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Old 11-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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Blood sugar creeping up relentlessly...


A few months ago, my fasting blood sugar was at 89. Recently, it clocked in at 110.

I adjusted my diet (cut out almost all carbs, avoided sugar, ate more protein and fiber,) tried sleeping more, exercising more. Took bitter-melon pills as supplements (supposedly helps combat high blood sugar.) Furthermore, I am already a skinny guy to begin with. No weight to lose.

Now it's at.....115.

Not looking good. I am steadily on the path towards Type II diabetes.
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:41 PM
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Sounds more like T1. See an endocrinologist.
Check those suppliments for hidden sugar. Eat lots of beans and greens. No soda. No alcohol.
IANAD just a T1 diabetic.
Good luck
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:09 PM
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Do you take any steroids? I think those are under-acknowledged as a cause of high blood sugar
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:10 PM
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Sounds more like T1. See an endocrinologist.
Check those suppliments for hidden sugar. Eat lots of beans and greens. No soda. No alcohol.
IANAD just a T1 diabetic.
Good luck
I'm 31 years old. Surely if I were Type I, it would have manifested as a teenager?

Last edited by Velocity; 11-01-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:19 PM
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Sounds like Type II to me. Exercise and diet are usually key, and can sometimes reverse the trend, but you may need something like Metformin to keep the numbers down.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:22 PM
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I'm 31 years old. Surely if I were Type I, it would have manifested as a teenager?
One of our members was diagnosed with Type 1 later in life. I'll ping her and see if she wants to weigh in.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:23 PM
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I'm 31 years old. Surely if I were Type I, it would have manifested as a teenager?
No. Type I is no longer considered "juvenile" diabetes.

Make an appointment with an endocrinologist.

Last edited by panache45; 11-01-2019 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:33 PM
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I'm 31 years old. Surely if I were Type I, it would have manifested as a teenager?
My wife became a Type I at age 40. the islet cells in her pancreas started dying off and she produced less and less insulin over the months following her diagnosis, until it was eventually necessary for her to take insulin shots.

Last edited by Cardigan; 11-01-2019 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:45 PM
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Type I is that your body doesn't produce enough insulin to start with, so it can't regulate your blood sugar properly. Type I can be caused by genetics, but environmental factors and diseases can also cause it. If genetics is the main cause then it tends to show up when you are a child or a teenager, but as noted upthread, it's no longer considered only a juvenile disease since things other than genetics can cause it.

Type II diabetes is when your body is insulin resistant. You produce enough insulin, but for whatever reason it doesn't work properly in your body. The most common cause of insulin resistance (in the US at least) is fat clogging up the insulin receptors throughout your body. Genetics and other things can also come into play. Whatever the cause, the stress of trying to overcome your body's insulin resistance can strain the insulin producing cells in your pancreas, and if they die, they are cells that aren't replaced. When they are gone, they are gone forever.

I have Type II diabetes, and in its most common form it does tend to creep up on you like the OP describes. But, in its most common form, it also tends to be caused by fat, and the OP describes himself as a skinny guy.

The fact that the OP is skinny and is already exercising more and his blood sugar is still creeping up makes me think that simple diet and exercise (what typically works for most Type II diabetics) isn't going to work here. The OP definitely needs to get to a doctor and find out what's going on. It could be something damaging the pancreas.

My only knowledge of this is as a Type II diabetic, so there's no way I can tell you all of the possible causes of what is happening. All I can tell you is that you don't seem to have the same problem I do. If you did, diet and exercise would have probably gotten it under control, and it didn't.

Get thee to a medical professional, ASAP.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 11-01-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:54 PM
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The OP needs to see a doctor NOW. And maybe push a little bit.

The good news would be if he's "just" a new Type 1 (or type 2) diabetic.

Not to alarm you, but that sort of effect can also be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. It is unlikely, but really, OP, you need to find out NOW what's causing this so you can get appropriate help. It's not going to get better on its own, only worse.

Good luck and I hope it's something caught early and manageable.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:59 PM
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I have several friends who are T1 diabetics, at least half were diagnosed as adults. Your thin body type certainly suggests T1. But, see your doctor.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:19 PM
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OK, thanks, I've sent a message to a local family doctor, maybe can get this talked over in a visit next week.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:16 PM
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Diabetes is a lot more complex than type 1 vs. type 2. There are multiple other causes of an elevated fasting glucose (and 115 isn't particularly alarming), and there are also plenty of non-type 1 or 2 forms of diabetes, such as MODY and LADA.

