Changing from oral meds to insulin

A scary thought for me… I’ve been trying so hard to avoid having to go on insulin, but even I now realise it’s the only way to pull my blood sugars into line. Especially if when the blood tests come back they discover that I’m not a type 2, I’m a type 1.5.

At one point I thought I was winning… I was in charge and doing really well. That was before I moved over to the USA… My English doctor was even removing oral meds because I was doing so well with diet and exercise, even when I first arrived here I was doing quite well… but soon after the doctor increased my dosage of metformin and added Glipizide too! These also have been increased over the past few months and my blood sugar still isn’t under control, despite my efforts with diet and exercise.

I’ve never had an overweight problem, despite having thyroid desease and also diabetes… My problem has been gaining weight… So I know my type 2 diagnosis is wrong! And I know if I am a 1.5, I don’t have much choice about having to use insulin… as a last result, they’ve added Actos to my oral meds… but it’s like taking a placebo… it’s done nothing for me.

So can anyone tell me, what’s it like having to give yourself a daily injection or perhaps more than one a day? I’m not looking forward to it, but I realise that it is the only way forward for me. Any advice is welcome… How does it fit into your day? I’m wondering how I will fit it into mine.

Well thanks for reading this, and I hope someone will reply and give me some advice.

God bless you all, and I hope you all have a Happy holiday season! xxxx

Denise, I know it is hard to imagine, but for me giving shots is MUCH easier than managing my diet and exercise. It will become so normal that it is like brushing your teeth. The shots don’t hurt – there are tiny needles. You will get used to it surprisingly quickly, but the more that you understand about insulin, the easier the transition will be.

I highly recommend buying the book “Using Insulin” by John Walsh. It will give you a deep understand of how to deal with insulin.

It is really good that you finally got the correct diagnosis. It can be very dangerous for people with type 1.5 to not know it! Do you know when you will start on insulin? Right now your body is still producing some insulin, but that will decrease over time making it very important to ensure that you start on insulin in time!

Also, we have a group here for LADA/ Type 1.5 diabetics. Click here to check it out.

Hi Denise,

Please don’t be afraid of insulin & injections. Having high BG is much scarier.

If you’re worried about injections hurting, they don’t. With short & fine needles, they’re painless. I can’t feel it at all. Testing BG is more painful & annoying than injections.

Type 2s use insulin when oral meds aren’t effective.

If your doctor prescribes insulin, you’ll be taking insulin before meals (rapid acting) & basal insulin to help keep BG level between meals & overnight. You’ll take a vial of insulin & syringes (unless you get a pump) with you when you’re away from home for meals. Not a big deal at all.

Your doctor will educate you on doses to cover meals, how much insulin you’ll need to correct highs & what to do to correct lows. Insulin doses will be based on how many carbs are in that meal. You’ll be taught to count carbs. None of this is difficult. There’s a lot of fine tuning until your insulin:carb ratios are determined & these change over time.

Keeping logs is important to determine doses & patterns. You’ll need to test BG frequently & record BG for morning fasting, before meals, two hours after meals & before bed, along with the amount of insulin & carbs for meals. Also good to test when exercising, before driving (& during long distance trips) & when you feel high or low. It sounds like a lot, but it becomes routine like anything else.

Dear Denise
i am debitic since 1978 and had controled on deit and exersise,walking no medicine
in 1992 i got bullet shot and was oprated three times in a year and doctores gave me insuline intervains
whe i was ok got home idid not allow doctors to continue insuline, first 4 months after opration nurse would come and inject early morning
i may have changed 4 doctors to avoid insuline,was a blunder finally i am taking insuline two times a day
as Mt Garri said u should not afraid of injection we got very thin fine needls so u will not feel
i was thin had good health now my tommy is gettig big and weight increases i am 5.9 and 75 kg,walking twise a day for 45 munites each time.
I think more than 50% in the world r dibetic,so it is not desise we have to live like that.
i wish u all the best

For me its this Denise. We all know we are going to die someday. Do I want to die a quicker agonizing death due to complications of uncontrolled blood sugars that could have been controlled earlier? I saw how my father died with complications. For me its not the meds, shots or anything else its the control of the BS. I want to have fun, enjoy life, and do what I gota do to have that.

