In-Home Diabetes Care: Make the Most of Your Medication

In-Home Diabetes Care: Make the Most of Your Medication

Medication, diet and exercise play a big role in managing of your diabetes. So does working closely with your doctor and diabetes team.

In fact, the number one thing you can do to manage your disease is talk openly and honestly with your care providers. Partnering with your providers will make sure you take the proper medication at the proper dose. But there are proactive things you can do at home to help your medicine help you

It’s Not Just Insulin 

Many Type 2 diabetes patients can manage their disease with just diet and exercise. When that isn’t enough, there are other drugs that can help your body use the insulin it produces more effectively. The Mayo Clinic leaving site icon provides a helpful list and description of these treatments. Many don’t call for injections.

Store Insulin Properly 

Insulin can be affected by changes in temperature. The Mayo Clinic leaving site icon recommends that you store your insulin properly and not past its expiration date. Otherwise, it may not be effective in managing your blood sugar levels. If you’re not sure how to store your insulin, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Stick to a Routine 

Take your insulin at the recommended time each day. Make it a part of your normal daily routine. As an added precaution, use alerts on your smartphone to set daily reminders.

Switch Up Your Injection Sites

Diabetes Educator leaving site icon suggests that you rotate your injection sites every day. Alternate between the “fattier part of your upper arm, to outer thighs, to buttocks, to abdomen. Otherwise, you can get lumps under the skin, making it harder for your body to absorb the insulin.” 

Understand Your Medications 

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription medications for other conditions, over-the-counter drugs, supplements and vitamins. They may affect your diabetes medication or your blood sugar levels. 

The choices you make about food and exercise, combined with good habits you develop about taking your medication, can have a positive impact on the management of your diabetes.  

Sources: Type 2 Diabetesleaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2023; Diabetes Management: How Lifestyle, Daily Routine Affect Blood Sugar, leaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2022; Taking Medication, leaving site icon Diabetes Educator, 2021
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Originally published 8/17/2019; Revised 2021, 2023