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May 4, 2002

Daily Care, Type 2

Question from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia:

My 54 year old mother has had type 2 diabetes for five years, is adhering to her meal plan as instructed by Diabetes Australia, and she is wishing to know why her fasting levels fluctuate (6.5-13.1 mmol/L [117-236 mg/dl]). Her general practitioner is also concerned by the fact she is suffering from high stress levels and thinks this may have something to do with it. She is greatly concerned by these fluctuations in levels and any help would be greatly appreciated as no one here seems to be able to help.

Answer:

Stress can make the blood sugars worse. However, it is not unusual for individuals to need to add medications to their regimen to control their blood sugar, even when they didn’t need them originally. Type 2 diabetes has a plot line, like a novel. The most important thing is to make sure that the blood glucose control is good and corresponds to an acceptable hemoglobin A1c reading. Her physician can order this latter test is a test which tells you what her average blood sugar has been over the previous three months. It is most helpful as outcomes have been tied to this test. If the sugars are high, it is very important to add additional medication to treat the high sugars.

JTL