A1c >12 GP doesn't show alarm

I was showing symptoms of type 2 so I borrowed my brother-in-law’s tester on Christmas day. I got a reading of 411. I didn’t trust his reader so went to the ER for more accurate reading, 356.

I went to my GP the next day who did the blood work for kidney function, BG, threw in a PSA and, well anyway his nursed called the next day and said my triglycerides were high and my a1c was 12. She said no carbs or sugars, take my metformin (2000mg/day) and come back in 30 days.

My question is should my GP be a bit more alarmed at a1c of 12?

Clearly new to this so be patient…


Is the Metformin a new prescription. If so it shows your GP’s alarm, he is treating you for Type 2 diabetes. 2000mg/day is a fairly high starting dose, I would say he is alarmed.

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Short answer: YES!! That is going to wreck your body.

Slightly longer answer: See another doc if you have lost confidence in your current one. I sure as heck would. Take it from an old-timer, you don’t want to have A1c’s long-term, over 7.

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I was diagnosed 11 years ago with an A1c of 12.0 and a fasting Blood Glucose (BG) of 325 (fasting means I had not eaten anything for 10 to 12 hours before the test) If yours was a non fasting (random) it can vary based on what you have just eaten. An AIC is an indication of your BG over roughly the last Three months. It does not change quickly. The current protocol for that high of an A1c is diet and exercise changes, metformin plus adding a BG lowering drug to help you lower your BG quickly (See the Joslin institute for Diabetes.) Of course you need to talk about this with your doctor.
My doctor also recommended a education course including a very proactive low carb eating program. Less than 50 Carbs A DAY. Also look at The Virta program for controlling T2

I my AIC has been 6 or under for the last 9 years with diet and exercise only, so change can be possible. No diabetes related complications

You need a meter of your own, cheap at Walmart and CVS and start tracking your BG.

On my lab report on high tryglicerides , it was noted that because of my High BG that test would be inaccurate.

One of the things I have found is that I depend on self education not neccesrily a primary care phycisian for my care.

Good luck

One other note, my doctor said because my high A1c is could also be T1 diabetes, but further testing on antibodies were negative.

@georgem1956 - It’s not clear from your post whether your GP has only just prescribed metformin or whether you’ve been on it for sometime.

Clearly an A1C of +/- 12 is unacceptable, as blood glucose levels that high cause damage to sensitive endothelial cells in your eyes, nerves, blood vessels and organs.

If your GP is correct with his type 2 diagnosis (and I’m not saying that he is), then the faster you reduce your blood sugar levels the better.

It’s not my intention to alarm you, but up to 21% of patients with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy at the time of first diagnosis of diabetes, and most develop some degree of retinopathy over time.

I don’t mind “alarming” someone a bit, if it saves, or prolongs their life. :slight_smile:

Dave is correct, long term high blood glucose will wreck your body.

It appears to me that your doctor has started you on the road to better blood sugars but there is much more to do, much of which will depend on you. Hopefully he will have much more to say at your next visit in 30 days.

Everything we can say here is speculation because we know little about you. There are lots of questions that could change the way this conversation goes. I have assumed that you are Type 2, which is a pretty good bet but not a sure one.

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It sounds like your doctor is on the right track, offering you medication and restricting your diet, and following up in a month - probably to see whether metformin and diet did you any good and to figure out next steps.

Some doctors just have better bedside manners than others.

GPs also don’t usually have the best info on diabetes care, so this is probably all he/she knows to tell you to do right now. You might follow the advice and see what happens at your follow-up appointment, unless things get worse before then.


If he prescribed you metformin and a change in diet, you have to have a little bit of time to respond to see if your numbers start to drop. Those numbers aren’t good for you, but not uncommon when first diagnosed. They could give you a shot of insulin to bring down your BG immediately but it would just go back up in hours without some other changes being done.

So it sounds like he is putting you on the first steps, but if your levels haven’t shown signs of responding I am assuming he will add to it.

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My question is how are you, honestly, supposed to survive for 30 days without any carbs?

It’s kinda like saying, “hold your breath for 30 days and come back.”

