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June 15, 2001

Type 2

Question from Chesapeake, Virginia, USA:

I am a 52 year old who has type 2 diabetes treated with Glucophage ( three times a day), but I'm really having a problem keeping my blood sugars below 250 mg/dl [13.9 mmol/L]. I am trying to finish college in the next six months so I am overloaded, over-exhausted, and overly-stressed out. I'm also taking half a dozen medications, and meals are often cereal, yogurt, sandwiches, or takeout because I don't have time to cook. I don't mind giving up movies, TV, and other recreational activities until I finish, but this diabetes is really making this difficult day-to-day work schedule unbearable. At what blood glucose level does a person with diabetes need an adjustment in treatment plan? How can I adapt, get control, and make it through until graduation?

Answer:

You are right — you need an adjustment in your diabetes treatment plan. Blood sugars consistently over 250 mg/dl [13.9 mmol/L] are too high. The goal should be to keep them below 150 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L] most of the time. Possibly, increasing your Glucophage [metformin] to four times a day would help, or at least be a first step, but you should check with your doctor about this or other possible changes in your diabetes treatment. You will probably feel much better when your blood sugars are under better control.

ML