Do You Need Insulin If You Have Type 2 Diabetes?


Insulin is not always required with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. That is, it may not be required right away. This is because lifestyle changes can be very effective for reversing type 2 diabetes in many people. If those changes don’t get your diabetes under control, then insulin may be required if you maintain a diabetic state for a significant period of time.

The Difference in Type I and Type 2 Diabetes and How Insulin Plays a Part

Type I diabetes was once called juvenile diabetes. This is because the majority of cases diagnosed were found in young adults and children. It is also possible to develop type I diabetes later in life. With a type I diabetes assessment, your body does not produce enough of the hormone called insulin. Without healthy levels of insulin, your body cannot process glucose properly.

Glucose is used as energy for your body. When it is stored away as fat rather than funneled to the parts of your body which require it for fuel (which happens in a diabetic state), you lose energy, become fatigued, and develop overweight or obesity. This leads to a number of health conditions. Since your body can’t produce enough insulin for you to use glucose efficiently, you need to take insulin from an outside source.

With type 2 diabetes, you may be producing enough insulin. However, due to certain physiological processes not working properly, your blood glucose levels are persistently high. An unhealthy diet and little physical activity are two lifestyle choices that can lead to high glucose levels. Your body is making enough insulin to handle normal levels of glucose, but you are bombarding your system with too much glucose, and your insulin can’t keep up.

With many cases of type 2 diabetes, increasing regular physical activity and making dietary changes is enough to bring your blood glucose back to a normal level.

This is why insulin injections are not always required with type 2 diabetes. When the condition is diagnosed early, simple oral medications and a smart diet, accompanied with regular physical activity, is often a successful protocol for beating diabetes.

Regular Testing Can Reveal Prediabetes

Another point that needs to be made here is the fact that in almost every instance prediabetes occurs before type 2 diabetes. If you ask your doctor every year or two to check for prediabetes, you may never have to deal with the more serious and dangerous type 2 diagnosis. Prediabetes is a sign of things to come if you don’t make lifestyle changes, and making those changes usually keeps diabetes from developing.

In some cases, with type 2 diabetes you may decide to use insulin. This is because if your glucose level spikes dramatically and quickly, insulin is much faster at returning your blood sugar level to a healthy range than diet and exercise. Smart nutrition and physical activity form a lifestyle plan for beating prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, but when a dangerous spike in blood sugar is experienced, an injection of insulin is sometimes required.

There is another reason type 2 diabetes sufferers may decide to take insulin. Diabetes medications can be expensive. If they are not covered by your insurance, insulin could be a much cheaper option for getting your blood sugar under control.

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