For many of us with diabetes, prescription medications are already a fact of life—while some of you may be fighting to stay off them.

What you should know is that physical activity and food choices are pillars of diabetes management, to be sure. But medications provide another powerful tool for lowering your blood glucose.

There are many safe and effective meds available these days to help you keep your A1C in range (around 7.0% or less), thereby avoiding long-term complications of diabetes and extending your life span. And who doesn’t want that?

This tip series "Glucose-Lowering Medications" is all about the meds.

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Remember, diabetes pills don’t lower BG by themselves. You'll still want to be careful what you eat and be active to help lower your BG.

Equally important to realize is that if you are taking medications and your BG is in a good, healthy range, this does NOT mean your diabetes has disappeared. Diabetes is a physical disorder in which your body is resistant to the insulin present (type 2), or your body no longer makes any insulin (type 1).

Sometimes people with type 2 diabetes can manage their BG levels without medication, using diet and exercise alone. This is fantastic for as long as it lasts, but rest assured, it will not last forever.

Diabetes is a “degenerative disease,” meaning that it gets progressively worse over time. When I say “worse,” however, this does not mean you are inevitably headed for bad complications – not if you take diligent care of your diabetes!

What it does mean is that as the years go by, it will likely get trickier to manage your BG levels. If you have type 2, you will probably need more or different medications. If you have type 1, you may need more insulin more regularly.

Main takeaway here: the medications we now have available help (a lot!), but they cannot cure your diabetes.


Other Tips in This Series:

Tip 1: Get to Know Your Diabetes Meds

Tip 3: Taking Insulin Is Not "The End"

Tip 4: When to Update or Change Your Diabetes Medications

Tip 5: Take Your Damn Meds!