Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/prediabetes


I'm a 63 yr old male who recently had a blood glucose reading of 120, when in previous years it's always been under 100. I am not at all overweight, don't smoke and walk about 4x a week for 45 minutes (can't do it longer due to a bad back). I don't eat a ton of sugary carbs, though moreso the last few weeks, and I've been hooked on "Simply Lemonade" that has a ton of added sugar, which I'll stop. But also, the day I was tested, I ended up fasting for 18 hours (I was on the phone for 6 hours straight, dealing with an insurance issue- very stressful). So when the blood was drawn, I was exhausted and highly stressed, and I read that stress can definitely raise glucose levels. I plan to get it checked again in 4-6 months (my Dr. suggested the "Hgb A1C' test next time), but other than cut down on sugary carbs, I see little else I can do to reverse the 'prediabetes.' I'm not sure if taking one reading, considering the stress and exhaustion, means I actually have that.
Also wonder if walking 5x a week for 30 minutes would be better than 4x for 45 minutes. I'm sort of freaking out about having 'prediabetes'...any feedback is appreciated. Thanks

  It is entirely possible that extended fasting and mental stress can raise your fasting blood glucose level.  I would follow your doctor's suggestion and get it checked again in 4-6 months, but particularly getting a HbA1C done (glycated hemoglobin) will tell you the overall blood glucose levels over the prior 2-3 months and would be useful.  Using A1C alone, the prediabetes range is 5.7-6.4%, and diabetes starts at 6.5%.
  As for your exercise, as long as you don't go more than two consecutive days without doing anything, it's probably okay to stick with the 4x per week.  I would also suggest that you start doing some resistance training, though, even if it just involves doing exercises that use your own body weight as resistance (such as planks and lunges).  Keeping your muscle mass as you age becomes a critical factor in keeping your blood glucose levels more normal.  Also, I'm glad you're giving up the lemonade!  (In case you're interested, I have lots of information about useful lifestyle changes on my web site, which you can find at www.shericolberg.com.)
  Hope this helps.  Sheri

Endocrinology (including Diabetes)

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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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