A1C At 5.7

By joebrooklyn Latest Reply 2014-10-28 18:52:54 -0500
Started 2014-10-04 23:22:02 -0500


Since I have gotten into my late 30's it has been impossible for me to get below 10.6% body fat regardless of exercise, diet, and supplements. A couple of months ago I took a A1C test and it came back 5.7.

My doctor told me it was normal but when I looked online I found out that while "normal" is between 4.5 and 6, 5.7 to 6.0 is prediabetes type II which is insulin resistance. I went for a second opinion, he took bloods also and got the same result. He also said it was "normal" even when I explained what I read online.

Both doctors, who are very nice and smart, basically scoffed at me when I said I can't get below 10.6% body fat.

Well, I'm tired of being 11%-12% body fat and I'm tired of being scoffed at.

I tried various supplements, I tried increasing my protein intake and recently I tried rye bread. Yes, rye bread is supposed to reverse Type II diabetes. Nothing has worked.

Now I want to try Metformin a prescription drug that treats Type II diabetes by removing the sugar from your blood. I can try one more doctor.

My question is, what do you all think about this and would anyone try Metformin?

30 replies

Struggling Diabetic
Struggling Diabetic 2014-10-17 22:10:32 -0500 Report

Hi! Are you seeing a regular "family" or an endocrinologist? If they are regular doctor ask for a referral for an endo, which is a doctor that specializes in diabetese. I also read that 5 and under "they" consider someone a non-diabetic

joebrooklyn 2014-10-18 01:20:40 -0500 Report

My doctor is a family doctor but yes. If this new low carb diet coupled with GDAs and Biotine doesn't work I will try an Endo. If he refuses to give me Metformin I will have to get it other ways. By the way, I'm now down to 12.6% body fat from 15.4% in just 10 days. It sounds nice but I won't be impressed until I break the 10% threashhold.

Littlesister56 2014-10-08 13:51:35 -0500 Report

Joe- Myself and 2 other sisters are all type 2 diabetics, my sister goes to a VA hospital, Thankfully will be going to a diabetic center soon, at the VA hospital her Dr. there said if someone came in there with an A1c was 6.1% they would not treat with meds, which we all thought was crazy. Meanwhile I know 1 pre diabetics who was started on Metformin due to the fact they have a family history. I guess some doctors have different ideas of when to treat and with what. When I first went on Metformin my BS were in the 300's and I took it in small increments till I was to the level I needed 1000mg AM and PM, and what I heard about it then, was it was one of the first oral meds created to not cause wt gain, some people thought it helped you lose wt, it did if you had the nasty side effects but otherwise did not cause wt gain like some can like water wt gain. Have you spoken with a CDE or a regular nutritionist who may be able to help you with the BMI loss you want. I imagine if you body build you know how to correctly eat but maybe they could offer some advice as to why your having difficulty or tell you what to avoid to achieve the desired BMI. Donna

Lyndaw 2014-10-08 01:32:59 -0500 Report

Insulin resistence is when the insulin seems not make a difference in your numbers any more. T^here are 2nd generation medications that can be added at that point, one of which is called Glimeperide.

joebrooklyn 2014-10-08 01:47:14 -0500 Report

What's the difference between Metformin and Glimeperide?

Lyndaw 2014-10-08 01:54:39 -0500 Report

Metformin is generally used initially to help lower blood glucose numb rs. When a person has been on Metformin for a while with little results or if the medication is bd for the person's kidney function, folks like myself can be put on a second generation of medications. Glimperide is a medication that pushedo ut that little bit of extra insulin in the pancreas that can just might make a difference in numbers. My numbers are coming down to some extent. It might time a while, but numbers do come down. I am taking Diabetic Classes at the moment and have some information that I might be able to share along the way. Metformin is more of first defense. Of c ourse it depends upon the person and the numbers that come up during the day..

