When Are Diabetes Medications Necessary?

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If you’re living with diabetes, you may be wondering when medication for treating the condition is necessary. In this “Healthy Living With Diabetes” video from Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian Alison Massey, find out when medicines are required for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, how doctors make the decision to start someone on diabetes medication, and the variety of treatment options.

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When are Diabetes Medications Necessary?

Hi, I’m Alison Massey, Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator and Contributor to Diabetes Self-Management Magazine.

Diabetes and Medications

I often get asked, when is medication necessary for diabetes management?

Type 1 Diabetes Medications

Individuals with type 1 diabetes, do required diabetes management, specifically insulin because the body is no longer making the important hormone, insulin. Typically, individuals will either take insulin in multiple daily injections or receive a continuous infusion in insulin, using a device like an insulin pump.

Type 2 Diabetes Medications

In the case of type 2 diabetes, healthcare providers use a person’s health information including hemoglobin H1C levels and blood glucose trends, as well as standard care guidelines to determine a plan of care regarding whether or not medication should be started to help keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range.

How Lifestyle Affects Diabetes

Lifestyle intervention including focusing on a healthy diet, as well as regular exercise is always emphasized as an important part of diabetes care. Regardless if someone requires medication or not. The most important thing to remember is that the need for medication should not be considered a failure. Sometimes medication is a necessary part of care to keep blood glucose levels in a healthy place.
Blood glucose levels that are chronically high can contribute to the development of diabetes related complications. There are various medication options for individuals with type 2 diabetes including oral medications, injectable medications that are not insulin as well as insulin.

Its important to know that not only the type and dose of medication you have been prescribed, but also information about how it works to lower blood glucose levels and the time of day you should take your medication, as well as potential side effects.

Your healthcare provider or a certified diabetes educator can answer questions about your personal medication regimen. To learn more about medication as a part of diabetes management, check out the resources on DiabetesSelfManagement.com and subscribe to Diabetes Self Management magazine.

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