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June 3, 1999

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Baltimore, Maryland, USA:

I am 48 years old and was diagnosed after my blood glucose went to 450. I was not diabetic before that. For three months I have been on 500 mg a day of Glucophage [metformin, a pill for Type 2 diabetes] with dinner sugar levels of 50 - 57 at 3 A.M. and 80 to 122, 2 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I do not restrict sugar intake and eat a lot of sweets. I monitor frequently. Am I diabetic?

Answer:

The simple answer is yes, if you have had blood sugars that were repeatedly elevated (and 450 is without doubt quite elevated); the medication you are on also indicates that your physician thought you have diabetes. You should seek further advice from your own doctor who should be able to answer your questions about your situation and advise you about what doses of medication to use or whether to discontinue the medication now that the blood sugar is lower.

I’d strongly suggest that you also ask for a consultation with a dietitian: everybody with diabetes should understand and implement the basics of a meal plan.

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