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diabetes FAQ: general (part 1 of 5)
Section - Helping with the diagnosis (DM or hypoglycemia) and waiting

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Diagnosis of marginal type 2 diabetes, and even more so of
hypoglycemia, can be an iffy task. Single-point blood glucose
measurements often miss significant readings, especially for
hypoglycemia. While I don't recommend self-diagnosis, you can take some
steps on your own to aid your health care team in your diagnosis and
treatment. These are safe and useful steps. The first is purely
monitoring and not treatment or diagnosis on your part. The others are
good advice for anyone who does not have some other medical condition
to contraindicate the action, and are particularly good for those with
type 2 diabetes.

1) Get a blood glucose meter and start checking your blood glucose
before meals and at bedtime. Keep records. Also note what you ate, any
exercise, any unusual stress. If you suspect type 2 diabetes, also try
to check an hour after eating. If you suspect hypoglycemia, check any
time you have suspicious symptoms; you may also want to set up a few
runs where you check every 15-30 minutes for up to five hours after

Don't try to make any adjustments based on the readings until you review
them with your doctor -- just keep the record and show it to the
doctor. This will give the doctor more information than any examination
or lab test can give. Furthermore, if you are waiting for an
appointment, this record will put you ahead of the game when you
actually see the doctor. (If during this monitoring you see a dramatic
rise in blood glucose, to preprandial levels of 250 mg/dl [15 mmol/L]
and above, call the doctors and say you need an appointment *now*, not
in a month, not next week, and quote your bg levels.)

As an additional advantage, doing this monitoring on your own will
demonstrate to the doctor that you are willing to put in this kind of
effort. Often doctors are reluctant to ask patients to put in serious
time to monitor their health because so many patients don't follow up.

Blood glucose meters and all the supplies are OTC items. (True in the
USA, and I haven't heard of any country with a different policy.)
However, depending on where you live and what type of insurance or
national medical coverage you have, you may have to pay from your own
pocket if you do not have a prescription or proper pre-authorization.
For a month or so of monitoring, this is probably worth the cost.

2) Increase your exercise level, within levels that are safe in light
of any other medical conditions. In other words, if you are not already
in an exercise program, consult your doctor. Exercise will also help
with other stresses you are under. This is primarily applicable if you
suspect type 2 diabetes, but may help with hypoglycemia also.

3) Improve your diet if you are not already watching it carefully. A
standard diet with moderate calories and fat is good at this stage,
until you see the specialist. If you suspect hypoglycemia, you may want
to be especially careful of eating large amounts at one time, and avoid
concentrated sugars.

User Contributions:

Raqiba Shihab
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May 10, 2012 @ 2:14 pm
Many thanks. My husband has Type 2 diabetes and we were a bit concerned about his blood sugar/glucose levels because he was experiencing symptoms of hyperglyceamia. We used a glucometer which displays the reading mg/dl so in my need to know what the difference
between and mg/dl and mmol/l is, i came across your article and was so pleased to aquire a lot more info regarding blood glucose, how to read and convert it.
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 11, 2012 @ 9:09 am
It was really informative and useful for people who don't know conversion. Thanks to you

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Top Document: diabetes FAQ: general (part 1 of 5)
Previous Document: How about discussing hypoglycemia?
Next Document: Exercise and insulin

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