Merry Christmas, thanks for the post

Try to not be scared, I know easier said than done. The insulin will save your life…and it will become second nature. Really. The injections are not so bad, nor the finger sticks. Missing the food is the hardest for me in regards to just eating whenever and whatever. But, that too becomes easier. I just try to be thankful for the insulin and needles,testing and meters. I would not be here to love my daughters, grandbabies and friends and enjoy life if it were not for them…my life support as I referr to the diabetic goodies we need to survive. Honey, you will do fine. Just take it slow and keep fighting and dont beat yourself up either. Just try and try…educate yourself. Many people here to help :slight_smile:

Thanks for your wonderful help and encouragement everyone… It’s great to know I’m not so alone in this. I kind of thought I was weird not to be overweight because of the Thyroid Desease and the Diabetes. But the doctors just kept telling me that I am lucky and that some type 2’s are thin.

I’ll start my insulin regeme in January… they want to do a mixture of pills and insulin… I’m not sure I want to though…lol I would sooner do one or the other. They’re talking about a 70/30 mix to be taken before dinner each evening. The 30% fast working insulin and 70% slow working to lower the overnight sugar release… they want me to continue metformin and glipizide.

Have a lovely day today everyone… going off to try not to eat too much at a family meal now… don’t really want to go, none of them really understand why I can’t eat their sticky stuff… one conselation is that I’ve made my own diabetic muffins so I can at least enjoy one of those…

God bless you all. xxxx

Denise, I started taking Lantus by injection about three months ago, and it really is nothing. The needle is extremely small and virtually painless. It is much better that oral medications IMHO.

Denise, when I was first diagnosed I was put on insulin. I did lantus and humalog. I can tell you for me it was way easier with insulin. My stomach was never as bad as it is today when I was insulin. I have all kinds of stomach problems on oral meds. I had to get off Januvia because it messed me up so bad that it took 9 months to recover from it. I am on metformin now and if it ever stops working I have not problem going to insulin shots. I feel like a had better control of things with insulin vs oral meds. I took my first shot without hesitation and i would take them again if metformin and diet and excersice stopped for me.

take care

Denise, there is a lot of good advice being offered here. I am a type 2 but on a pump now. The insulin pens use the small 5/8 inch needles that you don’t even feel depending on the dose. For me it was quite a bit so for my basal when I was on MDI was Lantus I used a regular 1/2 long needle because of the large dose. I didn’t even feel it. It depends like I say on the dose. Nothing to be scared about. You’ll do fine.

Don’t be too scared about going on insulin. I fought the injections, too, when I was first diagnosed, and it was a big mistake. Once I started on insulin, I felt SO much better than I had in a long time. I was glad to do the injections – and for the record, I do 5 a day – minimum. If you are in fact a type 1 or a LADA, you’ll need to do more than one injection/day to meet your body’s insulin needs. It’s now a part of my life and not something I think too much about on most days.

I won’t say that the injections are always completely painless; they’re not. I’ve hit nerves on more than one occassion and howled because it stung. I also inject my Lantus in my leg in the morning and have had occassional problems with bleeding at the injeciton site. Loads of fun, walking around with blood dripping down your leg. Still, I wouldn’t give it up. I’m much healthier than I was before the injections.

Thank you Richard and Angela. My Doctors won’t issue me Lantus even though I have mentioned it to them… they told me it’s not one that they use…

I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to use too many injections yet… I’m going to have to get myself an endo though to confirm that I am a type 1.5… My doctor didn’t seem too interested in giving me the C-peptide tests and the GAD-65 tests…

Thank you both though for taking the time to let me know about insulin… It’s good to know people who have been through the change of medication and come out the otherside saying it’s better… you hear so many horror stories about insulin, so thank you for helping to put them to rest. xxx

Honestly, the shots aren’t that big of a deal. I did shots for the first 2 years after I was diagnosed. I’ve been on a pump for over 11 years now. After a while, its just a habit with a shot, you do it and go on. I know many people equate insulin with failure and its just not so. If it helps to keep your blood sugars in better management, so be it.

Good luck!

If your GAD comes back positive, you should quit the oral meds and go to insulin (you do get kinda used to it after a while). I read that continuing on oral meds when you are a 1.5 is the worst thing you can do as it will cause your own insulin production to diminish faster. What happens is the oral meds force your basal cells to produce more insulin which stresses them and causes them to die out faster. Insulin on the other hand lets your basal cells produce what they can and provides the extra insulin they are unable to make on their own. I am only on short acting insulin (with meals only) since my cells are still producing (though the amount does diminish every year) and am still in what they consider “the honeymoon phase” after 6 years.