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What Happens If A Type 2 Diabetic Stops Taking Insulin


What Happens To The Pancreas

What Happens When a Type 1 Diabetic Doesn’t Take Insulin?

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, stops making insulin because the cells that make the insulin have been destroyed by the bodys immune system. Without insulin, the bodys cells cannot turn glucose , into energy.

People with type 1 diabetes depend on insulin every day of their lives to replace the insulin the body cannot produce. They must test their blood glucose levels several times throughout the day.

The onset of type 1 diabetes occurs most frequently in people under 30 years, however new research suggests almost half of all people who develop the condition are diagnosed over the age of 30. About 10-15 per cent of all cases of diabetes are type 1.

What Special Dietary Instructions Should I Follow

Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to eat a healthy diet and to eat about the same amounts of the same kinds of foods at about the same times every day. Skipping or delaying meals or changing the amount or kind of food you eat can cause problems with your blood sugar control.


If Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Return

  • Always keep a source of fast-acting sugar with you. At the first sign of low blood sugar, eat or drink 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting sugar. Examples include:

  • 3 to 4 glucose tablets or glucose gel. These are sold at most drugstores.

  • 4 ounces of regular soda

  • 4 ounces of fruit juice

  • 2 tablespoons of raisins

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

  • Check your blood sugar 15 minutes after treating yourself. If its still low, take another 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting sugar. Test again in 15 minutes. If its still low, go to an emergency room.

  • Once your blood sugar is normal again, eat a snack or meal with protein to keep your blood sugar in a safe range.

In the future, you may need to lower your insulin dose if you arent able to eat your normal amount at each meal because of illness or vomiting. Call your healthcare provider right away. Ask him or her about changing your dose for a little bit.

Check your blood sugar every 4 to 6 hours. Do this until you can start eating normal amounts again.

Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace or carry a card in your wallet that says you have diabetes. It will help healthcare providers give you correct care if you have a severe low blood sugar reaction and cant tell them you have the disease.

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Sugar

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What Causes Insulin Shock

Having too much insulin in your blood can lead to having too little glucose. If your blood sugar falls too low, your body no longer has enough fuel to carry out its regular functions. In insulin shock, your body becomes so starved for fuel that it begins to shut down.

If you have diabetes and use insulin to help control your blood sugar, you can end up with excess amounts in your blood if you inject too much insulin or miss a meal after injecting insulin.

Other possible causes include:

  • irritability
  • rapid pulse

At this stage, you can usually take immediate steps to recover. Eating 15 grams of quick-acting carbohydrates such as glucose tablets or high-sugar options like fruit juice, raisins, honey, or candy can help stabilize your blood sugar and reduce symptoms.

After 15 minutes, test your blood sugar. If your blood sugar has improved, youll want to eat a small smack to help your body fully recover but otherwise you should be fine.


If your blood sugar isnt increasing, try eating another 15 grams of carbohydrates, followed by a meal. If you blood sugar is not increasing after repeating this step again, contact your doctor or visit the emergency room.

Plummeting blood sugar can also cause:

  • headaches

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    Who Do They Affect

    Anyone with diabetes can have these two emergencies, since everyone with the disease can have abnormal swings in their blood sugar levels.

    Insulin shock is common for people with type 1 diabetes but can also happen in people with type 2 who take insulin.


    For people with type 2, a diabetic coma may be caused by either hypoglycemia or very high blood sugar, called diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome. Thatâs when your body tries to get rid of extra sugar by passing it into your urine. Over days or weeks, this can cause life-threatening dehydration and, eventually, a coma.

    If you have type 1 diabetes, it is more likely that youâd have a diabetic coma because of hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis, when your body starts using fatty acids instead of sugar for fuel.

    Insulin What Does It Do

    Glucose comes from the digestion of almost all foods, especially starchy ones. We need insulin to make energy from the glucose in these foods. Insulin is a special chemical made by the pancreas gland, and allows the glucose from the blood stream to get in to our bodys cells to give us energy. Without insulin the glucose remains in the bloodstream and cannot give us the energy we need. In someone who does not have diabetes the amount of insulin produced depends on the amount of glucose/starchy foods eaten and the energy used and needed. Blood glucose level stays between 3.5 mmol/L and 7 mmol/L What happens when there is not enough insulin? When the pancreas fails to make enough insulin the glucose remains in the blood stream and the blood glucose level rises. This may come on gradually but eventually the glucose levels in the blood rise so high that they spill out of the blood stream through the kidneys and into the urine. The high blood sugar also pulls water out of the bloodstream, causing you to pass additional urine. This in turn makes you very thirsty. If the glucose in the blood cannot be used for energy the body has to find other alternative fuels. The body begins to use up fat stored around the body, and when fat is used to give the body energy ketones form. High blood glucose levels and ketones can make you feel very unwell.Continue reading >>