Lyndaw 2014-10-08 01:29:44 -0500 Report

Many Diabetics have already been on Metformin. Be careful of how much Protein you eat as well. Everything needs to be in proportion or moderation anyway. Take a look at a diabetic plate of food. Most of the plate should be veggies and salads, one quarter grains the next quarter proteins.

haoleboy 2014-10-07 15:22:16 -0500 Report

Just a thought Joe …
How's your cholesterol? The reason I ask is that one of the effects of elevated triglycerides and low HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels is an increase in adipose tissue … particularly around the mid-section … it's also can be an indicator of metabolic syndrome (as is insulin resistance)
Just thought of this and thought I'd pass it on


valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-10-07 14:19:41 -0500 Report

Hi,, before I even get started I want you to know I really do understand your need to obtain your goals as a body builder. However, I feel that you are putting that ahead of the real issue
here. That being first and foremost in your life.THAT YOUR A DIABETIC. ..you need to read all the things that are very important
to you now. All the things that can and will go wrong with your body if you. Continue down the road you appear to be on now. Just think, you were willing to take a drug just to "pull sugar out of your body" some of our DC family may have overlooked the fact you were willing to take it to loose weight. I was once treated for eating disorder. Please rethink you priorities and take your diabetes as serious as you do your body building.

joebrooklyn 2014-10-07 14:54:26 -0500 Report

Valentine Lady,

Thank you for your concern, I really appreciate it. I am not a diabetic. I am pre-diabetic with an A1C of 5.7 that my doctor seems to think is no big deal. Also, as I have stated before, my goal is NOT weight loss, it's fat loss. I want to keep the weight in muscle but lose the fat. If you're not a body builder this seems like a novel concept, but to me "losing weight" could mean losing muscle, water, et al. I dont go by the scale I go by the caliper.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-10-08 10:07:53 -0500 Report

Joe, I am concerned for you. Pre-diabetes is still something to keep your eyes on. I know your diet must be good, so keep on. Keeping on. :-)

tabby9146 2014-10-06 10:31:25 -0500 Report

Metformin is a safe drug that has been around a number of years. I was on it when I was first diagnosed back in late 2008, for 3 months, until I lost all of the weight. I was tapering off to one half tablet a day once I lost about 20 lbs. I think it was. now, for "some" it can cause tummy problems, but they usually will resolve after a while, for others they do not. I think that merformin helped me to lose this weight, in addition to changing my diet, and the exercise I was doing daily. I think doctors should not prescibe medication, "if" the conditions are such, that the person wants to try diet and exercise first depending on what the Fasting Glucose Tolerance Test results show, along with the A1C, not everyone can start out doing that. 5.7 is a very good number. That was what I startd out with. I can not seem to get it below 5.2 ever…even after all these years, but that would have to do with my diet I am sure, which I can still improve. It normally stays 5.3 most of the time. Yet, I "do" have diabetes I am not prediabetic. I wish I was. I failed the FGTT by a big amount.

joebrooklyn 2014-10-06 12:36:54 -0500 Report

How is your A1C down to 5.2 but you're still diabetic? Also, when you say you lost "weight", how much body fat did you lose. I don't want to lose weight I want to lose fat. I want to gain muscle and lose fat. I am 13.6% body fat right now and I want to get down to 8.5%. Can this medicine do it?
Right now Im looking into over the counter GDAs. I just bought Burn 24. We will see how that works, coupled with 3 tea spoons of apple cider viniger and baby artichokes everyday.

tabby9146 2014-10-06 10:35:00 -0500 Report

nothing "reverses" diabetes. However, you can go into a sort of remission which a nurse told me early on, when my A1Cs were consistently at 5.5 then 5.4 and then 5.3, so she said I had done that but to be very careful what I ate and to continue to exercise like I was. Metformin works to lower blood sugar, and if one is losing weight while on it,. dosages normally decrease. I was having "lows" while on it, toward the end and that was when I lowered the dose myself, after reading so much about it, while waiting on that next doctor appt.

TracyM66 2014-10-05 23:23:29 -0500 Report

Hi Joe, My personal opinion is to hold off taking any prescribed medication if there is no definite diagnosis of such. By taking it, you may be doing your body more harm than good. Currently it sounds like you are in a good place, 5.7 is a good number, it may be on a border line, but you could be on that border for years to come. If you begin taking something, you may cause unwarranted damage to your body. Are you willing to trade any of these side effects (below) for a problem that may not exist in the first place? Our bodies change every 7 years, see what happens in the next couple blood draws before you decide on a prescription method.

According to: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/m...

What side effects can this medication cause?
Return to top .
This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar. You should know the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms.

