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Can insulin really take care of Type 2 Diabetes?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Chalie, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. Chalie

    Chalie · Newbie

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    Can insulin really take care of type 2 diabetes? Discussing with a friend and this question popped up
     
  2. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Adjusting your diet and being active and lowing your weight are the better options to keep your blood sugar level down, rather than taking more and more medication. If you don't, then diabetes usually gets worse over time, so your medicine or dose may need to change. Insulin is not often used for type 2 diabetes in the early years. It's usually needed when other medicines no longer work.

    It's not uncommon for type 2's, with IR to need higher and higher doses of insulin, for example, 300-400 Units. This creates a large variability in the laws of large numbers, which is difficult to manage, and causes weight gain. As a type 1 I take no more than 15 units a day. I only take it because my pancreas doesn't make any, and my life depends on it. It's not an easy option and its a very difficult drug to dose. You eat the same food and you need wildly different doses due to a multitude of factors such as hormones, stress, time of day, exercise, packaging CHO reading being out by 30%, fat content of your meal, insulin more than two weeks old, being towards the end of a vial, hot weather, injection sites etc etc. Injecting insulin means you lose your BS homeostasis and you can now fall below 3.5 mmol/l which is classified as a hypo and are dangerous, so you need to monitor your BS's constantly.
     
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    #2 ert, Nov 23, 2020 at 8:37 AM
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  3. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Take care? No, not the term I'd use. A lot of T2's are severely insulin resistant, and like @ert said, they'd need ever increasing amounts to cover the same meals. So just cutting out or drastically reducing the ingested carbs is more effective and would also tackle the insulin resistance, to a point where someone's own insulin production can actually handle what we put in. That said, some of us need medication that ups blood glucose beyond what can be managed through diet, like heavy daily steroids for inflammatory conditions, or they have a knackered pancreas that stops producing insulin, and then it's pretty much unavoidable. But as long as someone still makes their own insulin and doesn't have outside influences messing up their blood glucose... Insulin should be the last port of call.

    Edited to add: Aside from diet there's other, oral and injectible medication that'd be tried first, looong before insulin'd be used.
     
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  4. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there, well insulin might just force a type 2s levels to get lower but if it's a type 2 that is already producing lots of insulin (insulin resistance for example), then surely that cannot be good for the body to have extra insulin added to the mix. This in itself is likely to cause further problems or issues. It's complicated of course and there are many variations within all types of diabetes but if I were a type 2 who knew I was producing normal amounts of insulin I definitely would NOT want to inject more and that (to me) would NOT be taking care of my body as a whole. Obviously a type 2 whose pancreas is giving out insufficient insulin would be different again, can you give us more context?
     
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  5. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I suspect that type two is actually various different things which look much alike.
    I am pretty certain that my insulin output is perfectly adequate, but that for others, it isn't - so the answer to the question might very well be summed up as 'sometimes it helps' though it might not be required after a while.
     
  6. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking, no. There are exceptions, but for the most part it will make the blood cleaner whilst making the underlying pathology worse.
     
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  7. Krystyna23040

    Krystyna23040 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Injected insulin didn't work for me. I went on insulin immediately I was diagnosed and was on it for 4 years. Yes, it did make blood sugars lower but over the 4 years even though I was injecting insulin with every meal the neuropathy in my right leg got seriously worse.

    Low carb worked and I was able to come of insulin and neuropathy is now back in the low risk zone.

    It looks as though I still don't produce a lot of insulin, or am still severely insulin resistant so will need to stick to 20g carbs forever but it is worth it to save my right foot.
     
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  8. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Well as a T2 I certainly don't believe that injecting insulin can (currently) help me at all - I produce plenty of my own to contend with. Instead, an LCHF/ketogenic diet has taken best care of me for all seven years of managing my diabetes.

    But for some other T2s then insulin can be essential - not all of us were made equal...so there's no one simple answer.
     
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  9. Roggg

    Roggg Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Insulin can lower your blood sugar, so in that sense, it can manage an effect of T2 diabetes that causes damage. But it cant reverse or fix insulin resistance. In fact it can only make it worse. So IMO, it's treating a complication, but worsening the root cause. Some may disagree, but I've become convinced that the true disease is not hyperglycaemia, but hyperinsulinemia. ie elevated insulin levels. If insulin levels are normal or elevated, exogenous insulin will only exasperate the condition. The catch 22 is that high glucose levels is definitely problematic, so you cant address high insulin levels without first, or simultaneously addressing elevated glucose levels.
     
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