Your atypical presentation suggests that it's unlikely a simple 1 vs. 2 determination. And it could be nothing at all (or at least, nothing identifiable).

It sounds like you have access to a glucometer. It might be useful to take some post-meal readings (two hours after dinner). Keep a log and bring it to your clinic visit.

Anyway, yes, talk with your physician. And try not to be alarmed by get to your doctor now advice.

Keep us posted, and good luck!

ETA: I would suggest testing your blood sugar fasting and two hours after dinner every day for the seven days prior to your appointment.

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 11-01-2019 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:42 PM
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Agree with MMM, your Doctor will want/ need to see your readings over a few days.
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:30 PM
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None of those readings are diagnostic for diabetes. The diagnosis of diabetes should not be made on glucometers anyway. The gold standard is testing done on venous blood.

Have a doc check you. I'd want to see a patient's Hgb A1C, among other things, in order to diagnose diabetes vs. impaired glucose tolerance vs. whatever.

And DM these days is much more complex than type I vs type II, as noted by MMM
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Old 11-01-2019, 08:59 PM
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And if you are diagnosed as diabetic, whichever type, don't stress out wondering what you did wrong to get it. You don't get diabetes from gluttony or laziness. You can have a Tibetan monk's diet and an athlete's fitness regimen and still get diabetes.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:04 PM
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Some drugs can cause your blood sugar to get wacky.

Did you start any medication within the last few months? Maybe a statin?
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
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Some drugs can cause your blood sugar to get wacky.

Did you start any medication within the last few months? Maybe a statin?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyada View Post
Do you take any steroids? I think those are under-acknowledged as a cause of high blood sugar
No, I have not been on any meds of late. Other than, say, melatonin for sleep, which surely can't be it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:08 PM
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I’ve got type 2, and have been making progress on getting my A1C under control. Currently at 6.3. With meds. But losing weight seems to help the most. I stopped pop, try to avoid candy..., and haven’t had a pastry in a good while. May sound gross, but when I stopped drinking soda, I found that I farted less.

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Old 11-02-2019, 08:12 AM
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Sure, see your doc, but like Qadgop says, none of those numbers really will tell you much.

I'm curious why you're even looking at that number. 89 isn't high, nor is 115. They don't even start thinking diabetes before it gets to 126 or so.

Also, are you taking your blood sugar at the same time every morning? Have you tried taking it during the day, after a meal? Your body naturally produce higher blood sugar in the am to give you energy to wake up with. I'd try taking your blood sugar after a meal, is it high then?

But, like everyone said, go to the doc. But I sure wouldn't be worrying between now and then.

Oh - and yeah, you can get T1 anytime in life. I got it at age 38. and have talked to lots & lots of folks who ended up with it even later.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:03 PM
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...I'm curious why you're even looking at that number. 89 isn't high, nor is 115. They don't even start thinking diabetes before it gets to 126 or so.

Also, are you taking your blood sugar at the same time every morning? Have you tried taking it during the day, after a meal? Your body naturally produce higher blood sugar in the am to give you energy to wake up with. I'd try taking your blood sugar after a meal, is it high then?...
Well, it is going to be higher after a meal because you just ate. That is normal.

A fasting should generally be <100. 89 is fine; a fasting of 115 is worth examining further. But as QtM said, not by a glucometer only. Needs to be a venous, not capillary, sample.

Also, technique comes into play. Be sure your testing finger is completely clean and completely dry. Use alcohol pad or soap and water, then let dry completely. Not clean can = false high, not dry can = false low.

(some offices also have a "point of care" A1c machine, which is also not considered diagnostic. An old-school, venous specimen tested by a proper lab is the ticket).
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:14 AM
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Sure, see your doc, but like Qadgop says, none of those numbers really will tell you much.

I'm curious why you're even looking at that number. 89 isn't high, nor is 115. They don't even start thinking diabetes before it gets to 126 or so.
Not that I'm a doctor, but it's not that the numbers are alarming, it's that they're changing. Something is going on with the OP. Better to check out it sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:00 AM
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OP, aside from any numbers, how do you feel?
The amazing human body has many ways of telling you things are not right.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:15 AM
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Well, it is going to be higher after a meal because you just ate. That is normal.
Yeah, but my not-very-scientific study of my husband's blood sugar right after eating is that non-diabetic blood glucose doesn't go THAT high. We both eat the same cookie (or whatever). 30 minutes later my blood sugar is at 180, his is at 105. Real pancreases work a LOT better than insulin

I think once he tested at 160 after eating a huge piece of cake, and 15 minutes later it was back down to 110 or something.

