Endocrinology (including Diabetes)/medications

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Question
Hello,
  I am 65 and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 2 years ago.  The doctor put me on 1 Medformin then when that didn't bring down the blood sugars of 250-300 he told me to take 2.  That didn't work either.  Although my doctor's specialty is diabetes he doesn't seem to treat it aggressively and keeps putting it off. He is very concerned about my B12 levels being so low.  I looked it up and it says Medformin can do that but the doctor didn't know.   My blood sugar this morning was 385.  I told the doctor ahead of my Wednesday appointment. He told me to look up diabetes medicine and tell him which one I want to be on.  I don't know anything about this.  Can you give me advice about any new drugs that have promise so I can recommend it to him to prescribe?

Answer
Don,

I am not a medical doctor and cannot give you any advice about medications.  I can tell you, though, that having a blood glucose of 385 is WAY too high, and it needs to be treated with something other than metformin, which can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

One option is insulin, but there are certainly other newer medications out there that can help control blood glucose and lower body weight.  It also helps to be more physically active and modify your diet to contain fewer carbohydrate-based foods that are digested quickly (like most things made with white flour and white sugar).

It may depend on what medications Medicare is willing to cover since you're 65.  I really can't tell you that, though.  You may want to look into some of the injected medications (besides insulin) that can promote some weight loss: http://www.joslin.org/info/Spotlight_on_New_Diabetes_Treatments.html.

Hope this helps.  Sheri

Endocrinology (including Diabetes)

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Sheri Colberg, PhD

Expertise

I am an exercise physiologist with a PhD who specializes in diabetes--as such I CANNOT answer general questions about other endocrine problems as I am neither an expert in all areas of endocrinology nor am I a medical doctor. My expertise lies in answering questions about diabetes (of any type) and physical activity, so please limit your questions to those areas. I can help you if you want to begin exercise or if you're already a diabetic athlete, and I am prepared to respond to questions about physical activity to which even your diabetologist may not know the answer. I can give suggestions about changes in your diabetic medications that differing types and intensities of exercise may necessitate, but I will have to refer you to your regular health care team to get final approval to make such changes. I can also answer questions about physical fitness, exercise metabolism, prediabetes reversal, and prevention of type 2 diabetes and diabetic complications.

Experience

I have both personal and professional experience in the areas of diabetes and exercise/physical activity. On a personal level, I have had type 1 diabetes since 1968, and I have been an avid exerciser since I was a child. Professionally, I have been conducting clinical studies on diabetes and exercise since 1992, largely with funding from the American Diabetes Association. I am also the author of 8 books related to diabetes, exercise, and more: The Diabetic Athlete (2001), Diabetes-Free Kids (2005), The 7 Step Diabetes Fitness Plan (2006), 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (2007), The Science of Staying Young (2007), Matt Hoover's Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight (2008), Diabetic Athlete's Handbook (2009), and Diabetes? No Problema! (2009).

Organizations
I am a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a professional member of the American Diabetes Association (and professional volunteer for the ADA), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association.

Publications
I have published research and review articles in the following journals and magazines: Diabetes Care, Diabetes, Journal of Diabetes & Its Complications, Diabetes Self-Management, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, International Journal of Obesity, FASEB Journal, The Diabetes Educator, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Clinical Exercise Physiology, Clinical Diabetes Reviews, Insulin, ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, Biomechanics, On the Cutting Edge, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Microvascular Research, Drug Benefit Trends, ACSM Certified News, Diabetes Health, SportEX Health, Diabetes Focus, Diabetes In Control, dLife-For Your Diabetes Life, Pediatrics for Parents, and My TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) Newsletter. I have also been interviewed in myriad other magazines, such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Diabetes Forecast, Countdown Magazine, Joe Weider's Muscle & Fitness, Health, Tidewater Parent, Barron's News, Diabetes New Day, and Newsweek International.

Education/Credentials
I have an undergraduate degree (1985) from Stanford University, a Master's degree in exercise physiology (1987) from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same field. I also spent two years in an NIH-funded postdoctoral research position in endocrinology (studying obesity, diabetes, metabolism, and exercise) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (1993-1994).

Awards and Honors
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) - 1996 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Young Investigator Grant Award 2003 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Old Dominion University Chapter 2004-Present Great Women of the 21st Century by the American Biographical Institute 2005 Edition Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Largest Research Grant Award 2006 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award (for greatest number) 2006 Saint Louis University, The Max K. Horwitt Memorial Lecture Distinguished Lectureship Award 2008 Old Dominion University Darden College of Education Publications Award 2009 Old Dominion University Darden College of Research Grants Award 2009

Past/Present Clients
I have consulted for numerous groups, including Can-Am Care, Numera|Social, California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training(about candidates with diabetes), Animas Corporation (an insulin pump company), Therasense, Inc. (makers of the Freestyle blood glucose meters), Council of Healthcare Advisors, and the City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Health Department.

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