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Life with Diabetes- First lesson


The title of this week’s article is quite grand, and I feel very humbled to even try writing about it. Why? Because I do not have Diabetes. I had pre-diabetes when pregnant but it was controlled with diet and now my sugars are normal. I have a very strong family history of diabetes, however, and this, coupled with my own history of pre-diabetes, puts me at very high risk of having it in the future.{{more}} Although my medical training is in this field, I acknowledge that there are some things about having this disease that I cannot fully appreciate at this time because I do not have it. I also agree that “I am not in the same boat” and your opinion and experience may be quite different. All discussions and recommendations that I give are within accepted medical guidelines, or I will specifically say otherwise. Now enough of the disclaimers (I am starting to feel like a lawyer here), on with the show.

There are a few general rules that will help tremendously in living with this disease.

  • Rule Number 1- Take your medications around the same time EVERYDAY and as prescribed.

Yes, I am speaking to all of you who say, “I really can’t bother with this right now, my sugar is fine. I will take it at so-and-so time.” Medications are absorbed into the body at different rates, act differently and for specific durations of time. (Whether or not you think your doctor prescribed a three-times-a day medication just to annoy you is beside the point.) Because of these peculiarities, it is best to take the medications around the same time everyday, unless you are taking a medication (like some insulins) that is designed specifically to be taken WITH MEALS. The other reason for this rule is to minimize your forgetting to take the pills in the first place. The last thing you want is to be in town getting off a bus and saying to the conductor, “Wait, I think I forgot my sugar pill today,” and when you get home your sugar is ridiculously high. Discuss with your doctor the most effective timing for your medications and stick with it.

  • Rule number 2- Eat on time.

I know I am beginning to sound like a drill sergeant. But this is very important and also has to do with the timing of your medications. The goal of medical management in diabetes is first to keep the sugars under control so that you do not suffer much damage, but also to keep them as steady as possible. If you juggle around your food and your medications, you will really mess with your body in a bad way. This all works best when there is some regularity and a pattern. You also lessen the chances of having a low blood sugar, or very high levels, if you keep the timing of your meals and medications around the same everyday.

  • Rule Number 3-Ask questions.

This is not the time to sit at home and wonder about things. This is your health, your body, your life. Ask your doctor questions and make sure you get answers.

Until next week, take care Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227