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What Happens When You Stop Taking Insulin

Diabulimia: The Dangerous Way Diabetics Drop Pounds

Diabulimia: The Dangerous Way Diabetics Drop Pounds

At age 14, Erin Williams was tired of medicine. Williams was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at age 11, and after three years of enduring a never-ending regimen of insulin shots and strict diet restrictions, she was frustrated. Embarrassed by her disease, she kept it a secret from everyone but her closest family and friends. At birthday parties, she made up excuses about why she couldn't have soda or cake. When a classmate saw her drinking juice boxes in the nurses office, she endured weeks of being called the "juice box thief" rather than just tell her classmates she had low blood sugar because of diabetes. Eventually, Williams rebelled the only way she could, she decided not take her insulin. She just didn't want to adhere to the strict diet and medical regimen even though it was vital to her health. "It wasn't this dramatic moment," recalled Williams. "It was mostly like I want to be like everybody else." The next morning when Williams woke up, she felt fine. "Well, nothing bad happened to me," Williams remembered thinking. "It creeps up on you. That's how it does it." Emboldened by her experiment, she continued to restrict her insulin. Without a regimented amount of insulin in her body to process glucose, Williams' body started to burn through fat and muscle. She lost weight very quickly even as she ate all the same foods. Classmates started commenting on her weight loss and remarked that she looked great. "You hear all these things and you're like, 'This is the greatest thing in the world,'" said Williams. "It takes a hold of your life like nothing else." After living with type 1 diabetes for three years, Williams was exhibiting the first signs of a disorder often called diabulimia. The term refers to the dual diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder. Man Continue reading >>

Diabetic Put Her Life At Risk To Lose Weight: Mother Stopped Taking Her Insulin Injections After Ballooning To 19 Stone

Diabetic Put Her Life At Risk To Lose Weight: Mother Stopped Taking Her Insulin Injections After Ballooning To 19 Stone

A diabetic mother whose weight ballooned during pregnancy put her life at risk when she stopped taking her insulin medication in a bid to slim down. Hayleigh Juggins ignored doctors' advice, halting the treatment for her diabetes having blamed the hormone for her weight reaching 19st. The 20-year-old was diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was 15 years old. When she fell pregnant three years later, she began taking high doses of insulin, which she claims led to rapid weight gain. By the time she gave birth when she was 19, she weighed 19st and was wearing size 22 clothes. Horrified, she decided to disregard doctors’ instructions to take insulin after each meal and subsequently found herself shrinking. Stable today at 10st 10lb, Miss Juggins says that despite being pleased at gaining her dream figure, she will never again risk serious damage to her health by going against medical advice. She said: ‘There was a war within me - on the one hand I was distraught at having gained so much weight during pregnancy, but on the other I knew what I was doing was bad for me. Indeed, experts stress that skipping insulin can have devastating consequences, including brain damage and death. Libby Dowling, Diabetes UK Clinical Advisor, said: 'Skipping insulin to lose weight is extremely dangerous. This is because if you haven't got enough insulin in your body your blood glucose will get too high, which can lead to devastating health complications. 'In the short term it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, an extremely dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention and treatment in hospital, and can even be fatal. And in the long term skipping insulin can lead to complications such as blindness, stroke and amputations. 'It is crucial that people who are omitting the Continue reading >>

What Happens When A Diabetic Stops Taking Their Insulin On Their Own?

What Happens When A Diabetic Stops Taking Their Insulin On Their Own?

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes Swallowing pills, checking your blood sugar all the time, or sticking yourself with needles full of insulin probably doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But taking steps to keep your diabetes under control is your best shot at preventing a slew of frightening complications. If you don't take care of yourself, "diabetes complications typically start within 5 years; within 10 to 15 years, the majority of patients will progress to have multiple health issues," says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and taking your medication may not only stop complications from progressing, but can also reverse them, she says. Need motivation to stick to your treatment plan? Here's what can happen when you slack off. Your cholesterol and blood pressure rise. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar; with type 2 diabetes, your body can't properly use the insulin you do produce. In turn, your HDL (or "good") cholesterol lowers, and your levels of harmful blood fats called triglycerides rise. Insulin resistance also contributes to hardened, narrow arteries, which in turn increases your blood pressure. As a result, about 70% of people with either type of diabetes also have hypertension—a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and trouble with thinking and memory. (Add these 13 power foods to your diet to help lower blood pressure naturally.) Failing to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, either with diet and exercise alone or by adding medications, accelerates the rate at which all your other complications progress, says Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Joslin Continue reading >>

