What does borderline diabetes mean?

It means nothing. As of 1979, the term is no longer used. In that year the National Diabetes Data Group came up with a new system for classifying diabetes and this classification was endorsed by the Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association at their annual meeting.

The new classification system wiped out such fuzzy and often misunderstood terms as "borderline diabetes," "chemical diabetes," "subclinical diabetes," "asymptomatic diabetes," and "latent diabetes." All of these terms were replaced with "impaired glucose tolerance."

In a report in the December, 1979 issue of Diabetes, it was pointed out that impaired glucose tolerance is not diabetes and the use of the label "diabetes" for people with "marginal" blood levels, "can invoke social, psychological, and economic sanctions that are unjustified in the light of the lack of severity of their glucose intolerance." (Translation: These people shouldn't be denied jobs that are forbidden to diabetics.) This glucose tolerance test graph shows the difference in glucose levels among a nondiabetic, a person with impaired glucose tolerance, and a diabetic. As the March-April 1980 Diabetes Forecast points out, "While some people whose blood-glucose levels are somewhat elevated do develop diabetes, many people subsequently have normal tests and continue to test 'normal' indefinitely." Our personal opinion is that if you have impaired glucose tolerance you should follow the diabetic lifestyle just to be on the safe side. But then we feel that everybody should follow the diabetic lifestyle.


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