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August 29, 2004

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Glendale, New York, USA:

I recently took a fasting blood test. My glucose was at 123 mg/dl [6.8 mmol/L]. My doctor then had me take an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) about two weeks later. My fasting blood sugar was 115 mg/dl [6.4 mmol/L]; one hour later after drinking the solution, it was at 231 mg/dl [12.8 mmol/L]; and two hours later, it was normal at 105 mg/dl [5.8 mmol/L]. In your opinion, do I have Impaired Glucose Tolerance or am I non-diabetic? I would like to add that, after testing my glucose for the past three months, I had an average of 109 mg/dl [6.1 mmol/L]. I took my readings at all different times of the day.

Answer:

As you have indicated, the OGTT did not show diabetes. Diabetes or pre-diabetes is usually supported by more than one measurement over time. I would say you do not have diabetes. You have one glucose level that would put you at risk for impaired fasting glucose. There has been dispute as to whether the impaired fasting glucose or the OGTT is more strict at diagnosing diabetes. Impaired fasting glucose is newer, compared to the OGTT. There is no criteria for a high one-hour glucose with an OGTT. I would say you do not have diabetes, but you are at risk for developing the condition. You probably realize that a change in lifestyle is important to avoid diabetes.

JTL