Diabetes Agent > Common Concerns & Issues about Diabetes

Managing Medication - Diabetes Agent

Many people, including those with diabetes, have chemical imbalances in their bodies that, if left untreated, will have a negative impact on their health and possibly the quality of their life. People with diabetes have problems breaking down the foods they eat into glucose, which the body needs to fuel itself. In addition, many people with diabetes also have trouble with the fat levels in their blood and with their blood pressure.

Fortunately, there are many very effective medications that can correct these problems — if you take them. The simple concept is that medicines only can help you if you take them. Just like any out-of-balance system, you can restore more normal functioning if you replace the imbalances in your body’s chemistry.

Some people find that taking medication is the hardest part of managing their diabetes. Experts often advise integrating the medication into your daily routine or habits, but this can be harder than it sounds. These links and videos can offer concrete tips that will make your life easier as you manage your medication.


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Videos

Gene Managing Medication

Gene talks about how he’s trying to avoid taking insulin.

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Jessica Managing Medication

Jessica discusses her appreciation for insulin pump technology.

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Priscilla Managing Medication

Pricilla’s transition from oral medication to insulin.

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Donald Managing Medication

Donald discusses the importance of listening to his doctor.

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Dave Managing Medication

Dave talks about how creating a daily ritual helps him stick to his medication plan.

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Elizabeth Managing Medication

Elizabeth talks about her reaction to switching to insulin during her pregnancy.

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Carlos Managing Medication

Carlos talks about his fear of taking insulin and how he came to terms with it.

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Zac Managing Medication

Zac talks about calibrating his insulin pump settings to his lifestyle.

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Luke Managing Medication

Luke talks about going from oral medication to the insulin pump.

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Amber Story

Amber’s Story

Amber shares her story of diagnosis at age nine and her subsequent journey to health and diabetes activism.

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Sarah Managing Medication

Both Sarahs are on an insulin pump; one comes in pink!

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Tools & Resources

I’m already on medication, but my doctor prescribed another pill. Does this mean I’m getting sicker?

Your doctor may ask you to try one kind of pill. If it doesn’t help you reach your blood glucose targets, your doctor may ask you to: take more of the same pill add another kind of pill change to another type of pill start taking insulin start taking another injected medicine If your doctor […]

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If I have diabetes, does that mean I’ll be on meds forever?

Not necessarily. Sometimes changing your diet, losing weight and increasing your activity level can control type 2. “Since overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of diabetes, interventions that reduce or improve these factors can almost always improve blood sugar levels,” says David M. Nathan, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts […]

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Drug Types Info Sheet

What do my drugs do for me?

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Can diabetes cause erectile dysfunction?

Up to 75% of men with diabetes experience some type of difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. Erection is a cooperative effort between nerves and blood vessels. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves (peripheral neuropathy) and blood vessels, impairing their ability to work together. The key to managing erectile dysfunction related to diabetes is […]

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Doctor Prescription Reminder

This card helps you manage your medication.

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Are there any diabetes medications that have a higher incidence of side effects amongst women who use them?

Yes, the oral medications classified as thiazolidinediones (TZDs) may cause women who are not ovulating and haven’t gone through menopause to begin ovulating again, enabling them to conceive. Also, oral contraceptives may be less effective when taking this medication.

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Once a diabetic, always a diabetic?

Someone living with diabetes can lose a bunch of weight, eat right, and get their numbers in control, and as such, they have no signs or symptoms of diabetes but, like everyone, they could slip right back into those bad numbers if they do not maintain their lifestyle and medication behaviors. For Type 1 diabetes, you […]

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How is diabetes managed?

1) Healthy eating: Why Eat Right? If you have diabetes, you will quickly learn that how you eat can have a significant impact on your ability to control your glucose. Certain foods will really elevate your glucose and make it hard to control your diabetes. Naturally, you want to avoid large amounts of concentrated sugars, […]

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Taking Medications Info Sheet

“I don’t like taking medicines. I don’t feel it is a good idea to take artificial substances into my body.” These sentences express the feelings of some people. As a result, many decide to not take medicines that their provider feels would benefit their health. Why should you take medicine?

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Diabetes and Sex: What’s the 411?

Good, juicy question! First, the good news: many, many people with diabetes enjoy a healthy sex life with their partners, despite the challenges caused by the disease. Like any other complication, sexual issues require awareness, communication with your doctor, and a good plan to lower their incidence. Sex is an important part of life and […]

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Why do so many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure?