Metformin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe, do not go away, go away and come back, or do not begin for some time after you begin taking metformin:

•stomach pain
•unpleasant metallic taste in mouth
•flushing of the skin
•nail changes
•muscle pain

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency treatment:

*chest pain


lorlee 2014-10-05 18:50:31 -0500 Report

Hi Joe,
I wouldn't get too hung up on the numbers, ie. A1c 5.7% . This is actually a good blood sugar average and the key to diabetes type 2 is looking at your overall health risks like cardio vascular disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, vision problems as if you already have issues with these then you may want to be more aggressive, ie. try Metformin. Metformin MAY even help loose wt, but not specifically body fat and it works in the liver, not the pancreas, so no low blood sugars. Keeping your blood sugars in the "zone", which has changed over time as someone already mentioned, is all about preventing the complications of diabetes if left unmanaged for too long. Hope that helps. :)

Type1Lou 2014-10-05 14:15:01 -0500 Report

Rye bread reversing diabetes?????…I don't think so. Reducing the carbs in your diet might help. I would certainly attempt a dietary approach rather than taking any medication unless it's absolutely necessary.

OldTimer59 2014-10-05 14:13:54 -0500 Report

My experience has been the opposite. Since my diagnosis for diabetes the clinical limits have been lowered. First it was keep you testing number below 200, then it was 160 and now they want fasting numbers under 110 for tight control. I have been so frustrated. My present doctor is saying that I'm doing everything right and it's just the disease's natural progression. I resisted insulin for years, but in the year I've been taking twice daily long lasting and 3 meal time short lasting along with metformin, my fasting sugars are now between 71 and 120 depending on what and when I ate the previous night. I workout daily with no real weight loss in a year. Diabetes is frustrating. Along with my meds I am looking at this program offered at the following link Click Here!

haoleboy 2014-10-05 12:29:32 -0500 Report

At 15% body fat I am envious of your 10.6.
Wondering if you have tried a ketogenic diet? might help in both lowering your body fat % and your A1c.
if you are looking for a food or supplement that will 'reverse' diabetes … that ain't going to happen.


joebrooklyn 2014-10-05 13:00:53 -0500 Report

Right now I am 13.6%. I have been off diet and not working out hard. I plan on getting back into the swing this week; but keep in mind that the 10.6% was only reached twice and it was reached at a 20% caloric reduction with cardio 5 times per week, weight lifting 4 times per week and "supplements". I always get stuck there. Plus, It shouldn't be that hard to get below 10%. I realize that the lower you go the harder it is and Im not asking to go down to say 4% or even 6%. I just want to be low enough where you can see all my abs again not just the top 4 and that is at about 8.5%.
I tried a ketogenic diet but I can't go more than 2 days without any carbs at all.
You say you're at 15%, but do you work out, do cardio, diet, take supplements? How old are you? If the answer to all the above is no, then 15% is not bad being that "normal" body fat levels are between 10%-15%.

haoleboy 2014-10-05 13:18:50 -0500 Report

You ever consider that you might be "stuck" at 10.6 as a function of age. As we get older everything changes … I'm 60, btw, and follow a low carb (<50 total per day) eating plan.
Working out is a bit of a challenge for me but yes … everyday for about an hour total (weights, crunches … that sort of thing, no cardio).
I do take supplements but they are for heart health and for neuropathy.


joebrooklyn 2014-10-05 15:12:10 -0500 Report

If what you mean by "age" is that things don't work as they should anymore, yes, I know that; but my question is, what is not working and how do I fix it?
When an old person dies no doctor says anymore: "Well, he died of old age." Yes, age cause certain problems but when you die you die of something. So I can't get below 10.6% because old age has done something to me and I want to know what it is and how to fix it. Right now I think it's my A1C level being 5.7. BTW, I'm 45.

