Now, to answer your questions:
Just out of curiousity, have you tried looking for natural ways (no meds) for diabetes / low blood sugar?
The most natural thing I've tried is diet and exercise, but I wasn't great at being consistent with that. I have tried using chromium supplements, but I didn't notice a great difference when I used it. I've also looked into other mineral supplements, but I haven't tried them. Maybe after I get off the medication again I will try those. The most important thing, I feel, is to get control of my diet and activity level.
How long will you be on it or is this permanant?
Hopefully it's not permanent! The doctor gave me a two-month prescription, at which time he'll re-evaluate how well my blood sugar is being controlled. If it's low enough, or I'm experiencing frequent hypoglycemia, he may let me come off the medicine to see how I do with just diet and exercise again. Hopefully in two months I'll lose some weight, which automatically helps with control. But one of the side effects of this particular medication is weight gain. I may be working hard to lose weight while it's working hard to make me gain! LOL
Several of you mentioned having symptoms of hypoglycemia. I'm not an expert, but I do know that one of the keys to keeping that from happening is to eat smaller meals more frequently. Before I was diagnosed with diabetes (before I was experiencing symptoms), I had frequent lows. I later found out through reading various books that the reason for the lows was that I was eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as cakes, cookies, potato chips, pasta, eating large meals and waiting several hours between meals. We ate like that all the time! What happens in that situation is that you eat a meal high in carbs and your pancreas responds by pumping out an excess of insulin. A sample of one of our meals would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and biscuits with sweetened iced tea and apple pie for dessert; every one of those items is high in carbs. Because a meal like that makes your blood sugar levels spike up, your pancreas produces large amounts of insulin to get the level back down quickly. Your blood sugar falls too low a couple of hours later, which causes you to need to eat again. If you're like me, you pick up whatever you can find . . . which is those same refined carbs, usually some cookies or a candy bar . . . which makes your pancreas think you need more insulin again, so it pours out another huge dose. And the cycle just continues. Eventually, either your pancreas wears out and quits or your cells become resistant to insulin (which is what I believe happened to me), and type 2 diabetes begins to develop. Because your cells aren't responding to the insulin, letting it into the cells to use the sugar, the sugar begins to build in your bloodstream, raising your blood sugar levels. Diabetes.
Again, I'm not an expert, but I would suggest you begin to eat more complex carbs, such as raw fruits and veggies and whole grains, and eat them in moderation. Eat some protein with your carbs - it could be as simple as peanut butter on whole wheat or cheese and whole wheat crackers. Drink some milk or eat some sugar-free yogurt. The protein helps to slow down the sugar spike, giving you a slow rise rather than spiking quickly. All carbs make the sugar level rise, which is not a bad thing, but the slower it rises, the better your pancreas can handle it, and it won't over compensate like it does when you eat a bowl of ice cream! ;) Another thing is to watch your portion sizes. Too much of anything, even good stuff, isn't good. Learn what a serving size is! It's smaller than you think!
Well, I'll step down off my soapbox now and quit preaching at you. Looking back, I can see where I went wrong with my eating habits, and because my mother was diabetic (although insulin-dependent), I was predisposed to diabetes. But I didn't know about the carbs and how the insulin and carbs were related and how the cells became resistant. It's really interesting to research, and it makes perfect sense when you've experienced it yourself!