When blood sugar is too high for long periods of time, it damages the vascular system, which then impairs blood flow to all of the tissues of the body. This can have all sorts of life threatening implications, including high blood pressure. Vascular and heart disease are the leading cause of shortened lifespan for persons […]

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How is Diabetes Managed?

Host David Fatback explains the different ways you can keep your blood glucose under control.

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Managing Medication Handout

Having diabetes means that your blood glucose (blood sugar) is too high. Monitoring your glucose gives you vital feedback about your diabetes management techniques. Here are some frequently asked questions about monitoring glucose.

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My doctor is starting me on medication. Is that all I have to do to control my diabetes?

No. Medication helps, but if you have diabetes you still need to manage your food intake to create a balance between medication, food, and activity. You also need to test your blood sugar level one or more times a day to ensure your treatment plan is working. Diabetes is a self-managed disease. In other words, […]

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Side Effects Risk Info Sheet

Will I Have Side Effects? You have probably heard about side effects that someone you know experienced when they took a drug that your doctor wants you to take.  You may also have heard about side effects while listening to television or radio commercials.  Hearing this can be scary. What is important to remember is […]

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But there’s medicine to treat diabetes now. So is it really that big a deal if you get it?

It is a big deal if you get any chronic disease. In fact, with diabetes medication is not the answer or the sole treatment. Those with diabetes still must eat healthfully, test their blood sugar regularly and exercise.

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What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a small electronic device that provides a continuous, low flow of insulin (called a basal rate) to the wearer via an infusion line. The end of the infusion line has a small needle called an insertion set that is pushed just under the surface of the skin. The user can program […]

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I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor to really explain what this disease is. Can you tell me more about the disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your pancreas is not able to produce the hormone, insulin, which is needed to control your blood sugar. You’ll need to take insulin every day. Currently, insulin is only given by injection. You’ll also need to follow a meal plan, exercise and test your blood sugar.

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Medication Tracker Card / Magnet

Use this card to help manage your medication. Missed doses matter!

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Refill Reminder Card / Magnet

Use this card to help manage your prescription refills. Missed does matter!

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What are the complications of using birth control pills while having diabetes?

Birth control pills may raise your BG levels. Using them for longer than a year or 2 may also increase your risk of complications. For instance, if you develop high blood pressure while on the pill, you increase the chance that eye or kidney disease will worsen.

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I have type 2 diabetes, and just started insulin. Does that mean I’m type 1 now?

No. Many people with type 2 diabetes who can’t adequately control their blood glucose levels with diet, exercise, or oral medications go on insulin. The type of diabetes you have is defined by the cause, not the treatment. People with type 1 diabetes have experienced beta cell destruction and make insufficient insulin to control their […]

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Appointment Journal

People forget things after their appointments. This form helps you remember what you and your doctor discuss.

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What happens if I don’t manage my diabetes?

So, diabetes causes high blood glucose. Why is that such a bad thing? Glucose is fuel for our bodies, so more fuel available in the blood seems like it would be a good thing, right? Well, no. When there’s too much glucose circulating in the blood, it attaches to and damages the walls of all […]

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One of my medications has started giving me really bad stomach aches. I should discontinue its use immediately, right?

Wrong! Many of us need medications to improve our health. Sometimes when we try them, we experience uncomfortable or negative side effects. When we do, it’s really important to tell our health care team that we’re having this experience and what the side effects are. Much of the information about managing side effects that you […]

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How does smoking affect my diabetes?

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in […]

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Why take diabetes medications?

Many people, including those with diabetes, have chemical imbalances in their bodies that, if left untreated, will have a negative impact on their health and possibly the quality of their life. Fortunately, there are a wide range of medicines that are designed to restore these imbalances and, by doing so, promote health. People with diabetes […]

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Side Effects Info Sheet

Different drugs can have different side effects. Some side effects are normal and others may mean that you are having difficulties that need to be dealt with, possibly immediately.

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Previsit Form

When you get to your next appointment, your doctor will have questions. Will you have the answers? Be prepared with the help of this printable form.

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Long Drug Fact Sheet

This sheet provides information about the drugs Lisinopril, Prinivil, Zesteril, Statin.

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Medications

If you aren’t able to control your Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise, there are numerous medications available to you. Often considered the “last resort”, insulin is always an option. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe insulin for a newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetic in order to get dangerously high levels down to a more […]

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It’s difficult to eat right when I travel. Do you have any suggestions?

If you take oral medications and/or insulin, you should always carry a simple form of carbohydrate such as juice, glucose tablets, candy or regular soda in case of hypoglycemia. Maintaining a diabetic diet can be challenging, especially at airports, highway rest stops or food courts in shopping malls. Look for regular- or junior-sized meals or […]

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News

Beyond Blood Sugar: Is it time to expand the focus of diabetes care?

