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What causes dizziness with difficulty breathing when suffering from pre diabetes?

Answered by
Dr. Shehzad Topiwala


Practicing since :2001

Answered : 1663 Questions

Posted on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 in Diabetes
Question: woke up dizzy with difficulty breathing and a fasting blood sugar level of 187. This is way higher than I have been having. I am prediabetic. Looking for possible causes.
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
A blood glucose of 187 is compatible with a diagnosis of diabetes. I understand your reading was likely taken on a meter using a fingerstick blood sample, so it is not eligible to meet criteria for a formal diagnosis of diabetes.

So a conventional blood sample is necessary to be tested in the fasting state to see if the value exceeds 125 which meets one of the four criteria for making such a diagnosis.

Further, you are already on metformin, and despite that the reading is higher than normal. This is additional evidence that you do not have pre diabetes, but instead have likely progressed to diabetes.

For a clear cut picture of whether you have diabetes versus pre diabetes, you will need to be off metformin.

Regardless, it is not typical to get dizzy and have difficulty breathing with a fasting glucose of 187. Yes it is possible but quite unlikely.

I suggest seeing your endocrinologist in person who will assist you in lowering your glucoses with appropriate medication dose adjustments as the optimal dose of metformin is up to 2000 mg daily in divided doses.

Your doctor will also run tests to pursue potential causes of your dizziness and shortness of breath, such as CBC, CMP and TSH, to name a few.

Difficulty breathing is a symptom that needs prompt attention.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 18 minutes later
My fasting glucose has been in the high 80's to low 90's every day. This is the first day it is like this for a long time.

I had a healthy dinner (salad with chicken in it and two slices of toast with butter)

I slept in late and was dizzy in bed with difficulty breathing.

This is the first time this has happened. I have not had dizzy symptoms or difficulty breathing before.

I just ate a half cup of pecans and a greek yogurt (artificially sweetened) and drank a large glass of water (24 oz). After ten mins or so my blood sugar is now down to 164. Should it be going down so soon after eating?

My breathing is a bit better.

What are CBC, CMP and TSH?

Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
Follow up

Detailed Answer:
1 CBC CMP TSH are blood tests that give insight into your overall health (liver, kidney, electrolytes etc)

2 I have noted that your glucoses are excellent almost always except for this one day. Dietary indiscretion and some lifestyle change for a day should not raise the glucose to 187 in a normal person. This typically occurs in individuals with diabetes

3 A blood test called HbA1c give an average of the glucose levels over the previous 3 months. It does not require fasting and would be useful to determine if you have diabetes or pre diabetes.

4 The blood glucose reduction you are referring to is possible because the meter readings have a 10 to 20% margin of variation. So if the same blood sample is tested on a meter twice there will be some inherent variation.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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