Diabetes Medications: What To Know

Many people with type 2 diabetes are confused by all the diabetes medications out there. This video covers what you need to know about diabetes medications: the different types, the myths about diabetes, and the most important thing you can do to be healthy with diabetes.

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There are two very common misconceptions about type 2 diabetes. The first is that if you have to start taking medication to treat your diabetes, you’ve failed. The second is that if you have to increase the amount or number of medications you’re taking, your diabetes is somehow getting “worse”. Today we’re going to talk about why both of these beliefs just aren’t true and cover what you need to know about diabetes and medications…

One consistent aspect of type 2 diabetes is that it will change over time because the genes that are responsible for diabetes cause changes inside your body that progress as time passes—over time, your pancreas will become less able to make insulin. This will take place at different rates in different people, but the important thing to know is that these changes don’t mean that you’ve failed to manage your diabetes… this is just what happens.

What IS your responsibility though is to keep track of what’s happening with your numbers (your A1c, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, kidney tests, and eye exam results) so that you know when they’re changing and can work with your doctor to change your diabetes treatment plan. When your lifestyle changes aren’t working to keep your numbers at your target, then it’s usually time to make changes to your medication regimen to get to your goal.

Probably the most important thing you can learn about diabetes is that the only measure of success is what your A1c is—not how many medications you’re taking. someone who is on two medications and has an A1c of 7 is at a much lower risk of complications than someone who is on no medications but has an A1c of 8.5.

There are many different types of medications that work effectively to treat your blood glucose and each of them has a different effect on your body so combining medications can often be a more effective way to lowering your A1c. Here are the different categories of medication currently on the market:

Insulin, metformin, sulfonylureas, TZDs, GLP-1 agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, SGLT-2 inhibitors, but here’s the main thing to know: consistently taking the medication that you and your doctor have decided on is the most important thing you can do to be healthy.

If you’re concerned about something that you’re taking, talk to your doctor and work with him or her to figure out if a different medication would be a better choice. It may take some time to find the right type and amount of medication that will work to lower your numbers to your target, but stay vigilant—having your numbers at goal will help prevent future complications and enable you live a long, healthy life. The key is to find the regimen that works for you and to stick to it.

And that’s what you need to know about diabetes and medications. Thanks for watching.

The medical information in these videos is provided as an information resource only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. It does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Similarly, please consult your physician or health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have seen in a Diabetes- What To Know video. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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