Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/Whel Sugar level is realy highy


QUESTION: Hello, how are you..
What blood sugar level is considered high to cause or develop symptoms like sever thirst, hunger and w lost, I have seen somewhere in the internet that if blood sugar stays above 180 this can develop symptoms? How many years it takes to see high sugar levels / diabetes cause complications like kidney failure and heart diseases. Lastly, if my blood sugar ranges from 95 to 140 and my Ac1 level range from 5.8 6.2  will this put me at risk of diabetic foot complications?
In summary, what sugar levels are considered to be worrying and should go down. Thx/ Roger

ANSWER: Roger,
  There is no exact blood glucose (BG) levels that consistently causes symptoms.  Some people with type 2 diabetes have their BG stay above 200 mg/dl all the time without symptoms.  How long BG levels can stay elevated before they cause damage also varies from person to person.  In general, though, the longer they stay high, the greater your chances are of developing some of the longer term complications associated with diabetes.  As for your BG range, if you're talking about fasting values, ideally they should be below 100 mg/dl.  Any that fall in the range of 100-125 are considered prediabetic.  The same with your A1c.  All of the values you listed are in the "prediabetic" range, which is currently considered to be 5.7-6.4%.
  Since you likely have prediabetes, what you should focus on doing now is improving your lifestyle to bring those numbers down.  The most important changes are engaging in regular physical activity (including both aerobic and resistance training) and cutting back on your intake of refined carbohydrates (anything "white" or not whole grain).  You should also focus on getting adequate amounts of sleep (7-8 hours/night) and controlling your stress levels.  I do have a lot of articles about lifestyle changes on my web site at www.shericolberg.com that may help you.  If you can control your BG levels a bit better, you are not likely to develop diabetic foot complications.  Sheri

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QUESTION: So, pre diabetic will lead to diabetic??!
so my numbers above are a matter of concern in the way if i get a feet ulcer i will develop complications for example or such complications get developled at higher levels?

Take care

  A prediabetic (insulin resistant) state can progress to type 2 diabetes, but many large-scale research studies have shown that you can greatly reduce your risk of that happening by making lifestyle improvements.  Ulcers usually only develop after nerve damage occurs in the feet from having blood glucose levels stay high for too long.  You're not likely to develop it in the prediabetic range.  Start being more physical active and change your diet for the better now to prevent problems later on.  Sheri

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Sheri Colberg, PhD


I am an exercise physiologist with a PhD who specializes in diabetes--as such I CANNOT answer general questions about other endocrine problems as I am neither an expert in all areas of endocrinology nor am I a medical doctor. My expertise lies in answering questions about diabetes (of any type) and physical activity, so please limit your questions to those areas. I can help you if you want to begin exercise or if you're already a diabetic athlete, and I am prepared to respond to questions about physical activity to which even your diabetologist may not know the answer. I can give suggestions about changes in your diabetic medications that differing types and intensities of exercise may necessitate, but I will have to refer you to your regular health care team to get final approval to make such changes. I can also answer questions about physical fitness, exercise metabolism, prediabetes reversal, and prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications.


I have both personal and professional experience in the areas of diabetes and exercise/physical activity. On a personal level, I have had type 1 diabetes since 1968, and I have been an avid exerciser since I was a child. Professionally, I have been conducting clinical studies on diabetes and exercise since 1992, largely with funding from the American Diabetes Association. I am also the author of 8 books related to diabetes, exercise, and more: The Diabetic Athlete (2001), Diabetes-Free Kids (2005), The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan (2006), 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (2007), The Science of Staying Young (2007), Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight (2008), Diabetic Athlete's Handbook (2009), and Diabetes? No Problema! (2009).

I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a professional member of the American Diabetes Association (and professional volunteer for the ADA), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association.

I have published research and review articles in the following journals and magazines: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, Journal of Diabetes & Its Complications, Diabetes Self-Management, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Journal of Obesity, FASEB Journal, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Clinical Diabetes Reviews, Insulin, ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Biomechanics, On the Cutting Edge, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Microvascular Research, Drug Benefit Trends, ACSM Certified News, Diabetes Health, SportEX Health, Diabetes Focus, Diabetes In Control, dLife-For Your Diabetes Life, Pediatrics for Parents, and My TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) Newsletter. I have also been interviewed in myriad other magazines, such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Diabetes Forecast, Countdown Magazine, Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, Health, Tidewater Parent, Barron's News, Diabetes New Day, and Newsweek International.

I have an undergraduate degree (1985) from Stanford University, a Master's degree in exercise physiology (1987) from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same field. I also spent two years in an NIH-funded postdoctoral research position in endocrinology (studying obesity, diabetes, metabolism, and exercise) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993-1994).

Awards and Honors
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) - 1996 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Young Investigator Grant Award 2003 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Old Dominion University Chapter 2004-Present Great Women of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute 2005 Edition Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Largest Research Grant Award 2006 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award (for greatest number) 2006 Saint Louis University, The Max K. Horwitt Memorial Lecture Distinguished Lectureship Award 2008 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award 2009 Old Dominion University Darden College of Research Grants Award 2009

Past/Present Clients
I have consulted for numerous groups, including Can-Am Care, Numera|Social, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(about candidates with diabetes), Animas Corporation (an insulin pump company), Therasense, Inc. (makers of the Freestyle blood glucose meters), Council of Healthcare Advisors, and the City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Health Department.

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