Taking Care Of Diabetes

Taking Care Of Diabetes

Since our pancreas does not make insulin, we have to take insulin as medicine so that glucose can get from our blood and into our cells to give us energy to do things. Your doctor will tell you how much insulin you need. It can be a little scary at first and there is a lot to understand, that’s why I am here, to help you know what you need to learn. Testing Blood Glucose Because diabetes affects the glucose in your blood, it is important to measure this with a blood glucose meter. You will get used to having your blood glucose meter with you all of the time because checking your glucose level is the only way to know if your diabetes is under control. You always need some glucose in your blood, but not too much. If your blood glucose gets too high or too low it can make you feel sick so you will always want to avoid that. Your doctor will tell you what your glucose levels should be. Low Blood Glucose Low blood glucose happens when you take more insulin than your body needs. It means that too much glucose moved from your blood into your cells, not leaving enough glucose back in the blood (called hypoglycemia). This can be very dangerous. If your blood glucose is low you may feel shaky, start sweating, get a headache, feel dizzy, or your heart may start pounding. These are called symptoms, and they warn you that you need to eat or drink some sugar right away. High Blood Glucose High blood glucose happens when you don’t take enough insulin – when there is too much glucose in your blood (called hyperglycemia). High blood glucose levels can be harder to notice at first, another reason why it is important to test your blood glucose often. Most of the time, you can take insulin so that your high glucose goes down. But if you don’t take insulin and your blood glucose sta Continue reading >>

Why Insulin Use Isn't Always Permanent For Type 2 Diabetes

Why Insulin Use Isn't Always Permanent For Type 2 Diabetes

Weight loss and exercise may reduce your need for insulin.(HEALTH/FOTOLIA) If your doctor puts you on insulin, it's not necessarily permanent. Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, who need insulin to survive, people with type 2 diabetes use insulin as just one more tool to control blood sugar. You may be able to go off insulin if you can get your blood sugar under control using diet and exercise. "A person who is very, very obese or very heavy will find that if they lose a large amount of weight, their insulin requirements or their oral medication requirements may drop tremendouslyeven disappear," says Richard Hellman, MD, former president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Taking insulin just after diagnosis may also make it easier in the long term to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise, according William Bornstein, MD, an endocrinologist at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. Stopping Insulin Some people may be able to stop taking it Watch videoMore about using insulin Glucose toxicity "When the sugar has been running high it creates in and of itself a resistance to other things to bring it down. It's a term we call glucose toxicity," says Dr. Bornstein. "So let's say that somebody comes in and their blood sugar is running pretty high and they want to try diet and exercise. It's less likely that the diet and exercise will work to bring it down. "So we might use medication for a period of time, bring it down, then stop the medication and let that individual have a period of time to try diet and exercise and see if that'll work to keep it down," says Dr. Bornstein. If you've developed diabetes recently and needed insulin right away, there's a better chance that you may be able to eventually reduce your dose or even stop taking insulin if you e Continue reading >>

Stopping Diabetes Medicines

Stopping Diabetes Medicines

“I want to get off some of these drugs,” Ellen told me. “But my doctor says I need them. I’m on three for glucose, two for blood pressure, and one for depression. They’re costing me hundreds every month. What can I do?” Ellen is a health-coaching client of mine, age 62 with Type 2 diabetes. She works as an executive secretary in an insurance company. It’s stressful. She’s usually there from 8 AM until 6 PM or later and comes home “too tired to exercise.” She mentioned that just “putting herself together” for work every day requires an hour of prep time. “You have to look good for these executives,” she says. I asked about her drugs. She said she takes metformin (Glucophage and others), sitagliptin ( brand name Januvia), and pioglitazone (Actos) for diabetes, lisinopril (Privinil, Zestril) for blood pressure, simvastatin (Zocor) for cholesterol, and paroxetine (Paxil) for depression. Her A1C is now at 7.3%, down from a high of 9.9% a year ago, when she was on only two medicines. “I think the drugs are depressing me,” she said. “The cost, the side effects… I have nausea most days, I have cough from the lisinopril. That doesn’t help at work. I don’t know what’s worse, the drugs or diabetes.” What would you have said to Ellen? Although I strongly believe in reducing drug use, I told her what most experts say, that she can get off some, possibly all diabetes drugs, but it will take a lot of work. Asqual Getaneh, MD, a diabetes expert who writes for Everyday Health, says that doctors want to be “assured that an A1C will stay down” if a person goes off medicines. She says doctors usually won’t reduce medicines until A1C drops below 7.0%. In the ADA publication Diabetes Forecast, pharmacist Craig Williams, PharmD, writes, “Unf Continue reading >>

Long-term Discontinuation Of Insulin Treatment In A Type 1 Diabetic Patient

Long-term Discontinuation Of Insulin Treatment In A Type 1 Diabetic Patient

A case for late autoimmune diabetes of the adult? Type 1 diabetes is a well-defined condition requiring life-saving insulin replacement therapy immediately after diagnosis (1). It is also a well-known fact from the natural course of the disease that soon after the insulin therapy has been initiated, insulin requirements decrease, sometimes rapidly, and patients who stopped taking insulin shortly after diabetes diagnosis have been reported (2). However, this so-called “honeymoon period” usually starts several weeks after the diagnosis and rarely exceeds several months’ duration. It is believed, however, and has been unfortunately shown in the past, e.g., during wartime, that insulin discontinuation in a long-standing type 1 diabetic patient poses a serious threat to health and life (3,4). We describe a case of a patient with a definite diagnosis of autoimmune diabetes who, 2 years after having been diagnosed with diabetes, stopped insulin treatment for a period of 17 months and did not develop ketoacidosis. In April 2000, a 19-year-old woman was admitted to the Metabolic Diseases Department due to profound weakness, dizziness, and increased thirst, as well as a 10-kg weight loss in 6 months. The symptoms occurred several months earlier but became more severe within the previous 8 weeks. The patient was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 1998. Her symptoms at the time gradually developed for 4 months and included increased thirst, polyuria, weight loss, and mild ketoacidosis. At the time of diagnosis, her blood glucose was 17.8 mmol/l. She was positive for islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs), with a titer of 90 JDF units, as well as positive for antibodies against GAD (anti-GAD, 80 units/ml). The treatment on discharge consisted of an intensive insulin regimen: Continue reading >>

Can You Ever Stop Insulin?

Can You Ever Stop Insulin?

Once you begin using insulin to treat type 2 diabetes, can you ever get off it and go back to medications? — Anne, Minnesota For someone to go back to oral diabetes medicines after starting insulin, the pancreas must be able to produce enough insulin to maintain normal sugar levels. That being said, there are several instances in which insulin injections may be stopped. Here are a few: 1. In some individuals who have had untreated or poorly controlled diabetes for several weeks to months, glucose levels are high enough to be directly toxic to the pancreas. This means that the pancreas has not completely lost its ability to produce the critical level of insulin, but it does not work properly as a result of high glucose levels. In this instance, injected insulin can be used for several days or weeks to reduce glucose and help the pancreas to revert back to its usual level of functioning — a level that can control glucose supported by oral medicines. Once this occurs, insulin can be stopped. Remember, oral diabetes medicines work well only if the pancreas can still produce and release insulin. 2. Sometimes insulin is given during an acute illness such as an infection, when glucose levels can be high and the demand for insulin is greater than the pancreas can handle. After the illness is treated adequately, oral medicines can be started again. 3. Many obese individuals with diabetes who require insulin can reduce their dose or control their diabetes by taking oral medicines if they lose weight. However, the choice of insulin to manage diabetes does not always come after exhausting all oral or non-insulin options. Insulin has several advantages and is now more frequently introduced early in the management of type 2 diabetes. Continue reading >>

Truth In Medicine: Should You Stop Taking Insulin?

Truth In Medicine: Should You Stop Taking Insulin?

We’re back with another Truth in Medicine for an interesting topic: Can a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics stop taking insulin? Naturopathic Doctor Afrika, Diabatologist Kayne MD and Dame discuss this and explain how the answer is drastically different for each type of diabetic. Continue reading >>

Ask The Diabetes Team

Ask The Diabetes Team

Question: From Whitworth, United Kingdom: How long can someone live without insulin? Answer: The fact that you are asking the question has me suspiciously worried! I hope you are not trying to hurt yourself or planning to see how long you can go without insulin. The answer, perhaps, mostly lies in how long the person has had type 1 diabetes. For someone like yourself, who indicated that you have had diabetes for more than 10 years, you MIGHT be able to live for 7 to 10 or so days without insulin. But, the death would be awful and difficult and not peaceful. You would begin to have much urination and be extremely thirsty; but, you would also develop abdominal pain and get nauseated and vomit so you might drink but not be able to keep anything down with all the vomiting. You would start to get achy and sore and could have a terrible headache as your brain began to swell! You would have blurred vision and would begin to become delirious before you probably would go into a coma and become brain dead. The death would be awful to watch and impossible to bear by those that love you. And even if you did not progress that far to death, if there were too much delay before you could get taken to an emergency room, the damage may already have been done and it might be too late to reverse matters back to normal. DO NOT OMIT YOUR INSULIN DOSES. Additional comments from Dr. Tessa Lebinger: Some children and teenagers are so dependent on insulin, they could develop life threatening ketoacidosis in less than one day if they skip their insulin, especially if they are sick with another illness. Most people who make no insulin are very uncomfortable within 12 hours of missing a dose. People who are still making a lot of insulin and are still in the remission phase, may be able to stop insu Continue reading >>

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

7 Scary Things That Can Happen When You Don't Treat Your Diabetes

Swallowing pills, checking your blood sugar all the time, or sticking yourself with needles full of insulin probably doesn't sound like your idea of a good time. But taking steps to keep your diabetes under control is your best shot at preventing a slew of frightening complications. If you don't take care of yourself, "diabetes complications typically start within 5 years; within 10 to 15 years, the majority of patients will progress to have multiple health issues," says Betul Hatipoglu, MD, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. Fortunately, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and taking your medication may not only stop complications from progressing, but can also reverse them, she says. Need motivation to stick to your treatment plan? Here's what can happen when you slack off. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops producing insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar; with type 2 diabetes, your body can't properly use the insulin you do produce. In turn, your HDL (or "good") cholesterol lowers, and your levels of harmful blood fats called triglycerides rise. Insulin resistance also contributes to hardened, narrow arteries, which in turn increases your blood pressure. As a result, about 70% of people with either type of diabetes also have hypertension—a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and trouble with thinking and memory. (Add these 13 power foods to your diet to help lower blood pressure naturally.) Failing to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol, either with diet and exercise alone or by adding medications, accelerates the rate at which all your other complications progress, says Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. More than 4 million people with diabetes have some degree of retinopathy, or dam Continue reading >>

Guys If I Stop Insulin What Will Happen ????? Or Should I Re

Guys If I Stop Insulin What Will Happen ????? Or Should I Re

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Guys if i stop insulin what will happen ????? Or should i re Guys i think my insulin is making me sick so giys if i stop insulin what will happen because from tommorow i am stopping my insulin .... Guys i need input pls help me and advice me ...... Do u think my sugar level will go up .... Actually i want to set my insulin levels again .... So i am stopping it or should i reduce it to good level ..... I really dont know i think too much insulin in my body making me sick !!!!!! Newly daignosed , novomix 30 , 21units in morning and 17 at night , have issues in eating and sleeping pls help me , why my morning BS is always high ???? Late night eating is the problem , so please help me guys Re: Guys if i stop insulin what will happen ????? Or should Sameer, I think you need to talk to a doctor. It appears you're struggling at present but your doctor can advise you better than we can ! Good luck ! Re: Guys if i stop insulin what will happen ????? Or should There is a reason why your doctor prescribed insulin for you to use. It is because your blood sugar levels went very high and you were in danger of dying. Do you not think it is a bit silly of you to contemplate stopping it? What do you think will happen to you if you stop? If you are having hypo feelings, its either because you are not eating enough carbohydrate at set meal times or if you are eating correctly, maybe the insulin doseage needs to adjusted. What you must not do if you want to live, is stop insulin. Re: Guys if i stop insulin what will happen ????? Or should I really dont know , yes i want to lower my dose What is that i am having brain fog !!! Difficulty in concentration pla guide !!! Newl Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: Our Lifespan Sans Insulin?

Ask D'mine: Our Lifespan Sans Insulin?

