Ask an Expert FAQs — Your Oral Meds Questions Answered
Q: My meds are making me sick/not working. I feel better when I stop. What will happen if I stay off the meds?
A: If your meds are making you sick, you need to try something different. See your doctor and describe the difficulties you are experiencing. For example, if you are taking metformin (Glucophage) and it is upsetting your stomach, oftentimes decreasing the amount and taking it with food in your stomach will stop the symptoms. Once you are sure it is not bothering you, then you can slowly increase the amount (250-500 mg increase per week) until you reach full dose comfortably. If you are never able to tolerate it, then it simply isn't the right medication for you. Staying off of medications that you need in order to maintain normal glucose levels will eventually lead to long-term diabetic complications, such as kidney damage and failure, foot problems (often leading to amputation), eye disease (the leading cause of blindness) and a greater risk for stroke and heart attack (the number one cause of death in people with diabetes). Therefore, it obviously isn't safe to simply stay off meds - not unless you are able to maintain healthy blood glucose numbers (80-140) with consistent diet and exercise.
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James Joyce said that “mistakes are the portals of discovery.” I wonder if insulin levels have been our mistake. Could it be that this hellish week of blood sugars were somehow meant to be? Drastic times call for drastic measures, right? Maybe we were too afraid in the past to take the plunge into drastic measures. Maybe this is oddly what we needed. We had to be truly frightened in order to make bigger, bolder changes. ...