The number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has really skyrocketed over the past twenty years.  Add to that the number who are prediabetic and those walking around who have no idea they will be diagnosed in the years to come.  At least 50% remain undiagnosed!  Research shows one in four has a disturbance in how their body metabolizes sugar.

Whilst we are aware that genetics and obesity plays a big role in the rise of diabetes some drugs including prescripton drugs, can actually induce this condition in otherwise normal people.

Known offenders include:

  • steroids
  • birth control pill
  • diuretics
  • beta blockers

It is not unusual for impaired glucose tolerance to develop during the treatment of hypertension, and the condition does not go away when treatment is discontinued. Other drugs can either increase blood sugar levels or decrease them.  Leading offenders that diabetics should avoid include:

Drugs that lower blood-sugars:

  • Salicylates (Aspirin), and acetaminophen (paracetamol) or Panadol, can both lower your levels, especially if taken in large doses
  • Phenylbutazone (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
  • Ethanol (in alcoholic drinks) especially when taken without food
  • Sulfonamide antibiotics
  • Coumarin anticoagulant
  • Trimethoprim (used for urinary tract infections)

Drugs that increase your blood-sugars:

  • Caffeine in large quantities
  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone, are used to block autoimmune conditions.  Even when applied topically it increases your levels
  • Ephedrine
  • Estrogen when the dose is high, modern oral contraceptives are usually not a problem
  • Frusemide and thiazide diuretics often raise the glucose by causing a loss of potassium
  • Lithium
  • Nicotinic acid in large doses.  Used to lower cholesterol can bring out a hyperglycemic reaction
  • Phenytoin or Dilantin, a drug used for seizures, blocks insulin release
  • Rifampin (used in the treatment of tuberculosis)
  • Sugar containing medications
  • Thyroid hormone in elevated levels, raises blood glucose by reducing insulin from the pancreas

If you find a sudden change in your blood sugar levels and you have started a new medication, don’t hesitate to check with your health care provider.

Looking after yourself and your type 2 diabetes is your show, so know which drugs affect your blood sugars levels, find a diet that works for you, lose weight, and increase your physical activity.  You are the CEO of your body!

Leave a Reply