Got questions about navigating life with diabetes? Ask D'Mine! Our weekly advice column, that is — hosted by veteran type 1,diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois. This week, Wil offers some thoughts on that universal question: "How long can I really go without insulin?" Please take a read; his findings might surprise you and even bust a myth or two. But as a precautionary reminder: this topic would fall into the category of "Don't try this at home"! {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Jake, type 1 from Minneapolis, writes: I've had diabetes for 18 years and I had someone ask me a question the other day that I didn't really have an answer to. The question was how long I would be able to survive without any insulin. I told them 3-4 days, but I don't know if this is true. Any info from a cinnamon whiskey swizzling T1? [email protected] D'Mine answers: If Tom Hanks' character in Castaway had been one of us, he would've never lived long enough to go half-crazy and end up talking to a volleyball named Wilson. OK, so that's a mixed blessing. But I guess the lesson there is: don't get washed up on a deserted island if you can avoid it. To be honest, like you, I had always pegged my zero-insulin survival time in the "couple of days" zone; but once I got to thinking about your question I realized that I didn't know how I knew that, where I learned it, or if it was even correct at all. So I set out to do some fact-checking. Now, as background for you sugar-normals, type 2s, and type 3s—in type 1s like Jake and me, if we run out of insulin hyperglycemia sets in. That leads to diabetic ketoacidosis (known as DKA by its friends), which then (untreated) leads to death. This is old news. But how fast is the process, really? Well, there are a number of variables, Continue reading >>

Abruptly Stopping Insulin

Abruptly Stopping Insulin

Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please,join our community todayto contribute and support the site. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. Is it OK for a T2 to abruptly stop taking insulin? I gradually weaned myself off of it and am taking things day by day. But I did make sure it was ok with my doc, he saw no reason for me to try without meds for awhile. I'll assess it on a day by day basis, I'll have to rely heavily upon my next A1c and then make a decision from there. If you're T2 on insulin, it's because your body isn't making enough of its own insulin to keep your numbers in a good range. Stopping it will only make your blood sugars elevate. Perhaps following a low-carb diet and getting regular exercise might decrease the amount of insulin you need....but if you've been diabetic for awhile and oral meds aren't working, insulin is the next step....and stopping it may not be the best thing to do. Why would you want to suddenly stop it? I wouldn't advise doing so w/o talking with your doctor. I am starting a low carb diet and am afraid that my BG may go too low. I'm on Lantus, I went low carb and didn't have a single hypo. However, it's true that you may have to decrease the amount. That's why constant testing and tracking which foods do what to your body is important. As my weight dropped, I was able to really slash the dosage and maintain good numbers. Like the others said, talk to doc before changing meds. I know you're sick and tired of being diabetic and ready to shake things up - that's great! On the other hand, drastic sudden changes are often not sustainable, and can lead to a cycle of defeat and misery. We don't want that. You need to develop a healthy lifestyle that you can live with for a whole, long lifetime. No qu Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Common questions about type 2 diabetes: How do you treat type 2 diabetes? When you have type 2 diabetes, you first need to eat a healthy diet, stay physically active and lose any extra weight. If these lifestyle changes cannot control your blood sugar, you also may need to take pills and other injected medication, including insulin. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and losing any extra weight is the first line of therapy. “Diet and exercise“ is the foundation of all diabetes management because it makes your body’s cells respond better to insulin (in other words, it decreases insulin resistance) and lowers blood sugar levels. If you cannot normalize or control the blood sugars with diet, weight loss and exercise, the next treatment phase is taking medicine either orally or by injection. Diabetes pills work in different ways – some lower insulin resistance, others slow the digestion of food or increase insulin levels in the blood stream. The non-insulin injected medications for type 2 diabetes have a complicated action but basically lower blood glucose after eating. Insulin therapy simply increases insulin in the circulation. Don’t be surprised if you have to use multiple medications to control the blood sugar. Multiple medications, also known as combination therapy is common in the treatment of diabetes! If one medication is not enough, you medical provider may give you two or three or more different types of pills. Insulin or other injected medications also may be prescribed. Or, depending on your medical condition, you may be treated only with insulin or injected medication therapy. Many people with type 2 diabetes have elevated blood fats (high triglycerides and cholesterol) and blood pressure, so you may be given medications for these problem Continue reading >>

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