August 1, 2001
Daily Care, Type 2
Question from Weatherford, Texas, USA:
My 42 year old husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last week with a blood sugar of 300 mg/dl [16.7 mmol/L], and is trying to avoid taking medication. How long does it take for his blood sugar level to drop to normal levels if he is only being treated with diet and exercise?
Typically, in this day and age, diabetes medications are started much sooner than they used to be. We now know that getting blood sugars down as quickly as possible can help to prevent the complications of diabetes. Blood sugars can come down within a few weeks if the appropriate treatment is given.
A good food plan is necessary as well as integrating exercise as possible, but appropriate medication regimens are critical as well. It is great to want to do well and not have to take medications, but type�2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and most patients end up on medications eventually. If medication intervention can be prolonged that is great, but the most important goal is to get the blood sugars as near to normal as possible most of the time.
It would help to have results of a test called the hemoglobin A1c to see the average of the blood sugars over the last three months. The target for this value should be less than 7%.