My kingdom for a working pancreas!
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:18 AM
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Not that I'm a doctor, but it's not that the numbers are alarming, it's that they're changing. Something is going on with the OP. Better to check out it sooner rather than later.
Maybe it's changing, maybe it's not. Spot checks don't mean THAT much - the exact time might make a difference, what he ate the night before, etc etc.

That said, I agree with everyone else, go to the doc! And if you don't want to wait that long, you can get an A1C test at WalMart or wherever. Not saying the OP should do that instead of going to the doc, but if he's anything like me I'd want to know RIGHT NOW what my A1c was.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:56 AM
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My niece is a Type 1 diabetic and she's stayed with us on occasion. I agree with most of the points that have been met:

* An isolated reading on a home glucometer doesn't mean much, and means even less without proper technique. They're good enough for their intended purpose for giving a ballpark estimate of how much insulin to take, not really good for diagnostics. My niece reported that she's gotten a 15 point difference with different meters. Accurate enough for taking insulin to get it to an acceptable range. Not enough for diagnostics.

* A home A1C test would indeed give you some idea if there's a problem or not.

* As cheap as glucometer starter kits are, you could get a different meter and see what results you get. My niece has personally found the Accu-Chek ones come in closet to her lab values and that the Walmart ones are the least accurate. (Immediately after one of her quarterly blood draws she tested with 4 of 5 home meters she had laying around.

* Our advice is obviously no substitute for a doctor.

* An isolated 115 reading is probably not overly concerning. I registered a 113 on a real lab test and the doctor was not overly concerned, did not order an A1C or glucose tolerance test or nay followup, just told me that it would be monitored to see if it got worse, and told the symptoms of real diabetes to watch for.

Last edited by Mdcastle; 11-03-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:15 PM
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* An isolated reading on a home glucometer doesn't mean much, and means even less without proper technique. They're good enough for their intended purpose for giving a ballpark estimate of how much insulin to take, not really good for diagnostics. My niece reported that she's gotten a 15 point difference with different meters. Accurate enough for taking insulin to get it to an acceptable range. Not enough for diagnostics.
Yeah, that's a really good point. At one point I had multiple meters (I was trying to find the one I liked best) and I could go through and put the same drop of blood on multiple strips/meters. The results were all over the place - sometimes as much as 50 points. It's amazing how inaccurate meters really are, given they dictate how we T1s dose insulin.

Again, just yet another reason to go to a doc to get real answers.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:54 PM
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OP, aside from any numbers, how do you feel?
The amazing human body has many ways of telling you things are not right.
I feel fine and normal. Although I get a wee bit paranoid sometimes and wonder if some "prediabetic symptoms" I have are just things that could be something else. For instance, blurred vision, but then again I've always been nearsighted and come from a family of bad eyesight. Or "constant thirst" - but maybe that's just salty diet. Or "tingling in fingers" but that could just be the piano playing, the soccer playing, the pushups I do, etc. WebMD syndrome, where you imagine something malignant as the explanation for everything.
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:23 PM
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I feel fine and normal. Although I get a wee bit paranoid sometimes and wonder if some "prediabetic symptoms" I have are just things that could be something else. For instance, blurred vision, but then again I've always been nearsighted and come from a family of bad eyesight. Or "constant thirst" - but maybe that's just salty diet. Or "tingling in fingers" but that could just be the piano playing, the soccer playing, the pushups I do, etc. WebMD syndrome, where you imagine something malignant as the explanation for everything.
Well, you've gotten some good advice here from more than just me. Now go take it.

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Old 11-04-2019, 12:17 PM
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1. You are reading too much into too little data. None of the numbers are individually terrible, and three readings is not enough to form a pattern.

2. Lots of things can raise readings, but this isnt the place to be listing your medications and diet. Taking steps to reduce stress, stop smoking, reduce alcohol, exercise more, sleep better, worry less and cut down on sugary foods (including juice, but eat more fruit) might help.
Supplements might not be needed.

3. As Qadgop said, a blood test called hemoglobin 1Ac can be thought of as measuring your blood sugar over, say, thirty days and is more useful.

4. Discuss your stresses and medications with your doctor. Keep calm.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:46 PM
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1. You are reading too much into too little data. None of the numbers are individually terrible, and three readings is not enough to form a pattern.



