Diabetes Medication Side Effects

Many people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes drugs to manage their condition. Like all medication, there may be side effects, and this week we researched the Diabetes Forum to find out what the community is saying about type 2 diabetes medication and how it affects them.

For this week, we have not included insulin, only diabetes medication taken or injected by type 2 diabetics.

Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

Diabetes drugs, alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine, help people with type 2 diabetes/gestational diabetes to maintain stable blood glucose levels.

A variety of different diabetes drugs are available, with each performing a different function. Many people with diabetes have to take more than one type of pill, with some taking pills which combine two types of drug in one tablet.

Some people experience a variety of side effects from different diabetes drugs.

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13 Diabetes Tips to Improve Blood Sugar Control

How to Take Control Now

Healthy blood glucose (or blood sugar) control includes steps like following a balanced meal plan, engaging in an active lifestyle with sufficient physical activity, and taking blood glucose-lowering medications as you need them over the years. You might also need other medications to control your blood pressure and lipids (cholesterol). Consider some additional lifestyle tips that can also help control blood sugar and improve overall health. Find out what works and which ones you should avoid.

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Type 1 Diabetes Complications

Type 1 diabetes is complicated—and if you don’t manage it properly, there are complications, both short-term and long-term. “If you don’t manage it properly” is an important if statement: by carefully managing your blood glucose levels, you can stave off or prevent the short- and long-term complications. And if you’ve already developed diabetes complications, controlling your blood glucose levels can help you manage the symptoms and prevent further damage.

Diabetes complications are all related to poor blood glucose control, so you must work carefully with your doctor and diabetes team to correctly manage your blood sugar (or your child’s blood sugar).

Short-term Diabetes Complications

  • Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose (blood sugar). It develops when there’s too much insulin—meaning that you’ve taken (or given your child) too much insulin or that you haven’t properly planned insulin around meals or exercise. Other possible causes of hypoglycemia include certain medications (aspirin, for example, lowers the blood glucose level if you take a dose of more than 81mg) and alcohol (alcohol keeps the liver from releasing glucose).

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5 Healthy Eating Tips for Diabetes

Eating with Diabetes: How to Better Control Blood Sugar & Weight Loss

Gone are the days of strict diets, forbidden foods, and trips down the sugar-free food aisle. According to American Diabetes Association nutrition recommendations: To eat well with diabetes simply means applying the basic principles of healthful eating.

“Thank goodness I don’t need to follow a rigid ‘diabetic diet,’ limit carbs, and eat every two hours,” says Cathy Rogers, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago. “I’m encouraged I can manage my eating without stressing out.”

The way people with diabetes should eat is in line with the way every American should eat. “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans dovetail perfectly with the American Diabetes Association’s nutrition guidelines,” says Angela Ginn, R.D., CDE, education coordinator at the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Shed a few pounds if you need to. Get and keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure in the healthy target zones. As it turns out, your list of healthy eating dos and don’ts isn’t really all that long after all.

Start by putting these top five dos — the ones that give you the biggest bang for your effort — into action.

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Fresh Fruit Protects Against Diabetes, Complications

Eating fresh fruit every day was linked with a lower risk for diabetes and diabetes-related vascular complications in a Chinese epidemiological study that included half a million people.

Among individuals without diabetes at baseline, daily fruit consumption was associated with a 12% lower risk for getting diabetes compared to never or rarely eating fresh fruit (hazard ratio 0.88; 95% CI 0.83-0.93; P<0.001); this corresponded to a difference of 0.2 percentage points in 5-year absolute risk, said a research team led by Huaidong Du, MD, PhD, of Oxford University in England.

The study found a dose-response relationship between fresh fruit and diabetes risk, with each daily portion of fruit consumed linked to a 12% reduction in risk (HR 0.88; 95% CI 0.81-0.95; P=0.01 for trend). This association was not significantly modified by sex, age, region, survey season, or a range of other factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body-mass index, and family history of diabetes, Du and colleagues reported online in PLOS Medicine.

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A New Drug May Be Able to Completely Reverse Diabetes


In the global community, the number of people with diabetes has been on the rise since 1980, with 422 million people diagnosed by 2014. The U.S. alone has experienced a substantial rise in the incidence of diabetes, with the number of Americans diagnosed increasing from 5.5 million in 1980, to 22 million in 2014—a more than 300 percent increase in less than 40 years.

A team of researchers, led by Stephanie Stanford at the University of California, San Diego, is proposing a solution in the form of a single pill that aims to restore insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body’s response to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating sugar in our blood, weakens. A number of genetic and lifestyle factors will influence whether or not someone develops this type of diabetes in their lifetime.

Up until now, drugs were unable to restore the insulin signaling function in diabetic patients — instead, they work by filtering out excess glucose in the blood that comes as a result of the dysfunction. The drug produced by Stanford’s team, on the other hand, hopes to restore function.

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Putting the Brakes on Diabetes Complications

Encouraging news: People with diabetes are living longer, healthier lives with fewer complications. What’s the driving force? Greater awareness and better control of risk factors are moving the needle.

We’ve come a long way in reducing the impact of diabetes on people’s lives. In the last 20 years, rates of several major complications have decreased among US adults with diabetes. The greatest declines were for two leading causes of death: heart attack and stroke. (People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, and they may get it more severely and at a younger age than people who don’t have diabetes.) This is meaningful progress.

It’s important to note that during that same 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged. Diabetes complications still take a heavy toll on the health of millions of people and on our health care system.

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72% of Youth With Type 2 Diabetes Have Complications

Diabetes-related complications occur substantially among 14- to 25-year-old patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but especially in those with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the February 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dana Dabelea, MD, of Colorado School of Public Health, Denver, and colleagues analyzed data from a nationally representative registry of young patients who had had diabetes for a mean of 7.9 years.

Their logistic regression model estimated that, at age 21, one in three patients with type 1 diabetes and almost three in four patients with type 2 diabetes had at least one of the following complications or comorbidities: diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, arterial stiffness, or hypertension.

“Providers…might not expect to see [diabetes] complications at such a young age and after such a short duration,” Dr Dabelea told Medscape Medical News.

The findings suggest that “once [young patients] have diabetes, monitoring their glucose control and other risk factors (lipids, obesity, blood pressure) is going to be crucial to prevent the development of these complications or to slow their progression,” she stressed.

Clinicians should follow the American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines for monitoring HbA1c, lipids, microalbuminuria, and blood pressure in young patients with diabetes, as well as the recommendations for eye examinations, foot examinations, and other care.

Based on the HbA1c measures, treatment may have to be modified for optimal glucose control. And a small number of patients may require lipid lowering or antihypertensive therapies at a young age.

Nephropathy, Neuropathy, Retinopathy in Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents has been increasing in most populations since the 1990s, and the prevalence of type 1 diabetes has also been increasing for a long time in the United States and, in fact, worldwide, Dr Dabelea and colleagues observe.

But it has not been clear if diabetes complications (retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy) and comorbidities (hypertension and arterial stiffness) differ in adolescents and young adults with type 2 diabetes vs type 1 diabetes.

To investigate this, the researchers examined data from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth registry at five sites in the United States from patients who had been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes when they were 10 to 20 years old and who later had diabetes complications and comorbidities measured in a single visit from 2011 to 2015.

They identified 1746 patients with type 1 diabetes and 272 patients with type 2 diabetes.

On average, the patients with type 1 diabetes had been diagnosed when they were 10 years old, and they were 18 years old at the follow-up visit; the patients with type 2 diabetes had been diagnosed when they were 14 years old and were 22 years old at the follow-up visit.

Most patients with type 1 diabetes were white (76%), followed by Hispanic (12%), black (8%), other (4%), or Indian (<1%), and most were normal weight (59%) or overweight (27%). Most (41%) came from families in the highest annual household income category (>$75,000 per annum).

In contrast, most patients with type 2 diabetes were black (43%), followed by white (26%), Hispanic (21%), Indian (7%), or other (3%), and most were obese (72%) or overweight (18%). Most (41%) came from families in the lowest annual household income category (<$25,000).

Monitoring to Spot or Slow Microvascular Complications

At the follow-up visit, the teenagers and young adults with type 2 diabetes had greater odds of having diabetic kidney disease, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy than those with type 1 diabetes, after adjustment for changes in glycemic control, central obesity (waist-to-height ratio), and arterial blood pressure over time.

Patients with type 2 diabetes were also more likely to have hypertension and arterial stiffness than patients with type 1 diabetes. However, after adjustment for central obesity, patients with type 2 diabetes no longer had increased odds of these outcomes.

Odds of Complications/Comorbidities With Type 2 Diabetes vs Type 1 Diabetes

Complication Type 2 diabetes, % Type 1 diabetes, % HR (95% CI)* P
Diabetic kidney disease 19.9 5.8 2.58 (1.39–4.81) 0.003
Retinopathy 9.1 5.6 2.24 (1.11–4.50) 0.02
Peripheral neuropathy 17.7 8.5 2.52 (1.43–4.43) 0.001
Arterial stiffness 47.4 11.6 1.07 (0.63–1.84) 0.80
Hypertension 21.6 10.1 0.85 (0.50–1.45) 0.55
*Model adjusted for age, sex, diabetes duration, clinical site, race/ethnicity, and changes in glucose control, central obesity, and blood pressure over time

“We were surprised” at the high rate of complications in these young patients, Dr Dabelea said, “because one would think that with the current better treatments that are available — especially more advanced insulin regimens and pumps and glucose monitoring — we may not have seen so many complications.

“We do have better treatments, but on the other hand, we have a changing population” with more patients with type 2 diabetes, “which is a totally different disease and strongly associated with obesity,” she explained.

“These kids come from disadvantaged families, [often with a single parent], mostly from [racial] minorities, and some don’t have a diabetes provider.”

The findings overall “support early monitoring for development of complications” among all young patients, with both types of diabetes, she and her colleagues conclude.

Diabetes and Depression: Recognizing the Symptoms, and 5 Things That Can Help

This is a blog post I have been wanting to write for ages. It might not be relevant to you now, but please read on because this can get anybody, anytime. The subject matter I want to write about is depression.

I am very lucky that so far, touch wood, depression has eluded me, and I hope and pray it stays that way. As a diabetic the chances of being affected by this illness increase quite substantially. I was told this within day one of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. As such I have spent a lot of time researching the subject, and over the past 3 and a half years I have spoken with lots of people suffering from depression, both online and in the real world.

What Is Depression?

Depression is one of the most commonly occurring medical conditions, one which anybody can be struck with. It affects an estimated 1 in 10 adults during their lifetime. Women are more likely than men to experience it. It is important to realise that it is a real illness which affects the brain. This isn’t something you can “snap out” of. Depression is caused by changes to the chemistry inside our brains. Once depression has set in, it has a negative impact on every part of your life, as well as those who are close to you.

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Diet ‘reverses diabetes in just 10 weeks’, claims new study

The research, the first of its kind, could pave the way for an overhaul in the management of the condition which is linked to obesity and affects almost three million people in the UK.

Most diabetics are advised to eat a balanced diet, including carbohydrates.

However, scientists, who carried out the study on 238 patients, found that restricting carbohydrates and increasing fat led to dramatic improvements.

Half the patients saw their condition reversed after just 10 weeks and were able to reduce or stop taking diabetes drugs.

This is the first time we have seen such a drastic change in such a large group of people outside bariatric [weight loss] surgery

Professor Sarah Hallberg

Eighty nine per cent of those in the study, who had been reliant on insulin due to the severity of their disease, were able to dramatically reduce or stop taking it.

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