Sunday, September 16, 2007

The point of no return

I've noted in my practice that people go for years with slightly abnormal, gradually increasing, blood sugars, a state known as impaired fasting glucose. Then abruptly and suddenly, they plunge into diabetes. Phoenix doctors, analyzing blood sugar data over years of studying Pima Indians (an ethnic group known for high prevalence of diabetes) confirmed this pattern.

A consistent trend was apparent in those individuals who became diabetic over the course of the analysis. Blood sugar at first rose in an even, linear sort of way, then turned upward with a rapid exponential rate.

The timeframe of this latter change may be very rapid for some individuals - beyond our ability to detect with biennial exams, meaning that some individuals transition from a normal to a diabetic state in less than 2 years, and how much less we do not know.
---Dr. Clinton Mason, National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Dr. Mason theorizes that interventions could prevent this rapid final rise of blood sugars into the diabetic range, thus delaying for years that dangerous development.

5 comments:

Mauigirl said...

Scary stuff, will keep an eye on my blood sugar. Last time it was 104, am awaiting results of the more recent test.

Femail doc said...

I hope your newest test is down in the normal range! My patients complain that we doctors are changing the rules on them; 104 used to be normal. The threshold, however, was lowered based on huge population studies that showed that blood sugars from 100 to 109 (the old normals) increased risk over those below 100. New information is now casting clouds over sugars in the high 90s as well.

Mauigirl said...

Good news, am glad to report the reading was 91 this time!

Femail doc said...

Good news MG; how'd you do it? I don't see one person in 20 who takes out of range into range.

Misty said...

That is interesting. For several years I suffered from severe hypoglycemia (glucose readings in the 30's and 40's upon waking each morning). Then suddenly, the low's stopped, and I began getting normal readings, even 80's and 90's upon wakening. I was hoping this was a miracle, but my dr told me to keep an eye on it b/c I could be in a glucose intolerance/pre-diabetic stage???