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April 19, 2001

Type 2

Question from Albany, Oregon, USA:

My 53 year old husband has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and he is not dealing with it very well at all. We have seen the dietitian who gave us meal ideas, and I am making three meals a day for him, but his blood sugar is not going down much It is high in the morning, will drop low, and then goes higher at night and then it but then goes right back up to almost 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L]. I don't understand it because I am measuring his meals and counting every thing. He is not on medication yet. Should I contact his doctor to let her know what is going on with him?

Answer:

Type 2 diabetes management is not an easy task, and the picture you give of your husband is a very common one among our patients with type 2. Diet, an important task, is just as easy to prescribe (you say — rightly — meal ideas) as it is difficult to make the patient stick to it for a thousand reasons. Physical exercise may help quite a lot in restoring normal sugar metabolism and getting closer to ideal weight. Oral hypoglycemic agents might also be added to your husband’s therapy. Ask his doctor for further help.

MS
Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

I am sure your husband is as frustrated as you are. Please do not go beyond him and talk to the doctor, but talk to your husband. Maybe the two of you could go for a walk together and that may well lower his blood pressure and at least you feel you are doing something. Please support him in his diabetes journey, and at this point, that may just be listening. He probably has an appointment with his doctor soon and do ask if you can go.

LSF