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HbA1c, insulin resistance and possible genetic link for athletes

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  • HbA1c, insulin resistance and possible genetic link for athletes

    My blood test (http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....ults-2010.html) recently came back with an HbA1c reading of 6.1%. This caused me to dig into some research to find out why as I believed my exercise regimen was intense and sufficient to keep glucose numbers from being too high.

    I ended up learning how standard laboratory testing based on sedentary population data is insufficient to correctly interpret results from an athlete's blood work. Here is the post: http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....-athletes.html
    My Blog:

  • #2
    Can you give us an "average day" of your diet?


    • #3
      Interesting post on your blog. I also thought I was in great shape and also came back with a score HGBA1C score very close to that, 6.0%. My Doctor went off about being pre-diabetic, blah, blah, blah and wants me to retest and possibly take thryoid medication. I have many similarities to what you listed on your blog post: low resting heart rate, good blood tests, very athletic, even do a lot of cycling. I posted about it a few weeks listing more specifically some of my recent results.


      • #4
        Vick, I am 80% Primal (I do dairy such as cheese, cream) and I also eat desserts (my Achilles Heel). My typical breakfast is 2 eggs and 1 cup of black coffee. Some days its just 1 cup of black coffee.

        Lunch will be veggies and meat with a small portion of rice, or during this feasting season, turkey, beef or chicken. It is during the afternoon where I might have a candy bar or a piece of cake or pie during the November and December months.

        Dinner will be meat and vegetables and small portion of carb such as potato, yam, rice noodle. The carb is optional as my dinners don't always include a portion of carbs.

        Bear in mind my post-prandial sugars are in the 5.x range and my morning pre-prandial BG is also in the 5.x range due to the dawn phenomenon. I never lack energy in the mornings and frequently begin my morning 20km bicycle commute with just a black cup of coffee (essentially a fasted workout) and will not eat until lunch which is between 12 noon and 1:30pm.
        My Blog:


        • #5

          Thanks for sharing your experience.

          Having just an HbA1c that is 6% would not worry me if I knew there was still room to cut sugar in my diet. Look at your fasting glucose. Is it healthy?
          Look at your 2 hour post-prandial sugar. If both are fine, then it is likely that the 6% is due to a metabolic adaptation of your body from frequent energy demands causing the body to release glucose into the bloodstream. This of course causes average blood sugar to trend high.

          If one's other biological markers read healthy and have the pattern of an athlete, the HbA1c flag in isolation is not necessarily a risk factor. Of the course decision is up to you and your doctor. Many athletes have an enlarged heart. Typically their left ventricle chamber is larger and the walls of the heart is thicker due to adaptation to cardiovascular demands on the body. This allows the heart's stroke-volume efficiency to be greater, leading to fewer heart beats per minute.

          A number is just a number. The WHY behind the number is much more important. Lab test flags are referenced to a sedentary population NOT athletes. If there is anything I learned from my research, Lippi et. al (http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....-athletes.html) proved to my satisfaction that athlete's HbA1c, blood serum levels, etc. are different from a sedentary population.

          I know where I can cut additional consumption of sugar. I will also begin a 12 week trial of taking 2g of cinnamon a day per the information here:
          My Blog:


          • #6
            This is all excellent, primalpilgrim. So happy to see your contributions to the board. Cheers.
            "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates