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Can You Die Without Insulin?

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Treating Type 2 Diabetes Without Insulin

When you think of diabetes medication, you probably think of insulin. In many cases, treatment for type 2 diabetes may never actually involve insulin replacement. Although type 2 diabetes is caused by a failure of the body to make or properly use its own insulin, a hormone needed for blood sugar control, there are many treatment plans for type 2 diabetes without insulin replacement. “You could say that everybody with type 2 diabetes will eventually need insulin if they lived long enough," explains Kevin M. Pantalone, DO, an endocrinologist and diabetes expert at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "But in reality, only about 20 to 30 percent of people with type 2 diabetes ever need it. We have lots of other options we can use first." First-Line Options: Diet, Exercise, and Metformin “Diet and exercise alone were once the standard diabetes therapies for early type 2 diabetes, but that has changed over the past few years," Dr. Pantalone says. "The American Diabetes Association (ADA) now recommends starting the diabetes medication metformin early. Today, only a minority of people are prescribed diet and exercise alone for diabetes." According to a review of type 2 diabetes management pl Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. constexpr

    Do all Type 1s have to take insulin? If so, how long could someone survive without insulin?

    Are some t1 diabetic able to just take metformin and other tablets like t2 people, instead of insulin? I don't understand this point.

  2. jwags

    Eventually all Type 1's will have to be on insulin. Sometimes in the beginning their pancreases still produce a little insulin, so they may take oral meds. But as your beta cells burn out you will need insulin to live.

  3. Nan OH

    As an addition to Jeanne's post, many type 2 people use insulin too.

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