If your medical records say you have prediabetes, but your doctor has not spoken to you about this, then speak up to your doctor.
I have witnessed the phenomenon of doctors not minding the existence of prediabetes twice already.
But what is prediabetes? It’s when a fasting glucose reading comes in at between 101 and 125.
But one isolated reading does not automatically brand you as prediabetic. I once had a fasting glucose of 106. The report said “impaired glucose metabolism.”
But my doctor was not concerned. After I researched prediabetes I discovered the very most likely cause of the 106 fasting glucose: eight weeks of disrupted sleep combined with severe anxiety (I was taking care of my parents’ dying dog).
In fact, a study shows that ONE night of disrupted sleep can cause fasting glucose to jump into the prediabetes range.
- But what if the patient reports good sleep and there is more than one such reading in a row?
- And what if there IS a diagnosis in the records as “prediabetic”?
My mother had quintuple bypass surgery. Several months prior, she had her gall bladder removed. Between these two events, a number of blood tests were taken.
Going into the bypass surgery, my mother already had been diagnosed as “prediabetic” by one of the doctors involved in the gall bladder issue.
I found this out when I came upon her medical records when reviewing the pile of paperwork that came after the bypass surgery.
Prediabetes? This was never pointed out to my mother because when I asked her about it, she didn’t have a clue.
Is it possible that the doctor had discussed the prediabetes with her, and she flat-out forgot all about it?
Yes, that’s possible in my mother’s case. But she was remembering other things that were discussed, however.
At this time in her life, she had enough wits about her that I’m going to swing towards the idea that she definitely would have remembered a discussion about prediabetes.
When a quality doctor discusses prediabetes with a diagnosed patient, that patient will not forget it. After all, prediabetes can lead to diabetes!
Chronic prediabetes can be reversed through diet, exercise and medication, though often, diet and exercise alone do the job quite well.
My mother’s new primary care physician certainly knows about the prediabetes. It’s in the computer records.
Yet this doctor has not once gone over with my mother what she should do to reverse the condition.
My mother never knew she had been diagnosed with prediabetes until she was reading the paperwork describing the bypass surgery! So this rules out the theory that she had forgotten a discussion.
Prediabetes in a Patient Who’s Not Supposed to Have It
The other incident involved me. I saw my new primary doctor to find out why I had sudden-onset diarrhea.
Five weeks later I was reviewing the paperwork for various tests and spotted the words: impaired glucose metabolism.
I then recalled that when I was in the doctor’s office, the doctor had said, “Oh, you’ll get your lab results by e-mail. You’ll note that your blood sugar is a little high; it’s been flagged, but just because something’s a little out of range doesn’t mean it’s anything to worry about.”
She was right, in that the cause had been the aforementioned eight weeks of insomnia and severe anxiety — but she did not know this history. So I wonder why she thought it was nothing to worry about.
I e-mailed my doctor about this, and she e-mailed back simply to say that a diagnosis of prediabetes cannot be made unless a second fasting glucose test, taken six months later, is also high. And that was that.
Funny thing, there’s an area in the lab result e-mail that I can click to learn more about the results of a lab test.
The HMO site’s information on prediabetes is the same as the American Diabetic Association’s information: Prediabetes can damage the body, and patients absolutely must try to reverse this.
I have since taken a second fasting blood glucose and it was normal, and so were two random glucose readings; my sleep has since been restored. But why didn’t my doctor know about the connection between “prediabetes,” disrupted sleep and emotional stress?