2. Lots of things can raise readings, but this isn’t the place to be listing your medications and diet. Taking steps to reduce stress, stop smoking, reduce alcohol, exercise more, sleep better, worry less and cut down on sugary foods (including juice, but eat more fruit) might help.

Supplements might not be needed.



3. As Qadgop said, a blood test called hemoglobin 1Ac can be thought of as measuring your blood sugar over, say, thirty days and is more useful.



4. Discuss your stresses and medications with your doctor. Keep calm.


Nitpick: A1c gives a snapshot of your blood sugar over the past 90 days, not 30.

To ballpark convert your A1c to average blood sugar, multiply it by 30, then subtract 50.


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Old 11-04-2019, 09:16 PM
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Ive seen various estimates from 1-3 months; which is why I imply it is approximate (say). But you are correct three months is a more commonly used value. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:43 AM
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Ive seen various estimates from 1-3 months; which is why I imply it is approximate (say). But you are correct three months is a more commonly used value. Thanks.
The reason 3 months is given is because glucose binds to the red blood cell. This glucose is what the A1c measures. The life of an RBC is 90 days.

Not trying to be a know-it-all, just trying to inform.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:54 PM
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Medicine is seldom simple. The average red blood cell lasts 120 days. But adding a glycol group to the beta-chain, as in Hb1Ac has a lot of variability. There are different types of hemoglobin (fetal, sickle cell, thalassemia) and the bond is affected by iron deficiency, uterus, race, age, individual genetics and other factors. The DCCT trial showed it is less variable than glucose and corresponds to risk of diabetic complications. But the exact duration of Hb1Ac does vary. Some studies show great correlation between daily blood sugars checked for 1 month and Hb1Ac levels; as the time increases to 60 or 90 days the correlation is less good, but sometimes acceptable. Im not going to argue your point, which is valid for many people (but which ones?). A check on Google Scholar would confirm this; not going to start quoting papers.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:02 PM
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Or even uremia (although uterus affects it too). Damn you, autocorrect!

The RBC lifespan can vary from 70 to 140 days, and up to 30 percent in two individuals.

Not being a smart ass, just informing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:45 AM
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I would be interested to understand how COPD meds, AKA steriods, can affect A1c. We're currently dealing with this.

Is a glucometer something you can buy OTC?? All this is new to us.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:34 PM
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Talk to a pharmacist about glucose testing and ways of measuring glucose. If you are diabetic, there are diabetes education programs which efficiently teach important information.

Stress (including that of a chronic disease) can increase cortisol, and glucose. Some medicines affect sugar and your pharmacist or doctor can help here too.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:52 PM
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...Is a glucometer something you can buy OTC?? All this is new to us.
Yes, no rx needed. The glucometers are relatively inexpensive, it's the price of the test strips that will kill you.

But get a prescription. Some of the expense will likely be covered by your insurance or Medicaid/Medicare.

Some meters are better than others, but you are typically limited to whatever meter/strips your insurance allows. It's a complicated, ever-changing system.

The accuracy of a meter is not the only consideration. Some have specific quirks or glitches that would make me steer clear of them.

Good meters: Accu-Chek, Contour, OneTouch, FreeStyle.

Try to avoid: True Metrix, Reli-On, Glucocard, Prodigy, any store brand.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:02 PM
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Actually my doctor get the glucometers for free from the different manufacturers. I got one for asking when I got diagnosed with diabetes 2.
As mr. Mustard said, it's the test strips they make the money on. Check the importers or manufacturers. Many of them give one away to start on (at least in Europe they do).
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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I really recommend that folks avoid buying a glucometer for their own use unless they've been advised to by their doc to get one to help confirm a suspected diagnosis of a bona fide blood sugar abnormality or to help manage a confirmed diagnosis of the same.

Even then, the diagnosis of diabetes is NOT made based on glucometer readings. It's made on serum derived from a venous blood draw. To diagnose diabetes, you need one of the following:
Quote:
1. A1C ≥6.5%. The test should be performed in a laboratory using a method that is NGSP certified and standardized to the DCCT assay.

OR

2. Fasting Plasma Glucose ≥126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L). Fasting is defined as no caloric intake for at least 8 hours.

OR

3. 2-hour plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) during an OGTT. The test should be performed as described by the World Health Organization, using a glucose load containing the equivalent of 75 gram anhydrous glucose dissolved in water.

OR

4. In a patient with classic symptoms of hyperglycemia or hyperglycemic crisis, a random plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L).

