Insulin is the most effective treatment for high blood sugar levels but is often reserved as a “last resort” for treating type 2 diabetes. Are these reservations justified? What if your doctor recommends insulin for you?
Hi again….I’m Toby Smithson with Diabetes Everyday hoping to make the diabetes management part of your life easier and even more effective. Please subscribe to this channel and visit my website diabeteseveryday.com for more of everything related to successful diabetes management and make sure to sign up for my newsletter.
I’ve been thinking this past week about insulin, and I’ve been thinking about insulin because I participated in a fantastic podcast about the story of insulin. I’m a big fan mostly because the availability of insulin as a treatment for type 1 diabetes has literally kept me alive for the past 50 years. Historical references to diabetes may date back to as long as 5,000 years ago. And for thousands of years, diabetes meant one thing – certain death, mostly for children. The purification of insulin for clinical use is only approaching its 100th anniversary, and it is a remarkable story. You can find that podcast here and you can find me at about the 33-minute mark….I was not around 100 years ago so it takes the story a while to catch up to me.
Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes
But let’s talk about insulin for type 2 diabetes…..insulin for you. Obviously, I won’t speculate on whether insulin is the right treatment for you – that’s between you and your doctor. But I can tell you that if your doctor recommends insulin there are excellent reasons you should consider it. Considering that insulin is exactly how people regulate blood sugar naturally it is arguably the best solution for managing diabetes.
Here are some common concerns, starting with one that’s simply not true.
- Insulin does not cause or promote diabetes complications. If you’ve heard that, sorry- it’s simply wrong. The consistently high blood sugar levels of unmanaged diabetes over time causes complications, not insulin
- Technically, insulin does not cause weight gain. It is true that weight gain is common when people begin taking insulin, however, because you will likely store glucose more efficiently instead of eliminating excess glucose in urine.
- Insulin requires injections – true except that there is an option for inhalable insulin, and even if that’s not right for you, subcutaneous injections….just under the skin….aren’t so bad. I started as an 8-year-old. In some cases, insulin as a pump may be available to you, and that’s a whole new level of comfort.
- Insulin can cause low blood sugar– now we’re down to the real concern. Insulin CAN cause dangerously low blood sugar levels, and its effect is not always predictable. That makes insulin not appropriate for some and requires more careful checking of blood sugar levels for anyone taking insulin. In the case of checking blood sugar levels, a continuous glucose monitor is a wonderful option.
Be Sure To Check Out – How To Treat a Low Blood Sugar
In type 2 diabetes insulin is often held as a last resort for treatment, and some diabetes experts think that’s not an ideal use of this effective tool for managing blood glucose. Owing so much to insulin myself, my opinion would be biased. But again, if your doctor brings it up I would just encourage you to give it fair consideration.
Be Sure To Check Out – A Simple Trick To Better Manage Blood Sugar
Insulin has saved hundreds of millions….maybe even billions… of lives over the past 100 years. That’s hard to ignore.
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