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What causes acanthosis nigricans ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I have a dark ring around the front of my neck. I was thinking it was sugar related so I bought one of those home test kit and here are my numbers. What can cause this? I have had it for awhile and my daugher brought it to my attention as I always thought nothing of it. I am 50 years old and weight 220 lbs and am 5 feet ten.

Date     Time     Number     Notes
May 17     5:47p     99     Before Dinner
May 18     7:31a     89     Morning Before Breakfast
May 18     9:45a     103     after Breakfast (one Pancake and Coffee
May 18     12:01p     74     Before Lunch
May 18     2:10p     131     one hour after lunch (1 slice Pizza)
May 18     3:17p     82     2 hours after 1 slice pizza
May 18     7:49p     126     One Hour after Dinner
May 19     4:11p     102     Before Dinner
May 19     8:21p     123     2 hours after dinner
May 19     9:38p     94     3 hours after dinner
May 29     11:39p     80     before lunch 2 hours after waffles
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 17 minutes later
Hello and thank you for your query.

The dark patch could be a reflection of what we know as acanthosis nigricans. This is a skin coloration which occurs in patients who have disturbance in blood glucose metabolism. I applaud you for checking your blood sugar readings.

While your readings give us some idea of your blood sugars, there is a better test which can help us determine the average blood sugar concentration over a period of about three months. This test is the hemoglobin A1C or glycohemoglobin. It is a simple blood test which your doctor may order.

In being a bit overweight, you have a risk factor for diet-related diabetes or diabetes Type II. If there is any family history, that is a risk factor as well.

I would advise that you check in with your primary doctor for a hemoglobin A1C check. Your blood sugars are slightly abnormal. Since these are home tests, we now regard a blood sugar of over 100 to be abnormal so this is why I'd like you to visit with your doctor.

Let me reassure you that you are not in any danger at this time but it is worth following up. Finally, I'd like to encourage you to exercise at least 5 days per week and at least 30 minutes at a time with good aerobic exercise. This is a great way to lose a few pounds and improve your body's ability to control blood sugar.

Again, I thank you for your query. I hope my answer has been both adequate and informative. I am available if you have followup questions.


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