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Question:

From Hanford, California, USA:

In type 2 diabetes, what is glucose toxicity? How high does the blood sugar need to be? For how long does it need to stay high before it occurs?

Answer:

Glucose toxicity is a term used to describe a condition that occurs many times at the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or when the blood sugar rises and remains high over time. For many, the blood sugar has been rising slowly without the person even being aware of it, but there comes a time when that elevated blood sugar begins to cause symptoms such as blurred vision, increased urination, thirst, and extreme fatigue. For some, these symptoms happen at blood sugar levels in the 200-300 mg/dl [11.1-16.7 mmol/L] range. For others, they don't happen until the blood sugar is even higher.

When this high blood sugar remains, the body tries to make higher amounts of insulin to bring the blood sugar down. After a while, as this condition continues, the insulin-producing beta cells become exhausted and are no longer able to do the job so the blood sugar remains high. At this point, treatment is focused on bringing the blood sugar back down slowly to target range and giving the insulin producing cells a rest. For many, this means a short course of injected insulin. Once the blood sugar is back down, the insulin producing cells are rested and begin to work again. The insulin injections are stopped and, with the support of various oral hypoglycemic agents, exercise and a healthy diet, the blood sugar is maintained for some time.

I encourage you to join our monthly type 2 chats, the fourth Wednesday of the month at 9 pm EST. Join us and talk to others who have similar questions and observations about type 2 diabetes.

KS

DTQ-20010611200354
Original posting 31 Aug 2001
Posted to Type 2

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:26
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