Have you adjusted your meds without

Have you every adjusted your meds without consulting or the approval of your doctor? if so, what meds?


Of course my medication regime is pretty basic.

But I don't think that experimenting is a good idea.

minor adjustments as I see fit but usually within the guidelines the doc gave me for prandin and humalog. but I do not add/stop meds or take much higher/lower without talking w/ my doc. we are a team

Hi, Starfire.
At my diagnosis, I was prescribed Metformin & daily aspirin & later, Janumet which I took for one month. After some research, I found that some diabetics are able to control their blood sugar without medication if they are determined. I realized my first two doctors would not be supportive (since they pushed medications immediately), so I started a program I found on this site: www.drfuhrman.com & stopped my meds while monitoring my blood sugar many times/day. I learned which foods to eat & which to limit as well as the importance of daily activity.

Three months later, new labs with a different doctor: A1c at 6.0% (down from 9.0%), cholesterol & BP (which was high) "perfect" to quote my doctor & also (to quote my doctor) "no need for any meds for anything." I've also lost 75 lbs. to date.

I realize not everyone can do this. It does take determination & some people have other medical issues that may make it too difficult.

I have to chuckle when someone says, "Never stop taking medication without asking your doctor." HE'S the one who prescribed it.....why would he say "stop taking it???"

It may be dangerous to stop taking SOME medications & if someone doesn't change their diet & lifestyle, it may be dangerous to stop taking diabetes medications, but my meter & my third doctor confirmed that I made the right decision for me.

Nevermind -- just noticed this was posted in the T2 forum. My bad.

Xring, congratulations!!! on the tight control!! I have basically done the same, diagnosed 2yrs ago T2, somehow I got my head wrapped around it and took control. I have lost 157lbs, set my goal for new years eve 2012 to end the insulin and so far so good, I do test many times per day, I know what I can put in my mouth and what not. I have taken control of my other meds, cutting them in half, not informing anyone, but constantly testing all.....I have 2 full years of test's records including blood pressure, bg, and all the blood work.

here is the good part, had my 3 month visit to the docs, he ran a bunch of test's and said "whatever you are doing don't stop", I am not saying this what all should do. I think I received better consultation without him knowing that I have cut the meds, and he gave me great results.

keep up the good work!!!may the force be with you.

Yes. I stopped a high dose of gipizide/gliclazide cold turkey and decided not to take the januvia that the endo decided to add to the mix. I did keep the metformin. My blood sugar went down immediately and so did my weight. The neuropathy, peeling skin and diabetes infections in my legs have cleared. I was having problems with my kidney numbers and they are perfect now too. I'm a normal weight now but my sugar is a bit high. So far it has not gone nearly as high as when I was on the drugs. Sometimes you just know when a drug is doing you harm.

That's GREAT!! As far as the frequent testing & managing it on your own, you're pretty much doing what I've been doing since 1-09 when I stopped taking meds. I have over 47 pages of BG charts.

The first thought that came to me after three months of diet & lifestyle changes & new labs: "Hmmmm....A1c went from 9 to 6.0%. What drug would do that in three months?" Six months? twelve months?" Another benefit: When you're not on meds, you don't need frequent tests for kidney damage caused by meds. I didn't realize that until a CDE explained that every drug we take must be excreted by the kidneys. That's why diabetics need frequent kidney function assessments; not just for sugar damage as I previously thought. Sorta makes me wonder what causes more damage - the drugs or diabetes. Especially interesting since I was an undiagnosed diabetic for at least 1-3 years & blood sugar at diagnosis was 491, but first labs showed NO kidney damage or impairment at all. I'd also rather not be concerned about the next drug scare, like Actos & Avandia - revealed after people have been taking them for years.

I think there is a distinct relationship we need to have with our doctors. Most people, they walk in the door, they have strep throat or some gaping gash (that's me) and the doctor is in charge. He looks at the throat or the wound and he diagnoses it and decides on the treatment.

But diabetes is different. It is a chronic condition. The doctor is not in the driver's seat, we are. We do the vast majority of tests (with our meters), we make all the "diagnoses" (how high our blood sugar is) and how to treat it (with diet and exercise and even making the primary decisions about medication and insulin). But in the end, the doctor will a member of our team and the "gatekeeper" to prescription meds and insurance coverage.

