Can borderline diabetes go away? I have been watching my diet, drinking vinegar and eating fiber. My blood sugar stays down very nicely but if I forget the vinegar and fiber I am right back to 140 two hours after eating. I have lost 10 pounds and walk every day, but after two months of being so good, one slip and I am right back to the 140.
The condition that we used to call “borderline diabetes” is now referred to as “pre-diabetes.” Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be diagnosed in three ways: by measuring hemoglobin A1C, by measuring blood glucose first thing in the morning in a laboratory, or by administering an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). You mentioned that your post-meal glucose is 140, which, when an OGTT is given at your doctor’s office, is within the range of pre-diabetes. A reading of 140 using a blood glucose meter after a meal is not an accepted way of diagnosing pre-diabetes or diabetes. If you have not done so already, ask your doctor to check you for pre-diabetes using one of the three tests that I mentioned above. If your results indicate that you have pre-diabetes, the good news is that you can prevent it from becoming diabetes in several ways. First, meet with a dietitian for a healthy eating plan that is balanced in carbohydrate and that can help prevent or limit “spikes” in blood glucose after eating. Second, if you need to lose weight, aim to lose between 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. The dietitian can help you with this, as well. Third, aim to be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. That may sound challenging, but you’re already being active and you can break up your 30 minutes of activity into three 10-minute segments throughout the day, if need be. Walking is a simple and inexpensive way to get your activity in, but yard work and housework count too! Including fiber in your eating plan is certainly healthy and may help with your blood glucose levels. Swallowing a small amount of vinegar before meals has also been shown in some studies to reduce spikes in blood glucose after meals, but it’s not known how much one would need to take to see a benefit. If you have not, you should check with your doctor or dietitian about whether taking vinegar is helpful and if so, how much is safe to take. Vinegar is an acid and there’s a risk of burning or irritating your throat if you consume too much. Finally, when you see your doctor, request that you regularly be checked for pre-diabetes and diabetes.