When I was first diagnosed with gestational diabetes twenty two years ago, my diabetic doctor put me on an insulin regimen I hated. Every day I would sit and stare at the insulin bottle and syringe and cry before I took it. I wasn't put on any other drug but insulin. My doctor told me if I lost weight, ate right, and exercised daily I would not need to be on insulin once I delivered the baby. I watched my parents and my grandmothers on both sides give injections to themselves while growing up.
Diabetes is so prevalent in my family I wasn't surprised that I got it. But I didn't expect it so soon at the the age of twenty eight. I worked as hard as I could afterward and lost more than forty pounds. I didn't look at the medications for almost another ten years. Then, slowly it started creeping up on me. I became a diabetic with poor control over my living habits.
I started on pills first and didn't think about it much. My doctors over the years changed medicines on me several times before they started me on insulin eight years ago. By this time, I was totally ignoring the fact that I had any problem. All I thought I could just take insulin and eat whatever I wanted because the shot I took would protect me. Insulin was the magic medicine for me. Now, after many years, I am on Janumet 50/1000mg twice a day along with four units of novolog twice a day and thirty units of Lantus insulin once a day.
From the days of my parents and grandparents till now, a lot has changed in the medical industry. So many advances in medical technology changed our lives forever. There used to be one or two medications to be considered for diabetic treatment. I remember doctors prescribing insulin as soon as they found a patient was diabetic. My mother never had the chance I have to consider different options . I do and I want to take full advantage of it.
Now, everything said and done, there is only one problem with today's situation. I am always confused with the variety of medications that are flooding the market to treat diabetes.
How do I know which one is good for me? How does my doctor know what is good for me? For all I know, most doctors don't have time to sit down to actually look at the chemical composition and effects of a certain medication on the patient's health. Most of the doctors go by what pharmaceutical companies tell them. Most of them rely on the brochure that is passed them, along with the new samples, by the pharmacy reps. So much information can be mishandled and jeopardize today's patients if the patients themselves do not educate themselves about these products and question their potency to their doctors.
There are basically two forms of medications available for the treatment of diabetes. Some others are fairly new to the market and will take time to make their way to popularity. There are different types of insulin and pills. Amongst these are medication that act differently in our bodies to either control or help control the sugar levels. There are basically three or four different functions these medications perform:
a. some stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin and release it into the tissues
b. some inhibit the production and release of the glucose from the liver lessening the need for more insulin.
c. some block the enzymes in the stomach from breaking down carbohydrates and make the tissues more sensitive to insulin.
Depending on your stage. your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of medications to manage your health. Regular lab tests, doctors' visits, educating ourselves with different choices of medicines and their effects on our bodies are the most important aspects of diabetic management.
Choosing the right doctors that takes time to address our health and our medications is as important. For me, if a doctor does not have ten minutes to spare to discuss my health issues and guide me through to proper channels to achieve my goals, he/she not the right doctor for me. In the same way, if a medicine is not working with my body, I need to be able to find the right one through personal research, diabetic educators, dietitians, as well my diabetic doctor.
Regardless of our stage of the disease, there is nothing like proper exercise, right kinds of foods, taking medications at regular intervals and keeping pace with a peace of mind because,'OUR LIFE MATTERS'
Edited by Shannon Koehle
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