Here are 6 questions you should ask your doctor if you have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. It is very important that you understand type 2 diabetes so that you can prevent complications in the long-term as uncontrolled diabetes can easily be controlled if you’re proactive.
Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes – 6 Questions To Ask Your Doctor
1. What blood sugar goals do you aim for and how do I get there?
All physicians are different. Some may treat more aggressively than others. For some doctors an A1C of <7% is good. While others may want that number below a 6.5% or <6%. There are a couple of tests that your physician will look at when it comes to your blood sugar. Those two are your fasting numbers and your A1C.
An A1C test looks at your average blood sugar levels over a three month period. Ask your physician for your A1C numbers. Here are some averages when it comes to A1C:
A1C (%) – Average Blood Glucose (mg/dL)
So as you can see an A1C of 7% means your blood sugar levels are averaging around 170 mg/dL. Most of the physicians that I have worked with have all said that this is way too high. And the ADA goal happens to be <7%. So your doctor may want to treat more aggressively.
The second test your physician will look at is your fasting blood glucose levels. Normal fasting levels are below 100 mg/dL. And borderline ranges are below 126 mg/dL. The goal is to get your blood sugar levels in the normal ranges and keep them there.
Whether with diet, exercise and or medication, a physician’s goal will be to get and maintain your blood sugar levels as close to normal levels as possible to prevent long-term complications.
2. What are my cholesterol numbers?
There are a few things that you want to know when it comes to cholesterol. HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Here are the numbers you what when it comes to cholesterol:
- LDL-cholesterol <100 mg/dL
- HDL-cholesterol >40 mg/dL
- Triglycerides <150 mg/dL
- Total Cholesterol <200 mg/dL
These are the targets recommended by the ADA. I think most physicians who treat their patients aggressively aim for better numbers than these. But these are a start.
3. What is my blood pressure?
Most diabetics have cardiovascular problems as a result of high blood sugar. Ideally, you want your numbers below 130/80 mm Hg. Ask your doctor what your numbers are.
4. What causes my blood sugar to go up?
Usually the following things will cause your blood sugar to rise:
- sedentary lifestyle with no exercise
- missing medication if you’re on medication
- eating meals or snacks with too many carbs or bad carbs
This is a good question to ask, but it may vary when it comes to foods, hormonal changes and things of this sort. The idea is we want to learn as much from our physician and these are the types of questions that help you get a better understanding of diabetes. Otherwise it’s like trying to play and win a game we don’t know the rules to.
5. What causes my blood sugar to drop?
Although type 2 diabetes and the types of foods you eat affect everyone differently, for the most part, there are certain things that cause your blood sugar drop. They are as follows:
- exercise, while vigorous exercise causes the most drop
- missing a meal or snack
- certain medications
- lower carbohydrate intake
When it comes to medications that lower your blood sugar, the main thing physicians are worried about is hypoglycemia. This generally means your blood sugar drops too low to dangerous levels. The problems with low blood sugar is it usually is accompanied with dizziness, fainting, sweating, and other more severe side effects.
6. Do you know of any professionals, like a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) that you can refer me to?
CDE’s are a good resource for those who are overwhelmed or need assistance with diabetes care. I recommend you ask your doctor this question because it can help out a great deal.
Prior to using any of this information, please consult with your physician.