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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I tell if my type 2 diabetes medication is working?

    A few weeks ago I began taking oral medication (Metformin) for my types 2 diabetes. How can I tell if the treatment is working?
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  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    The easiest way to tell if the medication is working is by checking your blood glucose levels. Generally speaking we would aim for fasting blood glucose levels (BGLs) of around 4 to 7 mmol/L or 2 hours after the meal around 4 to 10 mmol/L.
    If the pattern of your BGLs is in the double figures you may want to speak to your doctor or health care professional to see if you may need a dose adjustment.
    Your doctor can organise a 3-monthly blood test to check your HbA1c, which is a kind of average marker of your glycaemic control. For most people the aim is to have a HbA1c around 7%, but it depends on your age, your general health, the duration of diabetes and the type of diabetes that you have. For example: if you are in your early 50's, had diabetes for only a year or so and your are otherwise healthy your doctor or diabetes educator may recommend a target HbA1c of 6-6.5%, whereas for an 80 year who had diabetes for 20+ years and who has had a heart attack or stroke a target HbA1c of 7.5-8% might be quite acceptable.
    I think that it is important that your healthcare is individualised; so speak to a member of your diabetes healthcare team to find out what is best for you.

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