According to a new study, the number of people with diabetes in the United States who maintain healthy blood sugar levels has dropped in recent years. However, other research has shown an overall improvement in blood sugar control over the past couple of decades. The question is WHY. For about 40-50% of those with diabetes, blood sugars are going up. From 1950 to 1995 we only had one oral drug. Then in 1995 metformin was approved and today we have over 11,000 possible combinations of drugs and insulins. Most of the new medications like DPP-IV, GLP-1 and SGLT-2 drugs are more effective with less complications, yet blood sugars continue to rise.

Researchers analyzed blood sugar test results from 1.6 million people with diabetes from 2006 to 2013 and found that HbA1c levels below 7 decreased from 56 to 54 percent and HbA1c levels at or above 9 percent increased from 10 to 12 percent. They also analyzed information about diabetes medications. During the study period, the use of some diabetes drugs—thiazolidinediones and sulfonylureas, for example—decreased, while use of other medicines—like DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1, SGLT-2 and metformin—increased.

It might be due to an increase in those with diabetes, many of whom are not being properly educated as to the benefits of a healthy nutrition and physical activity. If a person with diabetes is not educated as to what a carbohydrate is, they will be doomed for failure no matter what drug is prescribed.  A person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has to change lifestyles if they are going to reduce their risk for complications. They cannot continue to eat and exercise the way they were doing that caused the diagnosis of diabetes. And without the education to show them how to change, they will have little success in preventing the complications of diabetes. — Diabetes Care 2016 Sep; dc160985.