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May 5, 2002

Daily Care, Type 2

Question from St. Marys, Pennsylvania, USA:

I am a 50 year old woman, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 15 months ago and exercise/diet controlled, and my A1c stays around 5.5%. My problem occurs on those mornings when I do not eat within an hour of rising. I get chilled and sweaty at the same time. My ears buzz, I begin to lose my vision, and I also get very nauseated. I assumed it was low blood sugar, but my sugar seems to go up during these attacks instead of going down (117-135 mg/dl [6.5-7.5 mmol/L]). Often, they have climbed from the 70s mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L] without eating. I have to eat something immediately, and in a few minutes, the effects begin to subside. This has also happened after swimming. What is happening?


I cannot be sure what is happening. However, one thing you may want to do is perform a time course. Measure your blood sugar on rising and then see what happens when you do not eat. Sometimes, a large interval change in your glucose will cause symptoms when the absolute glucose level is not low. It also sounds like your body is telling you not to miss breakfast.