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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Diabetes Mellitis - Type 1
Posted by: Robyn
Date: August 1, 2001 4:06 AM

A male aged 22 is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and is required to test his blood glucose levels. When is the best time to do this and why?

RE: Diabetes Mellitis - Type 1
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: August 1, 2001 4:23 AM

If I were 22 with diabetes, all things being equal, I would test at various times under various conditions (and keep good records) in order to learn about the effect of meals, medication, exercise, etc. on my blood sugar level. In other words, I would use it as a learning tool and as data to use with my doctor in management of the problem, to establish a lifestyle routine which would keep my blood sugar in good control. With time and this kind of data, type one diabetics are usually able to learn to gauge their blood sugar levels fairly accurately by how they feel without the use of a glucometer. Most experts now evaluate diabetic control solely by measuring the glycosolated hemoglobin (the hemoglobin A-1-C test), or using one of the other similar tests. These tests estimate the average blood sugar over the preceding 60 days or so, and so are much better suited to evaluating control over the long term. It has been shown in Type I diabetics (and many believe it is true for Type II diabetics as well) that achieving normal levels of glycosolated hemoglobin greatly reduces many of the serious or fatal complications of diabetes, especially the development of blindness and kidney failure.

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