Donna Jean collier

Q:

I am borderline diabetic what is that?

Amy Campbell

A:

Hi Donna Jean, Actually, what you most likely have is “prediabetes,” the newer and more accurate term that has replaced the term “borderline diabetes.” Prediabetes is a condition whereby your blood glucose levels are higher than “normal,” meaning higher than those of a person without diabetes, but not high enough to be called diabetes. So, you’re kind of in a “gray” zone. The issue may be that your pancreas is not making enough insulin, a hormone needed to help keep blood glucose levels in a safe range. It may be that you’re making enough insulin but your body isn’t able to use it as efficiently as it should. Or it could be a combination of both. The result, however, is the same: blood glucose levels that are higher than they should be. Prediabetes is diagnosed in one of three ways: by checking your fasting blood glucose level; by having an oral glucose tolerance test, during which the blood glucose level is measured before and two hours after drinking a 75-gram glucose drink; or by finding out what your A1C is (this is a measure of your average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months). All of these tests need to be done at your provider’s office or at a lab. A fasting glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dl, an oral glucose tolerance test 2-hour result of between 140 and 199 mg/dl, or an A1C between 5.7 and 6.4% may indicate prediabetes. Usually the test is repeated for confirmation. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent prediabetes from becoming diabetes: losing 5-10% of your body weight, following a healthy eating plan (which includes eating smaller portions of food and cutting back on sugary drinks), and getting regular physical activity, like walking, most days of the week. Talk to your provider about your test results and ask him or her for a referral to a dietitian who can help you with a healthier eating plan, weight management and physical activity.

January 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm