Special Episode #3: Meds & Blood Sugar

Meds & Blood Sugar

People with chronic diseases don’t get holidays or vacations from their medication.

4 ways medication can affect blood sugar:

1. Type of medication:  the goal of the medication that people with diabetes take is to lower blood sugar – either by increasing insulin sensitivity, encouraging the pancreas to make more insulin, or to replace insulin that’s not naturally made anymore.  Metformin is like insulin’s wingman; it helps make the cells ready for insulin when it comes by.  So usually these medications (including insulin) will lower blood sugar no matter if you eat or not.

2. Timing of medication:  Most of the medications should not be taken if a meal is going to be skipped.

3. Dose of medication:  the more sugar you eat, the more insulin you need.  The higher the blood sugar level, the higher the dose is needed.  It needs to stay proportional.  Any form of sugar you eat gets turns into glucose, the complexity of the sugar determines how fast it raises your blood sugar.  Even diabetics are at risk for hypoglycemia.  If one little thing gets out of whack, it can cause a drop in blood sugar and require a “rescue”.  Favorite hypoglycemia rescue “go to” is orange juice (lots of simple sugars).  Regular soda can be used, as well as hard candy or glucose tablets.  NO DIET SODA – artificial sweeteners do not affect sugar enough.  High blood sugar can cause coma, lower blood sugar can cause coma.  Bottom line: Coma is bad.

4. Interaction with medication:  Fluoroquinolones can causes changes in blood sugar control and require a person to check their levels and adjust their medicines more often.  Steroids can also cause blood sugar to be more uncontrolled – this is true for acute (short term) use or chronic (long term – like autoimmune diseases) use.  Beta blockers used for blood pressure control can mask the symptoms of low blood sugar because the symptoms are very similar.  Symptoms of low blood pressure:  tiredness, weakness, dizziness, shakiness, inability to focus.  The only way to know which one you’re experiencing is to check your blood sugar and your blood pressure.

The Nashville chapter of JDRF is having their annual One Walk on September 24th. Friend of the show and previous guest, Rachel Mayo has been #T1D for over 10 years and she is passionate about the cutting edge research and support JDRF provides for people and their families. Her goal is for her team to raise $5000, you can contribute here:http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?team_id=206888&fr_id=6333&pg=team

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“Radio Martini” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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