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Very Low Blood Sugar Linked to Dementia

Study Raises Concerns About Aggressive Diabetes Treatment in Older Patients

Aggressive Treatment: Risks vs. Benefits continued...

"If you believe these findings, that means that just one episode of hypoglycemia can increase risk," he tells WebMD.

The dementia study is just the latest to raise safety concerns about the use of aggressive treatment to achieve tight glucose control in older patients.

Aggressive treatment to achieve blood sugar levels similar to those seen in people without diabetes was linked to an increased risk of death in older patients with type 2 diabetes participating in a large, ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

Over an average of 3.5 years of treatment, patients in the aggressive treatment arm of the study were 22% more likely to die than patients who were not treated as aggressively.

Jacobson says it is clear that a better understanding of the impact of aggressive treatment on older patients with type 2 diabetes is needed.

But he warns that it is too soon to change treatment, based on the research reported so far.

"It would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bath," he says. "We have a substantial body of research showing the benefits of improving glycemic control. But we also have to recognize that, like with any intervention, there may be a downside."

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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