Taking medication daily can be a difficult task. Some people skip taking their diabetes medication on some days in an effort to save money. Others may simply find it hard to remember to take their diabetes pills regularly because they don’t immediately feel the effects of missing a dose.
Maybe you have a goal to get off your diabetes medication. It may be possible, but it’s dangerous to stop on your own. You should partner with your doctor and follow their advice. If they advise you to remain on medication, be sure to follow their recommendations.
The Consequences of Skipping Medication
Even if you have a long-term goal of getting off of medication, it’s still important to take it every day while it’s prescribed to you. Diabetes medication needs to be taken consistently to be effective. If you stop taking your medication abruptly or skip days, you could be setting yourself up for long-term and serious consequences.
Skipping your medication puts you at risk for blindness and kidney failure. Later, you might be risking heart failure. You also risk nerve damage. Nerve damage is dangerous because it can allow some injuries to go unnoticed.
If you cut or burn yourself and don’t notice, you can’t treat it properly and the wound can become infected. Sometimes infected limbs need to be amputated so that the infection doesn’t spread throughout the body. In fact, diabetes is the biggest reason why people in the United States have “preventable amputations.”
The Dangers of Cutting Back on Medication
Cutting back on your medication is also dangerous. When you cut back on medication, you allow your blood sugar to go high— sometimes even extremely high. The longer you allow your blood sugar to be very high, the more danger you put yourself in.
Tips to Take Your Medication Consistently
If you have trouble remembering to take your medication, try setting daily reminders on your phone. You can also get a pillbox with the days labeled on it. Keep your pillbox in a noticeable place that you look every day, such as your kitchen counter or next to your toothbrush. You can also ask a spouse, coworker, or friend to help you remember until it becomes a habit for you.
It’s Not Worth the Risk
Once you begin to see consequences from skipping or cutting back on medication, the damage has been done. There is no way to reverse much of the damage that occurs when diabetes is left untreated. The risks are not worth taking, no matter how much you’d prefer to cut back on your medication. Take your medication consistently, take good care of yourself, and make your health a priority. Later, you’ll be glad you did.