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Old 11-07-2019, 07:23 PM
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Medicine is seldom simple. The average red blood cell lasts 120 days. But adding a glycol group to the beta-chain, as in Hb1Ac has a lot of variability. There are different types of hemoglobin (fetal, sickle cell, thalassemia) and the bond is affected by iron deficiency...

How would this affect your A1C? I still have anemia if I don't take iron supplements, even though I've been period-free for at least 15 years...
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:33 PM
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If you have iron deficiency anemia, for example, the Hb1Ac correlates less well with long term blood sugars than someone without anemia. So it might reflect 30 days of sugars more accurately than 120.

I don’t know much about different brands of glucometers and am curious what makes some brands good or bad. Price? Convenience? Pain? Accuracy?
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:03 AM
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...I dont know much about different brands of glucometers and am curious what makes some brands good or bad. Price? Convenience? Pain? Accuracy?
Accuracy is definitely the main concern, although there is a certain level of acceptable variance. One rule of thumb I've heard is, if BG is < 200, +/- 20 points is ok (although this sounds high to me). If >200 it's 20%.

Here is a 2017 article comparing glucometer brand accuracy.

Pain is a feature of the lancing device/lancet. You can adjust the depth of the lancet on all devices, so that is universally manageable. Some generic lancing devices are crap, though. If acquiring blood volume is a problem some are designed to require less blood (OneTouch Verio, for example).

There are price variations, especially in the test strips. I would not trust the bottom feeders for accuracy.

Finally, some meters are just glitchy. The True Metrix, for example, randomly loses stored data. It also, weirdly, likes to reset its date and time to 1/1/2001. This is a problem if you bring it into your physician and they want to create a printout of the data.

Others are non-intuitive and just a pain in the ass to use or program (Reli-On, Glucocard).
  #44  
Old 11-09-2019, 12:27 PM
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Follow-up questions:

Does blood clotting affect the sugar of the blood droplet itself? It seems that if I test my blood sugar immediately after the pinprick, it reads high, but if I test that same oozing droplet of blood on my finger 30-40 seconds later, it shows a lower reading. Did the blood clotting during those seconds somehow alter the sugar of that blood drop on my finger?

What causes a high fasting blood sugar but low A1C? I've had times where I had abnormally high fasting blood sugar, yet an A1C that was perfectly normal.
  #45  
Old 11-09-2019, 12:48 PM
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I hope you're not asking us instead of a medical professional.

It's been over a week. I hope you've at least talked to a nurse or someone.
  #46  
Old 11-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Follow-up questions:

Does blood clotting affect the sugar of the blood droplet itself? It seems that if I test my blood sugar immediately after the pinprick, it reads high, but if I test that same oozing droplet of blood on my finger 30-40 seconds later, it shows a lower reading. Did the blood clotting during those seconds somehow alter the sugar of that blood drop on my finger?

What causes a high fasting blood sugar but low A1C? I've had times where I had abnormally high fasting blood sugar, yet an A1C that was perfectly normal.
As has already been explained to you, you will not get consistent, reliable info for diagnosing glucose intolerance or diabetes from a glucometer. The numbers you've quoted as "high" thus far are NOT high, and thus won't translate into a high A1C.

Talk to your health care provider.
  #47  
Old 11-09-2019, 01:22 PM
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This:
Blood glucose levels can be affected by many, many things.
I've been a T1 since I was a toddler. I've never been a brittle diabetic until recently. I'm personally trying to re-adjust my life to maintain compliance to my needs. As I age things are going a little haywire. I'm now sporting a CGM and an Insulin pump. It has normalized my readings a great deal.
I'm looking right into the monsters mouth at chronic kindney disease and failure.
I know complications of diabetes will kill me. I've made my peace with that.
Please, please see your Doctor. Untreated diabetes is not something to ignore. If you're just being a bit paranoid you'll find that out as well. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.
  #48  
Old 11-09-2019, 02:59 PM
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I hope you're not asking us instead of a medical professional.

It's been over a week. I hope you've at least talked to a nurse or someone.
I visited a doctor two days ago. She had nothing to suggest other than, "Get an A1C done," which I've done many times before.
  #49  
Old 11-09-2019, 05:51 PM
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I visited a doctor two days ago. She had nothing to suggest other than, "Get an A1C done," which I've done many times before.
So what was your A1C?
  #50  
Old 11-09-2019, 06:35 PM
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So what was your A1C?
5.0, and my fasting blood sugar was 102.

And yeah, a week ago it was 115. So it does seem out of whack; the two (A1C and FBS) ought to be going hand in hand.
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