- what you eat
- when you eat
- how much you eat
- what kind of exercise you do
- how much exercise you do
- the type of diabetes medicines you take
- the amount of diabetes medicines you take
As you must be aware that high levels of blood glucose or blood sugar can cause serious health problems including strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, digestive problems, eye disease, and tooth & gum problems etc. To prevent diabetes related problems one has to keep blood glucose levels on target (read under control). If you have diabetes, then you need to choose your foods wisely and be physically active. When you can't reach your target blood glucose levels with diet control and physical activity, you may require diabetes medicines.
Your doctor will decide the kind of medicine you require depending on your type of diabetes, your schedule, and your other health conditions. Diabetes medicines help keep your blood glucose in your target range. Some diabetes medicines can also lower your blood glucose too much. Ask your doctor whether your diabetes medicines can cause low blood glucose.
Here is a table that lists blood glucose ranges for adults with diabetes:
A1C - <7.0%
Preprandial plasma glucose (before a meal) - 70-130 mg/dl (5.0-7.2 mmol/l)
Postprandial plasma glucose (after a meal) <180 mg/dl (<10.0 mmol/l)
Blood pressure <130/80 mmHg
LDL <100 mg/dl (<2.6 mmol/l)
Triglycerides <150 mg/dl (<1.7 mmol/l)
HDL >40 mg/dl (>1.1 mmol/l).
If your blood glucose levels are not on target, you might need a change in how you take care of your diabetes. The results of your A1C test and your daily blood glucose checks can help you and your doctor make decisions about:
There are many types of diabetes and, therefore, medicines are prescribed accordingly. The followings are types of diabetes:
In type 1 diabetes, the patient has to take insulin as body stops making it. Once called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is usually first found in children, teenagers, or young adults. People with type 1 diabetes may also require other types of diabetes medicines that work with insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It generally start when the body doesn't use insulin as it should. The condition when body can not use insulin properly is called insulin resistance. If the body can't keep up with the need for insulin, you may need diabetes medicines. The American Diabetes Association ADA recommends that most people start with metformin, a kind of diabetes pill. However, your doctor might prescribe two or more medicines.
Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women. Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.
Most women with gestational diabetes control it with meal planning and physical activity. Few might require insulin to reach their target blood glucose levels.
Rarely, diabetes can also be caused by other medicines or monogenic diabetes. Your doctor is best person to decide on type of medicine one require for this kind of diabetes.
Diabetes medicines come in several forms - Insulin, diabetes pills and injections other than insulin.
Like other medicines, diabetes medicine may also cause side effects. For example, some diabetes medicines can cause nausea or an upset stomach when you first start taking them. Before you start a new medicine, ask your doctor about possible side effects and how you can avoid them. If the side effects of your medicine persists or trouble you, talk to your doctor.