ZenGuru

Q:

I just got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I am 55 years old, male, and have been healthy all along. My numbers are very high - glucose 350, and A1C 14. Doc has put me on medication. These are scary figures. Any words of advice? How can one go from normal to that high figure in a very short time?

Dr. David Erani

A:

It’s easy to get scared by diabetes, especially if it is new to you and not well-controlled. The important thing for you to know is that you can live a happy, healthy life with diabetes as long as you take good care of yourself. There are never any guarantees, but you are significantly less likely to develop complications of diabetes if you keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control. You said that your doctor has put you on medication. With an A1C as high as yours, your medical regimen should include insulin. You may not always need to take insulin, but it would be difficult to bring your A1C down from that level without it. You should meet with a certified diabetes educator who can help you come up with a plan to eat in a healthy way and be sure that you are getting enough physical activity. Type 2 diabetes does not develop overnight. The process that leads to it begins with insulin resistance. At first the body can overcome this insulin resistance by making more insulin. Over time, the cells that make insulin can no longer compensate and blood glucose levels start to go up. They gradually go from normal to levels consistent with pre-diabetes to those consistent with diabetes.

February 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm