Managing Symptoms of Diabetes With Prescription Medications: Preventing Misuse

Diabetic woman testing her blood.

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that affects countless individuals across the globe. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States [1]. This condition is typically associated with many other complications and co-morbid conditions that can increase the complexity of effectively managing this illness, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, amputations, and eye problems.

Understanding Effective Treatment Options For Diabetes

Smoothie to help sugar level in diabeticsThe metabolic conditions associated with diabetes can include Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational Diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). Depending on the type of diabetes an individual has and the severity of the disease, treatment options should be tailored accordingly. This usually involves a combination of therapeutic approaches, such as nutritional interventions and dietary changes and medication management.

With diabetes, individuals affected by this condition have an abnormal response to the hormone insulin, which is needed to move glucose into the cells of the body for energy. With type 1 diabetes, the body produces little to no insulin, and insulin replacement therapy is necessary. With type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly, and additional insulin may be needed to help the body sufficiently process glucose.

Misuse of Diabetes Medications

Diabetic medication and blood test equipmentWith insulin replacement therapy being the primary medication that is often prescribed and used for the management of diabetes, it is important to understand the proper usage and dosing of this drug for efficacy and to prevent misuse. Because insulin directly impacts a person’s blood sugar and how they are able to manage their glucose, closely following recommendations from a prescribing doctor and diabetes educator are important to prevent misuse of the drug. Using insulin medications inappropriately can result in many adverse effects that can severely harm a person who is dealing with diabetes.

If you or a loved one has been affected by diabetes, be sure to work closely with your professional treatment team and follow the individual protocol that has been recommended for you. Involving your loved ones may also be helpful in ensure that you have the necessary accountability and support for following through with your treatment plan.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are the potential pros and cons with prescription medication management for diabetes?


[1]: American Diabetes Association, “Statistics About Diabetes”,

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 21, 2016
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