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July 12, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Type 2

Question from Fairmont, West Virginia, USA:

My doctor did an a1c and fasting test. She said she thought I had diabetes, The a1c was 5.6, which is excellent. My fasting blood sugar was 123 mg/dl [6.8 mmol/L]. I do not have diabetes, but it does run in my family. Both my mother and sister have it, I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. How can a fasting blood sugar be 123 mg/dl [6.8 mmol/L] and an a1c be 5.6? My doctor said I do not have diabetes, but I need to cut back on soda as I am showing shows of diabetes. I do not understand what she is talking about. Can you explain it please?


First of all, it should be clear that your results are not normal. A normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dl [5.5 mmol/L]. Your value of 123 mg/dl [6.8 mmol/L] puts you in the pre-diabetes category. This means that you are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future. You need to take this opportunity to improve your risk by adjusting your lifestyle and talking to your physician about medications that have been used to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in patients at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A hemoglobin A1c test is not appropriate for making the diagnosis of diabetes as it is not sensit