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October 28, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from West Valley City, Utah, USA:

Seven months ago, I had a fasting blood sugar of 128 mg/dl [7.1 mmol/L], four months ago, it was 126 mg/dl [7 mmol/L], and three months ago, my A1c was 4.6%. Does this mean that I have type 2 diabetes?

Answer:

While your hemoglobin A1c was in the normal range, your fasting blood sugars were diagnostic at least for impaired glucose tolerance, (a state of abnormal sugar metabolism preceding diabetes), if not of overt diabetes. I wonder whether you might be asked to perform a two-hour blood sugar test during an oral glucose tolerance test.

Once you have ascertained what your sugar intolerance is like, then we might be able to say whether you have type�1 or type�2 diabetes depending on some clinical characteristics (age of onset, body weight, severity of symptoms, etc.) and biochemical markers (immune markers [such as antibodies], and residual endogenous insulin secretion). A proper endocrine consultation may help. Ask your doctor for further advice.

MS