Tests for di­a­betes don’t al­ways agree

The Buffalo News - - LIFE COLUMNS - By Joe and Teresa Graedon Joe Graedon is a phar­ma­col­o­gist. Teresa Graedon holds a doc­tor­ate in med­i­cal an­thro­pol­ogy and is a nu­tri­tion ex­pert. Write to them in care of King Fea­tures, 628 Vir­ginia Drive, Or­lando, FL 32803, or email them via their web­site:

I am con­fused about tests for di­a­betes. I had some blood sugar mea­sure­ments near 300. That means I have di­a­betes. How­ever, my HbA1C blood test was al­ways be­low 6, which I un­der­stand is con­sid­ered nor­mal. No doc­tor has been able to ex­plain this dis­crep­ancy.

Then my physi­cian or­dered that nasty lengthy test where you have to have your blood sugar mea­sured three times in two hours af­ter you drink some sug­ary stuff. This test con­firmed that my body can’t han­dle sugar well. The lev­els were out of whack.

I started tak­ing med­i­ca­tion for di­a­betes and was able to get my blood sugar lev­els down. Why didn’t the A1C test EVER in­di­cate any is­sue?

A new study sug­gests that the oral glu­cose tol­er­ance test (OGTT) you de­scribe is far more ac­cu­rate than the AIC blood test doc­tors of­ten use. The re­searchers con­ducted both tests for 9,000 peo­ple who had not been di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes (An­nual Meet­ing of the En­docrine So­ci­ety, March 2019). The OGTT re­vealed di­a­betes in many peo­ple whose lev­els of he­mo­glo­bin A1C were within the nor­mal range.

If you would like to learn more about con­trol­ling your blood sugar, we sug­gest our Guide to Man­ag­ing Di­a­betes. Any­one who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money or­der with a long (No. 10), stamped (70 cents), self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope to: Grae­dons’ Peo­ple’s Phar­macy, No. DM-11, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be down­loaded for


$2 from our web­site: www. peo­ple­sphar­macy.com.


I have taken generic levothy­rox­ine for many years af­ter my thy­roid was re­moved. Re­cently, my phar­macy chain changed the man­u­fac­turer. I was tak­ing My­lan and was told it was no longer avail­able in my strength (125 mcg). I was switched to Lan­nett. Then af­ter only two months, I was switched again to San­doz.

So I have taken levothy­rox­ine by three dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers in less than six months. I’ve heard it is not good to change man­u­fac­tur­ers. Can you tell me if this is a prob­lem? If so, what can I do about it?

It doesn’t sound as if you have ex­pe­ri­enced symp­toms of un­der- or over­dos­ing from these switches. That is the main con­cern: While generic man­u­fac­tur­ers can main­tain con­sis­tency within their lines of levothy­rox­ine, the dose isn’t al­ways com­pa­ra­ble be­tween generic drug mak­ers.

If you’ve not ex­pe­ri­enced prob­lems, you don’t need to do any­thing. If you have, how­ever, you may need to find a phar­macy will­ing to sup­ply you with levothy­rox­ine from the same generic man­u­fac­turer for a rea­son­able time.


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