Nick1962 2014-10-05 15:56:41 -0500 Report

Joe, it’s just plain wearing out, and while we might be able to get around it for a while, we can’t just “fix” things that start to go. At some point we all stop growing, metabolism slows, muscles and ligaments lose their plasticity, and in some cases neurons stop firing and we lose cognitive ability. You also become susceptible to a whole host of new things.
Count yourself among the lucky few who’ve made it to age 45 with less than 20 percent body fat. But also remember that there’s a reason you have body fat, which is primarily as a “rescue” food source for your body should you need it. I doubt seriously you’ll ever get below 11 without some serious health complications at your age.

joebrooklyn 2014-10-05 16:03:28 -0500 Report


I have a friend that is 42. When we were teenagers he was always a little chunky, not fat just maybe around 15%-20% body fat. Back then I was at 8%-8.5% body fat effortlessly.
Today, he completes in "Masters" ( a euphemism for old, LOL!!.) body building contests and while he is about 11%-12% body fat off season, during competition he is as low as 5.5%!! Sometimes 5%.
There is nothing wrong with him, he is very healthy.

Nick1962 2014-10-05 16:38:10 -0500 Report

Won’t deny those folks exist Joe, but they are a rarity among the population. Much as you’d like to, you can’t change your genetics to become them - and bear in mind, like all living things, their systems and processes will slow and fail also.
Not saying to give up a goal, but sometimes we have to acknowledge and accept our limits.

jayabee52 2014-10-05 00:39:06 -0500 Report

Howdy Joe
I am not seeing the problem you seem to be having re the body fat (BF).

I really doubt that Met would do what you want it to do. Actually " . . . most evidence suggesting that the major effect of the drug is on glucose utilization. In vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated that metformin stimulates the insulin induced component of glucose uptake into skeletal muscle and adipocytes in both diabetic individuals and animal models. This increase is more significant in diabetic than in nondiabetic animals, suggesting an enhanced action of the drug in the hyperglycemic state" source: ~ http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/13/6...

you are not having hyper glycemic BG levels so the effect of the Met would be minimal at best.

You say you have 11% or 12% body fat (is that BMI or other method of measurement?). a chart shows various body fat percenages —
•Underweight: Below 18.5
•Normal: 18.5-25
•Overweight: 25-30
•Obese: Above 30
source ~ http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitnes...

So by this measure your 11 to 12 % BF is severely UNDERweight.

Your drive to lower your BFmay well cause more problems to your health in the future.

Please, for your own sake, seriously reconsider your rejection of your Drs' advice. Perhaps they were being kind to you by not suggesting you might have an eating disorder or a mental problem on this issue.

I suspect that by now you don't like me very much because I didn't hold your hand and support you. However this is how I see it, and I would not knowingly give you bad information.

Praying for your best health!


joebrooklyn 2014-10-05 00:52:40 -0500 Report


LOL!! I appreciate your response and believe it or not I will reconsider my decision on Met. However let me respond to some of your comments.
First, there is no way in hell an 18.5% body fat can be "underweight". Body fat has little to do with weight. When I was 23, I was 176 lbs. and 8.5% bodt fat. I am 5'7.5" tall so needless to say I was very muscular. No one would have mistaken me for being "underweight". Today I am 188 lbs and 11%-12% body fat when I am not taking care of myself and 10.6% when I am in "extreme" diet and exercise mode. I use to have a 6 pack, now I have a 4 pack. I'm clearly "fatter".
Secondly, as for my mental problems or my eating disorder, I am not offended by those comments. I get those comments all the time from non-bodybuilding individuals. If one is an average American, one may be about 15-20lbs. over weight, out of shape and not very cardiovascularly healthy. This person will see someone like me and say, wow, he's in good shape. They may be a little jealous and then when they hear me talking about working out and body fat they may think I'm a little obsessed or nuts or conceited. But in bodybuilding circles, my type of mentality is perfectly normal and a bodybuilder may look at me and say: "Bro, you need to do something about your lower abs, you look a little soft and smooth." And that's not a compliment.
As for an eating disorder, LOL!! I'm Italian, believe me I have no eating disorders, I love to eat. But; I do try to watch what I eat and always try to eat below my recommended calories but sometimes I cheat.

Thank you for the prayers and the advice!!


joebrooklyn 2014-10-28 18:52:54 -0500 Report

Update. I went to an Endocrinologist and she said I am suffering from Metabolic Syndrome and yes I am insulin resistant. She has put me on Metformin and I have been taking it for 4 days. It may be my imagination but I already see a difference in body fat. However; it is making me nauseous and did not take my night time dose last night. Has anyone else had this problem?

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