5 Simple Tips to Help You Remember to Take Your Diabetes Medication

You'll Never Forget Again

akindo/iStockVectors/Getty Images.

Remembering to take a medication every day isn't always the easiest task. And if you have to take multiple medications this can be even harder. Medication adherence is important for diabetes control. Forgetting to take your medicines can negatively impact your blood sugars, which over time, can cause damage to your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Therefore, it's important to let your doctors know if you are not taking your medicines.

Failure to report this will often result in physicians adding-on to your medicine regimen to help regulate your blood sugars (which means more medicine!). If you simply can't comply with your diabetes regimen because you find it too difficult or unrealistic, then speak to your health care providers. Luckily, there are so many different medicine combinations for diabetes. Finding the right combination may take some time, but it is possible. If, on-the-other-hand, you are really just forgetting to take your medicines, then perhaps you can use some of these tools to help you get back on track:

1. Keep a medication log.

I am fortunate to work with some wonderful, creative professionals who are always putting their patients first. During a conference call, one of the certified diabetes educators suggested that the patient keep a medication log or journal. It's cost effective, easy, quick and realistic.

You can jot down when you took your medicines in the same log book that you use to write down your blood sugars. Make it part of your daily routine, similar to brushing your teeth or washing your face. Establishing a routine will help you to take your medicine without thinking about it. 

2. Set an alarm on your phone that repeats daily.

Many diabetes medications need to be taken at specific times in order for them to work properly. Skipping a dose or taking it later can be dangerous and increase your risk of developing a high or low blood sugar. Before you set your alarm, confirm with your certified diabetes educator or health care professional if you are taking your medicines correctly. If you don't have a phone, perhaps you have another device in your home or elsewhere which you can use as an alarm. 

3. Use a smart phone app to track your medicines. 

There are many smartphone apps that have built in reminder settings which allow you to customize what you needed to be reminded of. For example, the AADE Goal tracker has built in reminders to check-in on how you’re doing and make any personal notes on your progress. You can customize this feature and set how often you’re reminded and the message that pops up on your phone. To learn more about this app: AADE Goal Tracker 

Other apps have logging features which allow you to share glucose readings and insulin doses with your health care provider by emailing directly from the app.

If you are taking insulin, this maybe a good way for you to remember how much and when you've taken it. 

For more information on smart phone apps: 5 Apps You Need to Know About if you Have Diabetes 

4. Ask for help

If you live with a loved one, ask them to organize your medicines for you in a pill box for the week. Diabetes is a disease that requires a great deal of management on a daily basis - it's ok to lean on someone from time to time. 

5. If you take insulin you have multiple options

Forgetting to take your insulin can be very dangerous. Taking too much insulin or taking insulin too close together in time can also be dangerous - resulting in low blood sugar. Accuracy in insulin dosing is very important. If you are using insulin pens, there are certain pen devices that have a memory function that records the date and time since the last injection for extra reassurance. Some blood glucose meters are also able to track your insulin doses. Ask your certified diabetes educator for some insight. 

If you are using an insulin pump this device automatically tracks your doses for you. And if your insulin pump is used in conjunction with a continuous glucose monitor you can be alerted as to when your blood sugars are out of range - either too high or too low which enables you to take extra insulin if necessary or cut back on your doses. 

Continue Reading