Not particularly helpful given the circumstances.

Do you even know what a ‘carb’ is? Not everybody does.


Amen to that.

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So that’s what a carb is! Huh, thought it was a doughnut…


Wow! I’m glad I found this forum! Thank you everyone for your concern, interest and responses.

I was just prescribed metformin this Thursday past (12/26/19). I’ve had 3 days of full doses. My BG reading has dropped below 300’s - between 214 - 262. I had one dip below 200, 192, after a round of golf so clearly exercise is going to help. It didn’t stay below 200, which was disappointing, but I’m seeing progress, at least it’s under 300 now…

I’m really floundering around trying to figure out what’s ok to eat and what’s not. clearly no carbs and sugars but what about tomatoes? Avacodos? Artecokes? Is salad dressing ok? I’m doing spinach salads with mushrooms, cheese and those little tiny tomatoes and and oil based dressing plus a protein, hamburger (no bun), chicken and fish.

I really don’t know what to do for breakfast. I had eggs last 3 days, but that can’t be helping cholesterol. My GP said no carbs, no sugars for 30 days…What the heck do you eat in the morning that not carbs or fruits and not dripping in cholesterol?

Finally, I have this kind of fuzzy minded feeling all of the time. Kind of like being in a fog. I had attributed this to my stopping the use of pain medications 10 months ago. That was difficult and took many months to start feeling somewhat normal. After 10 months I’m feeling close to normal except I still have this fuzzy, or fogginess. I beginning to wonder if it’s been sugar related instead of getting over pain meds. God I hope not…

Clearly I’m at the beginning of this journey. it’s not good, but on the bright side, I’m finally motivated to loose weight, eat right and get more exercise, kind of a kick in the butt. Ok, Time for Clemson and Ohio State…


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High blood glucose could well be the cause of your ‘in a fog’ feeling. I can predict most high BG readings by that foggy feeling.

I get the foggy head feeling with high BG.
I’ve never heard anyone articulate it before, though.
That’s a good way to describe it.

Yep Ohio state fan here. But no sacks or beer , or beans or chips You will get use to it. But watch too much alcohol pushes you BG to far down,
You current post are not unusual for a newly diagnosed.
Break fast, eggs, bacon suasages, No bread no fruit of course no donuts absolutely not bagels. And Avocado is good fat!

I miss my shredded wheat. That is not good either,
A salad plus a protein is good for any meal
But Salad dressing can be dangerous, read the label or make your own.
O H I O!

I am SO glad I replaced all of my garden equipment with EGO cordless tools. I even have their 14" chain saw. No more fumes in my face, very little noise, no more ruined tubing from the ethanol in all of our gasoline. Now if I could just have an electric portable generator for power outtages! :slight_smile: That is the only gasoline powered item I have other than our vehicles and one is a hybrid. Being a former auto mechanic who has worked on countless carbs and been around auto fumes and chemicals for far to long, it will be nice for future generations to not be subject too the deleterious effects of so many chemicals and fumes. I wouldn’t doubt that my bladder cancer is a result of years of exposure to them (unless it was from my Roundup usage. :slight_smile: ).

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I was pulling for you all. And let’s just say it: you was robbed!!

Those are still higher numbers if you have been trying to stay away from carbs. But at first a lot of people don’t realize how many carbs they are still eating?

But your mention of a salad reminded me, of me. 40% of type 1’s are misdiagnosed as type 2’s at first, I was for over 8 years. The thing is you still make insulin for a while so meds and diet changes can help which adds to so many being misdiagnosed. I swam 75 laps a day, had been a vegan for years and ate very healthy but I would eat a salad and my BG level would go over 250 from it. I think because I was overweight they just assumed I was a type 2. I even asked if I could be a type 1 as I had an uncle that had died from type 1 and was told no and my doctor and endo at the time never bothered to test me. It wasn’t until I switched doctors and got a new endo that she tested me right away and I was finally diagnosed right.

So I was want you to keep it in mind in case strict changes in diet and medications don’t help enough that it is a possibility. It just still happens too often.