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January 29, 2000

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Type 2

Question from Tucson, Arizona, USA:

I have type 2 diabetes and take Glucophage [metformin, a pill for Type 2 diabetes]. I want to take niacin to help lower my cholesterol and triglycerides levels, but was told it may affect my blood sugar readings. Is that true? If so, would it bias the actual glucose level or the indicated readings up or down?

Answer:

Niacin can affect your blood sugars overall by raising them. I would suggest that before you add niacin, test your blood sugar at various times a day, before and after meals and know where they are. If you begin the niacin, you will now have a comparison to see if it does indeed raise your blood sugar. It is very important to bring your lipid levels down to near normal range, no matter what type of medicine you use. If the niacin does not do the trick in a few weeks to months, I hope you will discuss other treatments with your physician. Do not wait. Begin proactive early in your diabetes will help you remain healthy.

KS