When it comes to medications and treatments in diabetes, making informed choices that are agreed with your health care team can help you commit and keep motivated to your treatment plan. In my practice, taking the time to discuss and consider treatment options, side effects of medications, the pros and cons of treatment and whether individuals remember to take their tablets can have a very positive impact on not only the person with diabetes, but also their
ability to deal and manage their diabetes effectively.
Time and time again people report to me that there is no discussion with their doctors when they are put on new tablets or treatments. They are just given a prescription for a new tablet that they are told they need to have, without explanation of how it works or side effects. There is also a culture within the patient/doctor relationship that still persists, where the patient feels uncomfortable asking a doctor question, or challenging him/her on their choices/options. These culture/attitudes works contrary to the ‘shared care’ mentality that is advocated in all diabetes guidelines, where the individual with diabetes is seen as the central member of their team, an equal partner in their care alongside their health care professionals.[pull_quote align=”left”]When it comes to medications and treatments in diabetes, making informed choices that are agreed with your health care team can help you commit and keep motivated to your treatment plan [/pull_quote]
There are many reasons why your doctor/team will have you on certain medications/treatment plans. But it is in my firm experience and opinion, that unless a person understands why they are taking these medications, what their role is and how they can benefit, they will be reluctant to take them, or not at all. For example, many people wonder why they are on blood pressure, cholesterol and blood thinning tablets when they are have diabetes, and do not have a problem with blood pressure or cholesterol. One of the simplest reasons is that there could be a history of cardiovascular disease within their family, and/or so their risk of developing heart disease is increased. We also know that despite a family history or not, there is a 20% increased risk of having cardiovascular disease when you have diabetes. Heart disease and diabetes are like brother and sister, they go hand in hand, so treating or preventing heart disease is paramount in diabetes. Sometimes this simple explanation to people who are concerned as to why they are on all these medications is enough.
If you do not understand why you are prescribed or taking certain medications or you feel that you are experiencing side effects from these medications, please consult and discuss with your GP/diabetes team as soon as possible. There are usually other options that can be tried, but unless you tell us, we won’t know and cannot help you.
On this website I have provided information on current diabetes medications and treatments that are used in practice. Where possible I have tried to keep the language as simple as possible and to use analogy’s that I find helpful when explaining to people who attend my practice how certain medications work. I have also included references to websites that people can look for more information. The information that I have provided is no substitute for the information that your GP/Diabetes team should be providing to you. If you have any concerns or questions please contact your team, or contact us below at Diabetes Insight with your query.