Living with diabetes means making lifestyle changes to ensure a healthy balance of insulin, diet, exercise, and medication. One of the most important parts of the management of diabetes is taking your prescribed medication. But what happens when you don’t take your diabetes medication?
When you don’t take your diabetes medication, your blood sugar levels can become very high, leading to increased risk of developing further complications from the condition. High blood sugar can cause permanent damage to your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other organs. High blood sugar can also lead to a weakened immune system, which can cause infections and other illnesses.
Type 1 Diabetes
When you have type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to properly process the sugar in your blood. Without insulin, the sugar builds up, leading to higher than normal blood sugar levels. When you don’t take your diabetes medication, the high blood sugar can lead to a number of short term complications, including fatigue, thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and blurred vision.
Long term, if you don’t take your diabetes medication, you may experience more serious complications such as kidney damage, nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke. You may also be at increased risk for developing eye and foot problems.
Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin, or your body does not use the insulin it produces properly. Without treatment, your blood sugar levels can become very high, leading to complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. Additionally, without proper treatment, type 2 diabetes can lead to nerve damage, eye damage, and other complications.
When you don’t take your diabetes medication, your blood sugar levels can become dangerously high. This can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening emergency. Symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and difficulty breathing.
Tips for Taking Your Diabetes Medication
Make sure that you take your diabetes medication as prescribed, and always try to take it at the same time each day. If you are having difficulty remembering to take your medication, keep a pill box or set a reminder on your phone to help you remember. It is also important to monitor your blood sugar regularly and to make sure that your medication is working as it should.
If you are having difficulty taking your diabetes medication, talk to your healthcare provider. There may be other options, such as long-acting insulin, that may be a better fit for you. Additionally, your healthcare provider can help you understand the importance of taking your medication and help you find ways to make it easier and more manageable.
The Bottom Line
It is very important to take your diabetes medication as prescribed to ensure a healthy balance of insulin, diet, and exercise. When you don’t take your diabetes medication, your blood sugar levels can become dangerously high, leading to serious complications. If you are having difficulty taking your medication, talk to your healthcare provider for help.