A doctor can answer questions about your new diabetes treatment plan, such as what symptoms, side effects, and drug interactions to expect and how to measure blood sugar levels.

Starting a new diabetes treatment may seem tough, especially if you have been on your previous treatment for a long time.

However, a doctor can answer your questions and help you on your journey.

Here are some questions to discuss with your doctor before receiving your new treatment plan or within the first year of starting.

Some medications for diabetes may cause potential side effects, such as:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms soon after starting a new treatment, speak with your doctor. They could help you figure out if these are from your medications and advise you on how to treat them.

In many cases, side effects of diabetes medications get better over time.

However, long-term use of diabetes medications may lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. This may cause symptoms like fatigue, faintness, and dizziness.

If your side effects don’t improve after 30 days of starting a new treatment, ask your doctor when you can expect improvement or when you might consider other diabetes treatment options.

A healthcare professional will help you establish your target blood sugar levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), blood sugar level targets depend on whether you’re in one of two states:

  • Fasting (preprandial plasma glucose): Measured 8 hours after consuming food, the target blood sugar level should be 80–130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
  • After eating (postprandial plasma glucose): Measured 1–2 hours after starting to eat, the target blood sugar level should be less than 180 mg/dL.

It’s important to regularly monitor your blood sugar and share the results with your doctor. If your levels aren’t optimal, ask them how you can stabilize them.

Your doctor will help you determine how often to check your blood sugar levels, as this may depend on your treatment goals, needs, and plan.

They may recommend checking your levels before or after meals, exercise, and sleep.

When starting a new treatment, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often throughout the day. After 30 days, you may be able to check less often.

Low blood sugar levels are known as hypoglycemia, while high blood sugar levels are called hyperglycemia.


Some diabetes medications may lower your blood sugar when taken on their own or in combination with other diabetes treatments. Hypoglycemia may cause symptoms like:

It’s important to ask your doctor what to do if you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, as this may lead to several complications if left untreated. These may include:


You may not feel the symptoms of hyperglycemia, especially if you have elevated blood sugar levels regularly.

That said, some warning signs of hyperglycemia include:

Over time, long-term hyperglycemia may lead to complications that could affect your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.

Your A1c level is an important indicator of how well you manage your blood sugar. It measures your average blood glucose levels over 2–3 months.

According to the ADA, your A1c level should be 7% or less. However, your doctor may want it lower or higher, depending on your age, health status, and other factors.

It’s a good idea to have your A1c level checked 3 months after starting treatment and then every 6 months once you’ve reached your target A1c goal.

Diet and exercise both play important roles in managing diabetes.

Speak with your doctor every 3–6 months to determine whether your current exercise and diet plans are good for your condition.

You may also ask them whether foods interact with your new diabetes treatment. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that grapefruit, some cheeses, alcohol, and licorice may interact with some medications.

Maintaining healthy blood lipid and blood pressure levels is an important part of any good diabetes treatment plan.

Diabetes may lower HDL (good) cholesterol and increase LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.

People with diabetes are also two times more likely to have high blood pressure compared with people who don’t have diabetes.

You may want to get your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked every 3–6 months after starting a new diabetes treatment.

Medical professionals associate diabetes with several foot problems, including:

  • nerve damage
  • foot deformities
  • foot ulcers that won’t heal
  • blood vessel damage, leading to poor blood flow in your feet

You can ask your doctor to check your feet at every visit. They may also give you a comprehensive foot exam at the 1-year mark after starting a new treatment to ensure your feet are healthy.

Learn more about how to take care of your feet if you have diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), uncontrolled blood sugar may lead to kidney damage over time.

Speak with your doctor about getting a urinalysis within 3 months of starting a new diabetes treatment to check whether your kidneys are functioning properly.

In some cases, diabetes treatment may be temporary. If lifestyle changes such as a more balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight loss are successful, you may be able to stop taking or reduce some medication.

How does diabetes impact your life?

Living with diabetes may affect your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. For example, diabetes may lead to lifestyle changes such as regularly monitoring blood sugar levels. It may also increase your chance of developing some health conditions, including peripheral neuropathy and high blood pressure.

What 3 drinks should people with diabetes avoid?

It’s best to avoid drinks high in sugar if you’re living with diabetes, including sugar-sweetened beverages, soda, and fruit juices.

What are the struggles of diabetes?

Diabetes may affect your daily life due to the physical, mental, and emotional demands. For example, the daily effort required to properly manage blood sugar levels may be overwhelming and lead to burnout.

Your diabetes treatment plan is unique to you. It’s not static and may change many times throughout your life.

Ask your doctor about potential side effects and how to measure your blood sugar levels when you start a new treatment plan.

If you experience any symptoms, a doctor could help modify or develop the best diabetes treatment plan for you.