    Read Also: Hypoglycemia Turning Into Diabetes

    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Dka

    The symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis usually dont develop all at once they usually come on slowly over several hours. People who have DKA may:


    • feel really tired
    • feel really thirsty or pee way more than usual
    • have a dry mouth and signs of dehydration

    These symptoms are caused by the high blood sugar levels that usually happen before someone develops DKA. If the person doesnt get treatment, these signs of DKA can happen:

    • abdominal pain
    • unconsciousness

    Diabetes Sick Day Rules

    Type 2 Diabetes Secret #2 – Insulin Is Not The Answer

    If you need to take insulin to control your diabetes, you should have received instructions about looking after yourself when you’re ill known as your “sick day rules”.

    Contact your diabetes care team or GP for advice if you haven’t received these.

    The advice you’re given will be specific to you, but some general measures that your sick day rules may include could be to:

    • keep taking your insulin it’s very important;not;to stop treatment when you’re ill; your treatment plan may state whether you need to temporarily increase your dose
    • test your blood glucose level more often than usual most people are advised to check the level at least four times a day
    • keep yourself well hydrated make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free drinks
    • keep eating eat solid food if you feel well enough to, or liquid carbohydrates such as milk, soup and yoghurt if this is easier
    • check your ketone levels if your blood glucose level is high

    Seek advice from your diabetes care team or GP if your blood glucose or ketone level remains high after taking insulin, if:


    • you’re not sure whether to make any changes to your treatment
    • you develop symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis
    • you have any other concerns

    Read more about;sick day rules

    Also Check: What Is A Normal A1c For A Non Diabetic

    How To Get Free Prescriptions For Diabetes Medicine

    You’re entitled to free prescriptions for your diabetes medicine.

    To claim your free prescriptions, you’ll need to apply for an exemption certificate. This is known as a PF57 form. To do this:

    • fill in a form at your GP surgery
    • you should get the certificate in the post about a week later it’ll last for 5 years
    • take it to your pharmacy with your prescriptions

    Save your receipts if you have to pay for diabetes medicine before you receive your exemption certificate. You can claim the money back if you include the receipts along with your completed PF57 form.


    Having Your Blood Glucose Levels Checked

    You’ll be measuring your blood glucose yourself every day, to check your levels.

    Your GP or diabetes care team will also carry out a different blood test every two to six months, called the HbA1c test.

    This gives a clearer idea of how well your treatment plan is working, by measuring how stable your glucose levels have been over the past 6-12 weeks.

    It measures the amount of haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells that has glucose attached to it. A high HbA1c level may indicate that your blood glucose level is consistently high and that your diabetes treatment plan needs to be altered.

    The ideal HbA1c target for people with diabetes is below 53 mmol/mol.


    Recommended Reading: Which Pancreatic Cells Release Insulin And Glucagon

    Diabetes And Your Child

    For a parent whose child is diagnosed with a life-long condition, the job of parenting becomes even tougher.

    Although being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will involve coming to terms with the diagnosis, getting used to treatment and making;changes to;everyday life, your child can still lead a normal and healthy life.

    The;Diabetes UK;website has information and advice about;your child and diabetes.

    How Do I Take And Adjust My Insulin Doses

    What Happens When Diabetics Don T Take Insulin

    It is important to learn the different methods of taking insulin and what kinds of insulin can be delivered through each method. There are several ways to take insulin syringe, pen, pump, or inhalation ;though injection with a syringe is currently the most common for people with type 2 diabetes. There are many apps that can help you calculate your insulin doses.


    Your insulin regimen should be tailored to fit your needs and lifestyle. Adjusting your basal insulin dosage and timing will require conversations and frequent follow-up with your healthcare team. When initiating insulin therapy, you may be advised to start with a low dose and increase the dose in small amounts once or twice a week, based on your fasting glucose levels. People with diabetes should aim to spend as much time as possible with glucose levels between 70-180 mg/dl. Insulin may be used alone or in combination with oral glucose-lowering medications, such as metformin, SGLT-2 inhibitors, or GLP-1 agonists.

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    What Is Insulin Shock

    âInsulin shockâ is a common term for low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. It may also be called an insulin reaction.

    The exact blood sugar level that leads to symptoms varies, but is generally less than 70 mg/dL. A low blood sugar level triggers your body to release the hormone epinephrine, also called adrenaline. That causes the early symptoms of insulin shock, which can come on quickly.

    If you donât treat your dropping blood sugar ASAP, your brain will stop getting glucose and your symptoms will get worse. If levels stay low for too long, you can have a seizure or go into a diabetic coma.


    How Did People With Type 1 Diabetes Survive Historically

    We hate to break it to you, but they didnt.