What would you say is your health care provider’s main focus in treating you for diabetes? If you are like most diabetics in the United States, you probably answered something fairly close to “preventing complications by managing your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and/or your blood pressure.”

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If you miss eating rice, here’s some good news!

If you are trying to choose foods with a low glycemic index (GI) to help you control your blood sugar, you may have been advised to avoid white rice. White rice is often mentioned in lists of high GI foods, along with white potatoes, pasta, and white breads.

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Portion control a problem? Try switching plates!

Plate color, that is. No jokes here. A recently published research study looked at the way plate color impacted the choices participants made regarding food. Participants were given a plate that either closely matched the color of the food served, or contrasted with the food. They were then invited to serve themselves however much they […]

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Why we can always make room for dessert

Has this ever happened to you? You ate a good, sensible, balanced breakfast. You feel satisfied. Then you get to work, and the first thing you see is that your coworker brought in a box of fresh doughnuts. Suddenly, you don’t feel full anymore. In fact, you feel like you’ve got plenty of room for […]

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Healthy Eating is Cheaper than You Think!

Thinking about changing what you eat can be intimidating. After all, few of us have the luxury of planning meals based solely on what we want to eat. There are other people’s tastes to consider, what’s available at the store when we go… and of course, the price. Food costs have been going up, and […]

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Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of […]

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How Dense is Your Diet?

Most of us have heard that we should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while limiting our intake of fats and and added sugar. In 2010, the USDA released a set of dietary recommendations for all Americans that included this advice, adding that we should all try to eat […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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Watching your sugar intake isn’t enough: How high fat consumption can raise blood sugar

Obesity is well known for increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as is the fact that a high fat diet can contribute to obesity. But a new study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System has revealed that the link between consuming foods high in fat and diabetes goes even deeper.

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Veggies looking unappetizing? Try changing beverages!

“Finish your vegetables!” Those three words are enough to make a lot of people wince. Some people just don’t like vegetables at all, right? If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, what are you supposed to do to eat healthy? A recent study published in the journal Appetite suggests that the first thing you […]

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What are you taking?

Due to the rapid increase in the rate of diabetes in the United States, there has been a lot of healthcare research focused on finding the best way to provide quality care in the most cost-efficient manner possible. One recent study looked at the prescriptions type 2 diabetes patients are receiving when they first start […]

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Taking your medication pays off

If you are taking multiple medications every day, keeping to your regimen can be a big challenge. But taking all of your medications as your doctor instructed is one of the biggest factors in staying in control of your diabetes and reducing your risk of complications. The payoff for medication adherence can be huge; an […]

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Legislating for better diabetes care

Legislators in Washington, D.C. have introduced a bill that, if passed, will create the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission: an organization that would aim to address the diabetes epidemic by coordinating and concentrating national efforts to research, understand, prevent, and treat the condition.

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The key to raising low testosterone levels may begin with a “kiss!”

Testosterone is a very important hormone, and it gets a lot of press.  It’s often known as the male hormone, and the majority of the hormone in men is produced in the testes.  Testosterone has some important functions in women as well, but recent health research has largely focused on men, and a recent publication […]

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Traveling by air? Here’s what you need to know.

Traveling by air can be a hassle for anyone these days, and if you are living with diabetes, there are additional challenges – making sure you have enough of your medications, figuring out where to eat, keeping to your monitoring routine (help with those below the jump) – all on top of sometimes frustrating screening […]

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Diabetes in the bedroom

Sex and sexual difficulties are tough to approach. Bringing intimate matters out for frank, clinical discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, whether the discussion is with a partner or a member of their health care team. But when these discussions are avoided, there’s no way to learn about treatments that can help. It’s […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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Diabetes self-managment – a family affair?

Having the support of family and friends can make just about anything a little easier to deal with, but the reverse is also true. Not having that support when you really need it can make things that much more difficult, and a recent study performed by researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrated just how problematic the […]

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Type 2 Diabetes and the Blame Game

A recent editorial in Diabetes Health hit me hard – the article described one woman’s experience with confronting feelings that she was being blamed for her diabetes (you can read her article at the link below). One of my good friends received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes recently, after having been prediabetic for many […]

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Are teens getting the lifestyle message?

According to recent research, more than half of them are not. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) just released information collected from 6,911 girls and 6,970 boys between the ages of 11 and 17, showing that less of half of these teens were advised by their doctor to eat healthily and get plenty […]

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