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October 31, 2007

Diagnosis and Symptoms, Type 2

Question from St. Louis, Missouri, USA:

Recently, I had blood work done and my fasting blood sugar was 123 mg/dl [6.8 mmol/L]. My A1c was 6.2. I am 35 years old, 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and I weigh 152 pounds. My family doctor says that I am pre-diabetic and need to take care of my diet and exercise and need to lose weight or I will have full blown diabetes in a few months. What is your opinion?


Your fasting glucose is consistent with pre-diabetes. The definition of diabetes is a fasting glucose greater than or equal to 126 mg/dl [7.0 mmol/L] on more than one occasion. The hemoglobin A1c is not sensitive enough to use to diagnose diabetes. The recommendations you have been given by your physician are appropriate. If diabetes is common enough in your family, there is some data on the use of medications, in addition to good data on the strong impact of lifestyle, in the prevention of diabetes. You should consult further with your physician about these issues.