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alexg

Type 2: Can you stop taking insulin?

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I was wondering if type 2 diabetics can stop taking insulin shots when they have managed and controlled their glucose levels. Maybe have some rapid release insulin for emergencies but not taking it on a daily basis. Is this possible?

 

alexg

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It's possible, alex, but I don't know the percentages. My aunt is T2, and was on insulin for about 3 years. Then she lost over 150 pounds, and now controls her BG with diet and low dosages of metformin.

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Reason I ask is because I started going to the gym about two months ago and I have been starting an intensive low carb diet around two weeks ago. I have dramatically lowered my insulin dosage and I tested yesterday and today without the insulin, but I am still at a normal glucose range.

 

alexg

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It's definately possible with rather dramatic changes: better diet, increased exercise, weight loss, or a combination. A person who achieves good control by simply taking meds and or insulin alone will not be a good candidate.

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Depending on the degree of your islet cells degeneration, it is most definitely possible to reverse your diabetes to a level where insulin is no longer necessary. The science on this is very sound. Check into the "Pritikin diet" also look into Dr. Neal Barnard and his work. Low fat, high fiber, whole grain, lean protein diets most often can get people either off insulin or reduce the amount used. The results of such diets are felt within 2 to 3 weeks. Good luck. If you need more info, let me know.

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Well lets just say, 1 1/2 hours later after lunch I was at 129. Right now its about 3 1/2 hours later, my body telling me I am low, and sure enough I am at 69. No insulin since yesterday morning!

 

alexg

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Those are great results. Just keep a close eye on your numbers so you can make the necessary adjustments. Hopefully, your doctor is involved with this program. Good work and keep it up.

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Screw my doctor! He was the one who put me on insulin without giving me a chance to control it myself. He thinks that medication will fix everything. No this progress is on my own as a trial run and if it works, I will go next visit and tell him, see doc, I did it without your ..... medication.

 

alexg

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I wouldn't be so tough on your doctor, alexg. What were your A1c and random glucose levels when you were initially diagnosed? (I'm assuming that the doctor who prescribed insulin for you is the one who diagnosed you with diabetes.)

 

When I was diagnosed, my A1c was 13.4 (not a record on this forum, but pretty high up there) and my random glucose reading was just over 1,000 mg/dl. I was put on an insulin drip in the emergency room for something like 6 or 7 hours just to get my glucose levels down to the 140s. Needless to say, I started taking insulin right away and within days was taking both Lantus and Humalog in addition to a sulfonylurea.

 

Miracle of miracles, after I gave my pancreas a break by injecting insulin, it started doing its job again as best it could in its impaired state after about 7-10 days or so. I was able to start reducing the amount of insulin I was taking a little bit every day until I stopped entirely about three weeks after being diagnosed. I've taken only oral meds since then -- at first Glyburide, which I stopped taking after about four months in favor of Actos. Since that initial diagnosis almost two years ago, my A1c readings have ranged from a one-time low of 5.1 to a high of 5.5; usually they're somewhere in between.

 

I watch what I eat, and I'm relatively active (6-mile jog today, though I wasn't as good about exercising this last week as I should have been), but I'm certain that I'll never be able to control my diabetes by diet and exercise alone -- all I need to do is go off script with my diet to remind me of that. Of course, your mileage may vary.

 

And since diabetes is a progressive disease, if the day comes when I need to start taking insulin again, I'm fine with that. Insulin works, it doesn't hurt, and once you get the hang of it, it gives you a lot of freedom in what you eat. All in all, a pretty good deal.

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Oh I now that, but right now, having a heavy diet and daily exercise, my levels go way down with insulin. Thats why I stopped using it! This doctor didn't care about my diabetes until much later after my first visit. He was more concerned with my liver and cholesterol levels. He then gave me some diabetic pills that didn't work that good alone, so then he gave me insulin (novomix). I wasn't on an extreme low carb diet and exercising program like right now. I like this lifestyle of eating very small portions, low crab, and exercising (cardio and weights) almost daily compared to having to feed the insulin. I rather do that than use insulin because the insulin may not be bad, but still has some side effects like weight gain, low blood glucose level, and allergy to active ingredients, etc. So diet and exercise for me is better than taking insulin, thats just how I feel. My doctor like I said, thinks that medication will fix everything yet he screwed up my liver trying out different cholesterol meds on me and now he is fixing it, yep typical.

 

alexg

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i would also like to bet, Alex, that on your low carb diet (combined with exercise), your lipid profile will also improve dramatically.

 

get your doc to run another lipid panel and tell us if your HDL, LDL and Triglyceride numbers have improved!

 

mine sure have improved - DRAMATICALLY!

 

-- Joel.

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I sure will find out if they have improved. I still can't believe that I am off insulin and still going low like tonight about an hour ago I was at 73. I had to eat something before going to bed right now. Totally defeats my diet that I have going if I am still eating before bed. I wonder if the doctor will approve me taking off my oral diabetic medication too! :)

 

alexg

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