Questions and Answers

1. Are there any side effects associated with oral hypoglycemic agents?

Side effects of most of the diabetes pills, the sulfonylureas, biguanides, Prandin, and Rezulin, are rare, but they can occur. Call your doctor if you experience:

• Upset stomach or loss of appetite

• A skin rash or itchiness

• Flushing (if you have had an alcoholic beverage)

• Acarbose (Precose) can cause stomach discomfort, "gas," and diarrhea, and for that reason it must be started at a low dose. Even then, many people cannot take advantage of it.

2. Can the different types of oral hypoglycemic agents be taken together?

• Yes, because the different kinds of medicine work in different ways. All of them can be taken together with insulin.

• A sulfonylurea or Prandin and metformin (Glucophage) can be used together to treat diabetes that is not controlled by either medication alone, and acarbose can be added, too.

• Rezulin is principally intended for use together with insulin, but it can also be used in combination with a sulfonylurea, Glucophage, and Precose.

• Not a lot is known yet about some of these combinations of pills, or which ones might be best. Everything depends on your particular kind of diabetes, what you tend to eat, how much you weigh, and how much you exercise.

3. What about hypoglycemia?

• It is possible to have a hypoglycemic reaction (low blood sugar) while taking oral medication. This is particularly true of the pills that act by squeezing more insulin out of your beta cells (the sulfa-containing or "sulfonylurea" type pills). Rezuli n by itself does not cause low blood sugar, but taking it in addition to insulin can lead to low blood sugar. Glucophage by itself only rarely causes low blood sugar.

• See Chapter 8 for hypoglycemia symptoms and actions you should take if a hypoglycemic reaction occurs. Report hypoglycemia to your doctor. To avoid problems, follow your diet, monitor blood glucose, take your pills as directed , and see your health-care providers regularly.

Supplements For Diabetics

Supplements For Diabetics

All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.

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