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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.


From: DTeam Staff

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.