1. My husband just came back from the doctor & said he is "Borderline" Diabetic. The doctor did not seem alarmed & merely told him to watch his sugar intake. From what I understand, there is no such thing as "Borderline Diabetes". Does my husband have diabetes? If so, what can he eat?
M T in Tamarac, FL
Your cause for concern is justified. You are right. There is no such thing as "Borderline Diabetes". Occasionally doctors use this phrase when a person's blood sugar is controlled with diet & exercise.
Without knowing your husband's previous medical history, it is not possible for me to diagnose whether or not he does indeed have diabetes. He would need at least 3 blood sugar tests to come up higher than the "normal" range. You might want to check with his doctor to see if he has previously had higher than normal blood glucose readings. If so, then yes, it would be safe to assume your husband does have diabetes.
Now the question of what can he eat. Your timing is perfect. The topic of this month's articles is eating for diabetes. The summarized version is: a person with diabetes should eat a healthful diet. There are not forbidden foods. Instead, everything is give & take. No one needs excess sugar, sweets or fat, regardless of whether or not they have diabetes but an occasional cookie in place of a portion of potatoes is acceptable once in awhile.
If your husband is overweight, the first step in controlling his diabetes would be to lose a few pounds. A weight loss of even 5 pounds will lead to better blood glucose control. In addition, he should do some type of exercise everyday - even a 15 minute leisure walk is better than nothing to start - then he can progressively increase the activity as it becomes easier.
I truly believe that having diabetes is really just a kick in the pants motivating people to live a healthful lifestyle. Everyone should eat a healthful diet & engage in regular physical activity even if they are "healthy."
Hope this helps! Dr. Mary
2. I just got the results of my hemoglobin A1C & I'm a little confused. The nurse said my diabetes control is very poor but I don't see how this can be. I check my blood sugar every morning & the number is always below 200. Is it possible the lab made a mistake?
C D in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Yes, it is possible that the results of your lab work are wrong but you should also know that your morning blood sugar readings are not the best way to monitor your diabetes control.
When you test your blood sugar in the morning, all you see is your blood sugar at that period in time. For many people, the fasting blood sugar reading is the lowest of the day, simply because their last meal was at least 8 hours prior.
I always recommend that my clients test their blood sugar at least twice a day (ideally 4 times) & vary the time it is taken. For example: On day 1, test your blood sugar before breakfast & before dinner - on day 2, test before lunch & before bedtime.
After a week or so of following this schedule, you will have a more accurate picture of your diabetes control throughout the day. It may also prove to be helpful in alerting you to high (& even low) blood sugars, which can motivate you to make better food choices & to exercise, in an effort to combat those high readings.
It is also a very good idea to keep a record of your blood sugar test results. Bring them to your next doctor visit. Doing so will help give your doctor a better idea of your diabetes control throughout the day, which will help him/her change your medications on an as needed basis.
In Health - Dr. Mary
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