I think as patients with diabetes, we have a right to make our own choices about our blood sugar targets and our treatment course. But our doctors also have a right to full disclosure on our part and our cooperation in doing what we say we will do. With insulin, many of us are given wide latitude to adjust our medications. In the case of most medications, we have every right to decide we want to stop a medication, but it is our duty to discuss it with our doctor. And if we want to start a medication we should have the right to ask our doctor for that. But we walk a very fine line by making decisions about medications and not telling our doctors about it. I talk from experience, it is a breach of our sacred duty as patients and should not be done lightly.

bsc, Very well said, I can't explain why but I was VERY pro active in my treatment from the start, the doctor did recognize this and worked with me. I would never attend a office visit without having all my own current records of test results, notes and questions on paper. I do believe that, the more you display your motivation the more the doctor will work and support you. I think the main take away is "Take responsibility, and be pro active"

I adjust my meds all the time. My doctor is ok about responding, usually via phone or email but it takes about 2-3 days to send them whatever log I'd have to make up (a chore in itself...) to them, them to "process it" and get back to me with a suggestion which is easier to just do myself.

My other pet peeve about the subject is that for all practical purposes food is medicine when you have diabetes, since it's taken in conjunction with your other medications, and a lot of doctors don't approach food that way, they approach it as "here's a referral to a dietitian..."

AR: I've noticed that most of the people on here who are happy with their treatment regularly meet with their "team" . It seems that the dietician, endo etc. work together. As I don't use insulin, I have a question. Does the dietician have any experitise in the use of insulin? If not, how can they help?


I too work with a team, I have received information from all about insulin from the dietician, diabetic management nurse etc....maybe you should ask your doc for a diabetic self management class, that really did give me a quick start.

I hear you starfire... it seems to work really well for you. AR has been posting about this for awhile and I agree with him. As food is such an important part of diabetes management, especially for those who are insulin dependant,the doctor who prescribes the drugs, insulin etc. should be able to provide advice about the food. If they make a referal to a dietician then they should at least confer.
I'm not on insulin. I've tried the classes, support groups etc. I didn't find them helpful.

Very true, i live by the "EAT YOUR METER" rules. I have learned over the years, what I can and cannot put in my mouth, thus gained tight control. and off insulin.

I've found support groups helpful but, as you said, not the classes. I attended 13 hours of diabetes classes after my diagnosis & most of the "learning" involved hours & hours of drug info & literature about more drugs to "talk to your doctor about adding."

No surprise there; diabetes educators get much of their education they pass on to us – from study materials developed & funded by drug companies.

At one of my support group meetings, someone brought literature from a diabetes convention. I browsed through a folder with information, including a “Food Pyramid For Diabetics” approved by the American Diabetes Association. The name “Merck” appeared on each page. It recommends 6–11 servings of starches & grains/day. I’d love to eat that much starchy food but I think I’d need lots of Merck’s drugs if I did.

Another booklet was entitled, “Diabetes and You...Your Guide to Better Living With Diabetes.” The inside cover says “Favorably reviewed by AADE – American Association of Diabetes Educators.”
Also: “These Novo Nordisk patient education materials were developed using information from the following sources: American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Diabetes Association, and American Dietetic Association.”
One page reads: “Following your meal plan and staying active often are not enough to keep your blood sugar in check. Medicine is almost always necessary.” It also says, “Insulin is often a main part of diabetes care for type 2 diabetes.” What a coincidence....a drug manufacturer saying things like that.

My old endo was at a slightly more "clinicy" setting and, when I got my pump, I went to the CDE and dietitian, although that was before I got going on my pump. It didn't strike me as hugely enlightening and not worth the time/ effort. Particularly the dietitian as I told her "I'm interested in finding out about eating less carbs as I've had success eating less carbs and lost 30 pounds[this in 2008, I've dropped more since then, mostly on my own...]" but her advice was straight out of the manual and sort of soured me on the process.

If you are obligated to go to the doctor for what, maybe a level 3/ 99213 visit? They should be allowed to bill for a level 4/ 99214 and just talk about food with you, rather than obligate you to talk to a bunch of different people. People with diabetes' time is valuable and we waste enough time doing this stuff that we shouldn't have to waste time going to multiple providers. Unless, of course, we want to? hee hee...

With my insulin - yes, all the time. I never consult my doctor about it, ever.

With my Atenolol (beta-blocker), no.

Kari, I am taking atenolol also, however I have done some research on it and will post the links here. Since I have been going to the gym, I have a difficult time getting my heart rate up over 110, I kept fighting it and trying without sucess, of course this is just me. then I started researching the effects of atenolol, and discovered that it was slowing my heart rate, which is what is it supposed to do. I have consulted with the doctor about this and he agreed that was the cause, he still wants me to take it, but have cut it down greatly. the big suprise was the other side effects, such as causing diabetes. here are the links.
blood sugar 101


Hope all goes well for you.