What determines when I can stop taking diabetic medications?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

First and foremost, what type of diabetic you are determines your medication future. If you’re a Type-1 like me, you can stop taking your meds when you die. Yeah. No kidding on that one. T-1s produce no insulin, and without taking insulin shots we don’t last too long.

If you have gestational diabetes you can generally stop taking your meds after giving birth to your baby, but exactly how long after you give birth can vary quite a bit so you and your doctor should have a plan in place in advance. Generally, if you are on insulin for gestational diabetes, you’ll stop right away, if you are on pills you’ll probably keep taking them for a few weeks.

If you’re a Type-2 Diabetic, things are more complicated. Don’t get depressed on me, but know that diabetes is both chronic and progressive. That means it’s permanent and gets worse over time. And that means diabetic medications are very likely a permanent and progressing part of your life. Not only is it unlikely that you’ll ever get to stop them, but most likely you’ll need both higher quantities and more prescriptions over time.

That said, there may be a loophole. If you’re very much over weight, sedentary (fancy medical word for couch potato), and have a horrible diet there’s an opportunity for you to either reduce or get off diabetic medications entirely by making radical changes to your life.

As you improve your diet, start losing weight, and start exercising more, you’ll need less and less medication to keep your blood sugars normal. Will you get to the point of actually being able to stop all your diabetic meds? It’s possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.