What is Diabetes

There are three main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – Your body does not make insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes – Your body is insulin resistant and cannot properly absorb glucose. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational (jest-TAY-shun-al) diabetes – Some women get this kind of diabetes when they are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born.

While there isn’t a cure for Diabetes, studies show it is possible to reverse it with lifestyle changes. Meaning through lifestyle changes you may be able to reach and hold normal blood sugar levels without medication. This doesn’t mean you are cured. Should you choose to go back to the lifestyle that created the disease it will be back in full force.

Is Diabetes Serious?

As diabetes is becoming more and more common, you may have heard people say they have “pre-diabetes” or that their “sugar is a little high.” These words might suggest that diabetes is not a serious disease. That is not correct. Diabetes is serious, but you can learn to manage it and reverse its effect.

Diabetes is a progressive disease and has statistically been proven to lower life expectancy. After many years, too much sugar in the blood can cause problems in your body. It can harm your eyes, kidneys, nerves, skin, heart, and blood vessels.

Why Choose To Manage Your Diabetes With Lifestyle Changes Instead Of Medications?

There are a variety of diabetic medications that are available and many diabetics take more than one. Diabetic drugs like all medication may have side effects. Listed below are some common diabetic medications and their side effects.

Arcabose (Precose)

Common side effects of Precose include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach pain in the first few weeks of treatment

Other side effects of Precose are rare but very serious side effects of Precose including:

  • Unusual tiredness
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding,
  • Yellowing eyes or skin
  • Dark urine

Bromocriptine Mesylate

Bromocriptine mesylate was just approved by the FDA to help improve glycemic control in adult type 2 diabetics. Some of the less serious side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Sinusitis
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold feeling or numbness in your fingers

More serious side effects may include:

  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Pain when you breathe
  • Rapid breathing,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle movements you cannot control
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Bloody or tarry stools
  • Coughing up blood or vomit

DPP-4 inhibitors

Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors are a relatively new class of oral diabetes drugs. Also known as gliptins. Some adverse effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Skin reactions


The common side effects of insulin include:

  • Initial weight gain
  • Blood sugar that drops too low
  • Rashes, bumps, or swelling around the injection site
  • Headaches
  • Upper respiratory infections.
  • Anxiety or depression.


The most common side effects of meglitinides are hypoglycemia and weight gain.


Metformin has a black box warning by the FDA, which means there are some serious sometimes life-threatening adverse reactions to the drug. Specifically, anyone with chronic kidney disease should not take metformin because it can cause lactic acidosis.

SGLT-2 Inhibitors

The most common side effects associated with SGLT-2 inhibitors include

  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Yeast infections of the penis
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • UTIs
  • Frequent Urination

Other side effects but not as common

  • Hypotension
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Dehydration
  • Hypoglycemia when combined with insulin or drugs that increase insulin secretion
  • Cholesterol increase
  • Bladder cancer
  • Hypersensitivity reactions

Sulfonylureas (Glimepiride, Glyburide, Glipizide)

Sulfonylureas were created in the 1940s and were the first medications to treat diabetes. Side effects may include:

  • Hunger.
  • Weight gain.
  • Skin reactions.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Dark-colored urine.

Thiazolidinediones (Glitazones)

Common side effects include:

  • Water retention
  • Weight gain
  • Eyesight problems
  • Reduced sense of touch
  • Chest pain and infections
  • Allergic skin reactions

Less common but more dangerous side effects include:

  • Macular oedema
  • Heart problems
  • Liver Failure
  • Anemia
  • Bone fractures

Managing Your Diabetes

Here at Complete Care we don’t just give you a handout and tell you to “watch what you eat or exercise more”. We offer one-on-one coaching where you learn exactly how to change your lifestyle so that you can reverse your diabetes. Some of what we teach, offer support and accountability in includes:

  • Foods to Avoid and Foods to Enjoy
  • Navigating Restaurants/Outing
  • What to eat During the Holidays
  • What Snacks to Choose
  • How to Optimize Sleep
  • Strategies for Stress Reduction
  • Avoiding Lifestyle Pitfalls

With a lifestyle change, most people can manage their fasting blood sugar levels without medication. This will allow you to begin stair stepping off medications with the help and supervision of your provider.