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Diabetes

How soon changes fasting glucose levels

11/02/2009

Question:

When tested three weeks ago, my fasting glucose level was 113, pre-diabetic. I immediately cut out all added sugar and sweets, and substantially reduced my carb intake. How long should it take before these changes reflect in my fasting glucose level? This will determine when I return to the lab for new tests. Thank you.

Answer:

It is hard to give you a very specific answer since there are multiple factors at work here - some changes are fast, some slow, some depend on how aggressively you make changes, and those all interact with your own physiology - what the alterations are in your response to insulin, in the ability of your pancreas to produce insulin and the nature of some of the dietary changes you make. If you feel you have made very aggressive lifestyle changes, it might make sense to re-test in perhaps 4-6 weeks.  The more intensive the intervention and the longer the duration, the greater the likely magnitude of the glucose lowering effect.  Your interest is in the long-term and continuing to hit singles and doubles - in a sense maintaining a good "batting average" - if you hit one home run and then you can't keep getting hits, you may not do yourself quite as much good.

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Response by:

Robert M Cohen, MD Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati