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Question:

From, USA:

I am a 44 year old female. who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago. My doctor diagnosed me after a routine physical exam and blood work revealed that my glucose levels were "a little high" (115 mg/dl [mmol/L]). She ordered an oral glucose tolerance test done (three hours, 75 grams) which yielded the following results:

   Time       Blood Glucose   
Fasting 97 mg/dl [5.4 mmol/L]
30 Minutes 220 mg/dl [mmol/L]
One Hour 218 mg/dl [12.1 mmol/L]
Two Hours 219 mg/dl [12.2 mmol/L]
Three Hours 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L]

Because of this, my physician said I have diabetes and wanted to put me on Glucophage right away, but I resisted to see how my levels were first. I am not under any other medications at this time, I have lost about 30 pounds since my diagnosis, am eating a more healthily (switched to diet sodas, and limit sweets). My fasting levels have been around 85-102 mg/dl [4.7-5.7 mmol/L] for over six months, and sometimes my levels do go up around 169 mg/dl [9.4 mmol/L] two hours after eating. My last A1c was 5.5%. I have several questions:

  1. Do I really have diabetes?
  2. If so, how long may I keep my levels within normal ranges?
  3. Did my doctor happen to catch it early and the weight loss made me go into remission?
  4. Am I a "typical" person with diabetes -- diagnosed with the oral glucose tolerance test early-on, with normal fasting levels, and it'll just progress as time goes on?
  5. What am I to believe so I understand it all?
  6. I've been reading all I can about diabetes and haven't come across any information about people with type two diabetes who have normal fasting levels. I know with the fasting glucose test, I could be classified as "Glucose Impaired, " or "Pre-Diabetic, " but was I classified as having diabetes because of the OGTT?

I just want to understand this better! Someone told me some people who have diabetes can have normal fasting levels for up to 10 years, then things may worsen. When I ask my doctor these questions, she just tells me I am in good control, but I don't feel like I've made real major changes.This makes it easy to go into denial.

Answer:

You answered your own question correctly. You are one of the lucky ones who found out you have diabetes sooner rather than later and began to follow a healthier lifestyle to control it. Since diabetes is a progressive illness, you will probably need some medication over time to get the same results you are achieving now just by losing some weight. You would also benefit from visiting a diabetes educator to go over the details of diabetes management such as meal planning, physical activity, foot care and so forth.

JS

[Editor's comment: To help you understand a little better, the diagnosis of diabetes is made when the two-hour value during an oral glucose tolerance test is greater than 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L]; yours was 219 mg/dl [12.2 mmol/L]. Please see Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes. SS]

DTQ-20031025213856
Original posting 14 Nov 2003
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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