasting blood sugar each day, first thing in the morning. That was eight years ago.

Of course I discovered that sugar such as soda will elevate my sugar so I cut out the junk from my diet. But I also found that gluten (wheat) is also a problem. But I did a little research and there are studies where gluten and dairy can raise blood sugar. But everyone is different and the dairy (unless it was ice cream!) didn't seem to affect my FBS, at least for me. Other carbs such as corn, at least for me, didn't seem to affect my sugar levels much.

By carefully monitoring my diet my FBS is usually below 100 mg/dl. If I am really good for an extended period of time it can sink into the 80's again. But I will always be prediabetic, just one can of soda can put me over into the 100's again for days.

Diabetic test strips can be expensive, my insurance won't pay for them because I am not yet diagnosed as diabetic. But I find that they can be about half the price through Amazon.com. If you get yourself a meter please be aware that not all meters are equally accurate. It is frustrating to quickly measure your blood sugar twice from the same pinprick and have readings that 20 mg/dl different!

Here is a thread about finding an accurate meter. This is from 2013 so you may want to look into Consumer Reports for a more recent evaluation:
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=20&m=2864470
Male, born 1951, DX IBD Feb08. No meds, allergic to Mesalamine. Food diary instead of SCD or Paleo. When needed powdered psyllium seed mixed with VSL3DS and blueberries is very helpful.

Two(2) Lactobacillus Reuteri (NCIMB 30242) and two(2) Culturelle each morning. Fish oil, curcumin, extra D3, magnesium, multivitamin.

Resistant Starch and lots of fruit & vegetables (but no cruciferous), No Gluten, no soda, no HFCS, no xylitol or sorbitol, no trans fat, no shellfish, no carrageenan, no GMO foods saturated with Roundup.
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Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6024
   Posted 6/7/2016 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
IamCurious, I think you are very wise to be concerned enough about your health to take steps to head off possible complications. Ten years ago I was a babe in the woods about blood sugar even though diabetes runs on my mom's side of the family. I've learned a wealth of information since then and am determined not to go down the same road of diabetic complications.

Yes, in order for your meter to be covered by insurance, your doctor needs to write a prescription which would mean a diabetes diagnosis. I updated the blood sugar meter list in the Diabetes Resources sticky at the top of this forum. If your meter and strips are not covered by insurance, a good choice would be Walmart's ReliOn meters. There are different models, some having different functions. Be sure the test strips you buy match the model's name on the box.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating
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