Conflicting Information

After seeing my health insurance rates skyrocket over a two year period without filing a single claim, I decided it was time to change. After some investigating, I found a policy that was (relatively) inexpensive and met my needs. Their underwriting department wanted me to go to a doctor and get my height, weight, blood pressure and blood glucose levels tested. No problem. Except for a couple of minor muscular issues, I’m healthy. I went to the doctor and the results were: height-short, weight-skinny, blood pressure-normal for me (that is to say, low for most anyone else), fasting blood glucose-102 mg/dL.

I’ve always been told that a fasting blood glucose level of less than 110 mg/dL was normal. So imagine my shock when I received a letter from the insurance company denying my application because my blood glucose level was too high!

Immediately, this was a concern. Pre-diabetes can mature into full-blown Type II diabetes easily because as we age, our bodies don’t metabolize glucose as easily. Complications from diabetes range from retinopathy to neuropathy to heart attack and stroke. Doing some research, it appears that in 2002 the American Diabetes Association lowered its “acceptable” fasting level to less than 100 mg/dL. That information apparently hasn’t trickled all the way down to the medical community. As recently as two weeks ago, the doctor found no problem with my test results. However, if above 100 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetic, I wanted to nip that problem in the bud.

The problem is, I wasn’t sure what I could do. I’m definitely not overweight (quite the opposite), I exercise regularly (which not only helps weight but also the metabolism of sugar) and, despite a terrible sweet tooth, I really don’t ingest that much sugar over the course of a day. I don’t sweeten my coffee or tea, I like what a friend calls “rabbit food” (raw veggies), I prefer whole grains to refined ones and don’t eat that much fat or animal protein. Looking through my herbal notes, I could take some herbal supplements such as defatted fenugreek powder or extract of Gymnestra sylvestre; or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before meals but I wanted further information before I started anything.

Now, here comes the interesting part: I have a friend who is non-insulin-dependent diabetic and asked him about it. He was pre-diabetic for nearly 40 years before the disease matured and was never denied insurance coverage. He also said that since blood glucose levels fluctuate, the insurance company should really take a 30-day average. (Despite his being diabetic, sometimes his morning glucose levels are hypoglycemic and he needs to take in a bit of sugar in the form of dark chocolate or a glass of orange juice.)

My friend happened to have a spare meter and kindly loaned it to me. For the last several mornings, I’ve been pricking my finger when I get up and I haven’t even come close to 100 mg/dL, much less go over it. I’m wondering if the doctor’s meter was coded properly.

So, I’m going to keep a 30-day record and then see if I can appeal the denial, saving myself over $100 per month. For the moment, I see no reason to add any herbal supplements. I’m also going to speak to my doctor about his interpretation of the results versus the ADA and insurance company’s. It bothers me that not everyone concerned with my health care is on the same page.