    Looking at historical records from pioneering diabetes doctors Joslin and Allen before the advent of medical insulin, we see that they were only able to keep patients alive for months, sometimes more than a year, by starving them to death. Literally.

    Dr. Elliott Joslin proudly wrote that, Whereas formerly the prognosis for children less than 10 years of age was measured in months, today it is rare for a child to live for less than one year. Ultimately, all of Joslins pre-insulin patients died. 100 percent of them. Those who didnt starve succumbed once their insulin production dropped to zero.

    But of course we now know that the onset of type 1 is a messy affair. The autoimmune process that drives it doesnt happen overnight. Insulin production lingers for many months in a phenomenon called the diabetes honeymoon.

    So, history can only show us how long we can suffer starved in the honeymoon phase of the disease, not how long a full-fledged type 1 will last sans insulin in todays modern world.


    DKA is the leading cause of death in people with T1D under age 24. But stats indicate that there are only several-thousand deaths from DKA per year in the whole country. Most cases occur right at disease onset, and most receive some sort of medical intervention in a timely manner. The

    Also Check: How Long Do Type 1 Diabetics Live

    What Causes Type 1 Diabetes

    The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not yet known, but we do know it has a strong family link and cannot be prevented. We also know that it has nothing to do with lifestyle, although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important in helping to manage type 1 diabetes.

    At this stage nothing can be done to prevent or cure type 1 diabetes.

    When Dietary Changes Exercise And Medications Don’t Work

    Type 2 Diabetic on INSULIN? You can FIX IT in 2021
    • It can quickly bring your blood glucose level down to a healthier range.;If your; blood glucose level is excessively high when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor may have you use insulin to lower your blood glucose levelin a way thats much faster than diet and exercise.Insulin will give your body a respite; it has been working overtime to try to bring down your blood glucose level.In this scenario, youd also watch what you eat and exercise, but having your blood glucose under better control may make it easier to adjust to those lifestyle changes.
    • It has fewer side effects than some of the medications:;Insulin is a synthetic version of a hormone our bodies produce.;Therefore, it interacts with your body in a more natural way than medications do, leading to fewer side effects.;The one side effect is hypoglycemia.
    • It can be cheaper.;Diabetes medications can be expensive, although there is an array of options that try to cater to people of all economic levels.;However, insulin is generally cheaper than medications , especially if the doctor wants you to take multiple medications.

    Talk to your doctor and diabetes treatment team.Types of InsulinHow Much Insulin Should You Take?Where Should You Inject the Insulin?


    • Abdomen

    Newer, Easier Ways to Inject InsulinA Final Note about Insulin

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    What Will Happen If I Stop Taking Insulin

    Guest over a year ago

    I am worried that insulin is actually doing my body more harm than good. What will happen if I decide to stop taking insulin? I think I should be able to control my blood sugar with diet and exercise. Has anyone ever tried this? Have you stopped taking insulin for good? I’m hoping for some positive stories here because I don’t want to take insulin any longer than I have to.;

    Loading…

    over a year ago

    Hi Guest,

    Untreated, your diabetes will cause more harm than good.; Insulin occurs naturally in the body, created by the pancreas.

    In some cases, by losing weight you may be able to get off of insulin.; It depends upon a number of factors including how much weight you lose.

    Discuss this with your doctor.; They are familiar with your specific case.; Do NOT just stop taking it.

    Good luck.

    GloriaAttarRNBSN310575 over a year ago

    Have you spoken to your doctor about your fears? Some diabetics are eventually able to go off of insulin and treat their diabetes naturally with diet and exercise, but that is something that must be learned over time. I completely understand your fears about putting something artificial into your body. Are you on a synthetic insulin or a natural insulin?

    Guest over a year ago

    Susan Ardizzoni310772 over a year ago

    Treating High Blood Glucose

    Hyperglycaemia can occur when your blood glucose levels become too high. It can happen for several reasons, such as eating too much, being unwell or not taking enough insulin.

    If you develop hyperglycaemia, you may need to adjust your diet or your insulin dose to keep your glucose levels normal. Your diabetes care team can advise you about the best way to do this.

    If hyperglycaemia isn’t treated, it can lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, where the body begins to break down fats for energy instead of glucose, resulting in a build-up of ketones in your blood.

    Diabetic ketoacidosis is very serious and, if not addressed quickly, it can lead to unconsciousness and, eventually, death.

    The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

    • frequently passing urine

    Read more about the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis

    Your healthcare team will educate you on how to decrease your risk of ketoacidosis by testing your own blood for ketones using blood ketone sticks if you’re unwell.

    If you develop diabetic ketoacidosis, you’ll need urgent hospital treatment. You’ll be given insulin directly into a vein . You may also need other fluids given by a drip if you’re dehydrated, including salt solution and potassium.

    Also Check: How High Can Blood Sugar Go Before Death

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