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Life with Diabetes-Taking your medications


In regard to medications, the advice is simple-TAKE THEM. Some of you are rolling your eyes at me right now, saying, “of course take them!” This isn’t directed at you, but instead at two groups of people:{{more}}

Group 1-you don’t really think you need these medications so you take them only when you feel badly, or your sugar is super-high, or just before your doctor’s visit. You know who you are…

Folks that fall into Group 1 are, quite frankly, a doctor’s nightmare, and I know it is not politically correct for me to say that. It goes without saying that you are endangering your health by not taking the medications as they are prescribed, and allowing diabetes to go its merry way leaving damage all over your poor body. But besides that, you are simply wasting time-your time and your doctor’s time. If you are not interested in actually following the advice you get from your doctor, why are you going to the appointments? Ask yourself that question and answer honestly. If you don’t get along with this doc, find another.

Group 2-you over-think how to take the medications, are afraid of the side effects, cannot afford the medications or really do forget to take them because of other stresses in life. I feel for you, but we need to get you on the right track here.

Most of my patients with problems taking medication fall into this group, so I will try to briefly address some of the issues. In terms of over-thinking or being concerned about side effects, it is best to ask questions during your doctor’s visit so that you feel informed. Do not panic when Mrs So-and-So from next door tells you something bad about the medicine-call your doctor and ask. Be assured that diabetes drugs on the market have a proven safety record that allows them to be used in most folks without a problem. If there is concern in your situation, your doctor should monitor you closely.

If finances are the main problem, speak to your doctor about perhaps cheaper alternatives that will work as well, or maybe there are some samples in clinic. It doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

If forgetting is the problem, establishing patterns will help a great deal. Take the medication at the same time everyday and soon it will become habit. If poor memory is an issue, you will need to tap into your family and friends as resources to remind you.

And if you are just swallowed up in the stresses of life and your health is the last thing on your mind, I am afraid I need to respectfully disagree. Recall the analogy of the airline oxygen mask: you need to put yours on before you can help anyone else. Why? Because if you pass out, then you are no help to anyone. The same here: even if you feel like your own health is at the bottom of your priority list, you need to reconsider because everything ahead of you on that list will go undone when you fall ill. You are your own best friend.

Until next week,

Take care Vincies!

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