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Diabetes

Consistent High FBS Despite Brisk Walk

04/28/2010

Question:

I have higher than normal fasting sugar starting from 115 and eventhough I am doing vigorous brisk walk, conrinuously increasing and last one is 138 and my HbA1c is 7. How is that fasting sugar on consistent high despite my brisk walk low calorie diet? Further my post prandial which used to be 100 is now a days 120 to 130. I am Indian male 50 years of age and having BP My lipid is normal and BP under control with cozaar 100. I have impaired GT that is what is indicated by doctor. I seek your general guidance

Answer:

First, let me congratulate you on some important lifestyle behaviors: that is, brisk walk and watching your calories. Those are important, especially for us who are 50 years and older. Re: the brisk walk, you should walk fast enough to get your heart rate up to around 130 or so (70-80% of your maximum heart rate) and maintain it for at least 20-30 minutes. The American Heart Association recommends that one gets 150 minutes of exercise per week (that would then be 30 minutes for 5 days).

If you want to lose weight, you should increase the time to about 45-60 minutes a day. Remember that when you exercise, you don't want to do it so hard that you are out of breath, but should build into it slowly over time. Also, if you haven't had a good physical in a while, it would be good to do so.

With that said, sometimes our genetic makeup can predispose us to diabetes (high blood sugar) despite what we do. The pancreas, which makes insulin, sometimes can get 'worn' to the point that the amount of insulin produced is not as it was when we are younger. That is why diabetes usually hits folks when they are in their 50s. Also, the body can develop some resistance against the insulin, so it doesn't work as well, which can result in blood sugar being high.

I am glad you have a good cholesterol and blood pressure. Your A1c at 7% is good; remember that it represents your average blood sugar over the past 3 months, so if you just started watching what you eat and exercising, it may take a couple of months for your A1c to get down below 6%. If you are overweight, losing about 10% of your excess weight can help. It's good that you are taking care of your health. Work with your doctor to keep your blood sugars down to a normal number. Best wishes!

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University