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Discussing Diabetes with Your Healthcare Provider

Diabetes Medicines—Always Discuss Them with Your Healthcare Provider

If you have diabetes, how low should your blood sugar go?

Because of safety concerns, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) stopped one part of a large clinical trial in 2008. The ACCORD study followed adults with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In a surprise to researchers, it showed that intensively lowering blood sugar (glucose) below current recommendations increases the risk of death when compared with less-intensive standard treatments. For decades, scientists believed that lowering blood sugar to normal levels helps reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.

But experts were quick to say that diabetics should not change their current treatments.

"People with diabetes should never adjust their treatment plan or goals without consulting their healthcare providers," says Judith Fradkin, M.D., director, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). "The ACCORD [study] findings were important, but did not change therapy for most patients with type 2 diabetes. Few patients with high cardiovascular risk like those studied in ACCORD are treated to blood sugar levels as low as those tested in this study," she added.

Ways You Can Help Stop Diabetes

To Prevent Diabetes For Yourself:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Stay physically active, eat nutritious, well-balanced meals, and lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Learn about diabetes. People who understand more about the disease have a better chance of avoiding it later on.
  • Use My Food Advisor at to get recipes, learn about healthy food substitutions, and plan healthful meals.
  • Take the quick and easy Diabetes Risk Test at to determine your risk for pre-diabetes
    or type 2 diabetes.
  • Get a check-up. Screening for diabetes is an important step in preventing the disease.

To Help Others:

  • Volunteer. Get involved in the fight against diabetes.
  • Help Diabetes Research. Take part in clinical trials (

Learn More

MedlinePlus: Diabetes

To learn if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, visit:

NIHSeniorHealth: Diabetes

Email Updates from MedlinePlus

National Diabetes Eduation Program:

When Your Child Is Diagnosed with Diabetes: Parents' Questions for the Healthcare Team

  • What are the different types of diabetes? Which type does our child have? Will it ever go away?
  • What does this mean for members of our family? Does it mean our other children will get diabetes, too?
  • What are my child's treatment goals? How can we help our child meet these goals? How often will our child need to visit you each year?
  • What other healthcare team members can help care for our child's diabetes? How do we contact them?
  • How can we work together as a family to help our child?
  • What emotional issues might our child and family face?
  • Should we tell friends and family about our child's diabetes?
  • Who can help us if we don't have medical insurance?
  • What resources are there to help our child in school?
  • What research is going on?

Fall 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 4 Pages 13 - 15