October 17, 1999
Diagnosis and Symptoms
Question from Manila, Philippines:
I come from a family with a history of type 2 diabetes (uncle, dad, aunt). I’m 21 years old. I just had my blood sugar checked and it showed 160. They said that the normal should have been between 80-120. I love sweets (sugar, candies, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, etc.).
Since it was my first time to have my blood checked, it made me think about my high sugar diet. I just want to ask if my blood sugar is alright. If not, how could I lower it to a normal level? How frequently should I check my sugar level? How would I know that I am already bordering towards type 2?
Sorry for being a little paranoid for having an elevated sugar level but as they say, better to be careful than sorry.
You are right to be concerned. According to the 1997 American Diabetes Association guidelines for diagnosis of diabetes, a fasting blood sugar higher than 126�mg/dl on more than one occasion would mean that you have diabetes. Several questions should be considered: 1) were you fasting when the lab was drawn? (this means you had nothing to eat or drink except water for at least 8 hours), and 2) you should have another lab test for glucose drawn on another day before the diagnosis is confirmed.
Eating sugar is not what causes diabetes. Type�2 diabetes is a genetic metabolic disease and your family history makes you a prime candidate.
Additional comments from Dr. Lebinger:
Even though eating sugar does not directly cause the metabolic abnormalities causing type 2 diabetes, keeping your weight normal, exercising, and limiting your intake of concentrated sweets may help prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes and is certainly necessary to control high blood sugars if you develop diabetes.