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What The Heck Do Diabetes Medications Do Anyway?

What The Heck Do Diabetes Medications Do Anyway?

You get diagnosed, your Doc writes a prescription for Metformin and sends you on your way without much explanation as to what to expect.

You eat dinner and your blood sugar is high - how can that be, you are on "medication"?

It's important to understand exactly what that medication is "supposed to do" and realize that different diabetes meds are "designed" to work on various (sources/types) of blood sugar.

Metformin works by trying to control how much sugar is released by your Liver. It… read more

A DiabetesTeam Member said:

The previous two classes only work if you are still producing a reasonable amount of insulin yourself.

If you aren't then the other newer class of drugs which includes Jardiance and Invokana work even if you are producing almost no insulin (but at least some).

They work by sucking sugar out of your blood stream "all the time" and removing it through urine.

Those will help with your fasting and post meal sugars.

There are two "old" classes of Diabetes meds that are being prescribed less and less because they are not quite as "user friendly". They belong to either the TZD or Sulfonylurea class of medications. The latter is still prescribed (often) but usually later in treatment when others haven't worked well enough OR if cost of medications is a major factor - Sulfonylurea's are generic and cheap but are also cumbersome to take with 1 in 3 users experiencing dangerous lows, and both require that you still produce reasonable amounts of insulin - but they are "exceptional" at dealing with after meal numbers.

If you get to the "end of the line" with the above medications and still need some help then there is always Insulin - a dirty word to many but the exact substance that we actually "need" for control.

There are two types of insulin - Basil (long/extra long acting) usually taken at night or first thing in the morning and Bolus (med/fast acting) usually taken a few minutes before eating - or a mixture of both.

Basil insulin is used to treat "fasting and between meal numbers" (so the next step if Metformin no longer is enough) and Bolus deals with "what you ate sugars", again, the next step when diet, exercise and the various other medications are "not enough".

Your Basil insulin won't help when you eat that Pizza and the Bolus will do nothing to help your fasting numbers.

Knowing "what to expect" from your Meds and what they are designed to do can help you understand "why my number was high" if you are taking a med "not designed" to deal with "that" blood sugar..

posted 15 days ago
A DiabetesTeam Member said:

Hey @A DiabetesTeam Member I hear what you are saying and generally agree.

ANY Medication has to be carefully considered because anytime you put "some chemical" into your body that you are not making naturally, you run the risk of some kind of reaction - maybe insignificant, maybe potentially deadly.

That is why you have to weigh the risks against the benefits.

Sticking with Diabetes we "know - 100% True in Every Single Case" that if you run with uncontrolled blood sugars you WILL destroy your kidneys, lose your vision, end up with dementia, experience neuropathy which can lead to infections which lead to amputations, cause heart disease or stroke.

Those things (one or more of them) happen "for sure" if your sugars remain uncontrolled.

So you have to weigh "what will happen" against "what might happen".

It's sucks that we even have to make that choice but that is the cards we were dealt so sometimes we have to "risk a drug reaction" to save us from a bunch of really nasty stuff that we know will happen if we don't.

The only problems is too many Type 2's believe that they will be somehow "spared" from complications - sure, they understand they can happen but "Not To Them" - it will "get someone else" and by the time the truth comes home they have messed themselves up far to badly to do much more than try to stop it from getting worse...

posted 15 days ago
A DiabetesTeam Member said:

I have been hesitant to using diabetes medication because of some harse effects on body. Damage to liver, kidney, ligament, some bleeding. But when i went to Doctor and was an A1C of 9.2 and looking at weekly injecting, i thought. The diabetes is slowly killing all my organs any ways. This high A1C is not helping. Keeping my gluclose up around 130-145. I decides to take Glipizide. I took it for 2 months and was retested. A1C went from 9.2 down to 6.4. Huge difference. I continue to take it now. I am working on weight loss which is hard. I am limited movement. But my hopes are to get to where i have control of weight, eating, excersize and diabetic med free. So what does it do you ask? Well it is doing wonders for me.

posted 15 days ago
A DiabetesTeam Member said:

Excellent! I am.on Metformin since 2011 when I was first diagnosed. No problems with it. You've explained how it works clearly and easily. Thank you!😊

posted 14 days ago
A DiabetesTeam Member said:

When I read your posts, it made me more scared, I have high anxiety, around my diabetes, and lost my mom six years ago so my anxiety has been worse. Can you please tone down what you write in your posts. I’m here to meet people who have diabetes and help with the emotional side of it which is anxiety, and stress, I don’t sleep well because of all my fears. I’m finding most diabetes groups are very negative and scare you even more. Please be gentle.

posted 15 days ago
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