Why is Insulin so bad?

I had a long discussion with a Type 2 diabetic woman who was scared to go on Insulin. I was wondering what were some of the common fears/myths a Type 2 may have if they are faced having to go on Insulin.

One of my former coworkers was like that. It seemed as if it was her goal to avoid it.

My sister is Type 2 and on insulin, when she was put on it she was scared and upset mostly because some of her doctors told her that once you start using insulin your pancreas slowly decreases its own production of insulin making which makes the body rely on rDNA synthetic insulin. Please, Dont quote me on it! but this is what some of her non-endo doctors told her.

another reason could be the idea of having to give themselves their own needle shots. this can be very intimidating to people who only see a needle once a year for the flu shot, even for those who dont even get those shots!

also the idea of having a Low BG. the only side effect to insulin is low BG those are scary and can be very dangerous!

yea, those are my ideas! LOL!

My FIL thinks that if he goes on insulin his diabetes is getting worse. I have heard that thought before. You have it a little bit if you can treat it with diet. You have it if you take pills but… if you take insulin. OMG you are really sick. Its a lack of education.

For me it would be fear of the needle and also fear of getting fat on insulin. Sounds very trite put in writing like this.

Never had an issue with insulin my issue with the blasted needle that i’d have to use to inject it into me … its still its own issue I’m still scared of needles but I do what I need to do because if I don’t complications will be the result.

Thats another reason! My sisters doctor told her not to take the insulin “Lantus” because it causes weight gain. im not sure if all of the other ones do the same.

I come from a household where insulin is seen as failure. When I was dx’d I was given the choice of insulin or pills. By the advice of my mother I went pills. It cost me in the long run. Eventually within 6 months I decided to switch to insulin. I fell through the cracks and never got the hospital appointment to make the switch. I got a nice 4 day stay a couple months later.

My brother is finally on insulin but we literally had to force him to go to the hospital. He’s still not treating properly and refuses to get a proper education to treat correctly. It has been 4 months of insulin for him and he’s still underweight. I could rant about how terrible of a diabetic he is but that is for it’s own post. I’m concerned and all my knowledge is lost on my family.

Growing up I was preached to “You don’t want to end up on the needle.” The needle is seen as failure. As if you’ve done something wrong to get to that point. The misinformation doesn’t stop there. They have no clue about carbs. It’s all about “sugar”. They think I was doing it wrong to bolus for dinner, then bolus again for desert afterwards that I hadn’t planned on eating. It was ingrained in me for a long time. I’ve turned the corner but my family is still in the dark ages.

It’s sheer ignorance. People fear that injecting insulin means they’re a failure – that they ought to have been able to control it with diet and exercise. In fact, injecting insulin prolongs the function of beta cells in a T2 and prevents nasty complications down the road. Give me an A1C below 6 on insulin – rather than an A1C over ten without insulin – ANY day of the week.

My first reaction when I was diagnosed (wrongly) as Type 2 was relief that I now understood to some degree what had been so wrong with me for so long. The next, almost simultaneously was a swear word!

My fear was needles - I am a big needle phobic!

Second was carb counting, I have something similar to dyslexia but with numbers.

Third was hypoglycaemia (and with good reason in my case - I am allergic to the human insulins)

Fourth - having to put things together and carry it with me at all times. I now have a good hand bag which is designed for diabetics. Not very pretty but it works for me!

Stigma, but that has quickly disappeared. When I test, say in a restaurant, I can do it under the table, and I can inject too and nobody needs know about it. Even if they did, I could not care less. I have had some comments, and I politely ignore them or turn it round. Would they prefer me to smell of drink and go into a coma, where they might have to call and ambulance? And who wants anyone, even their own worst enemy to be ill?

It is a bit of a bind, but you quickly get over it. If you think through the benefits over the possibilities of going without, it does not bear thinking about or worrying about, but I do understand her fears. This lady needs to be educated. The need for insulin is not the end of the world, and in the UK if one is diabetic and on insulin, ALL our medication is free, and diabetics (whichever type) have access to foot care etc, which because of shortage most people cannot get, is no bad thing, whether diabetic or not!

I know techincally I am not a T2 but I was once or least thought I was…

When first became a diabetic I hated the thought of having to be on insulin…For me it wasnt a myth or a fear but more about facing that I needed something not natural to live. I mean its not like there is a river of insulin anywhere, its manufactured medicine. I wasnt comfortable with that myself, it felt more defeatist to want to be on insulin for me. It kind of trip me out to hear about T2’s that cant wait to pump or get on insulin. I always thought it has so many side effects, lows are scary and its not a easy balance to maintain. Everything becomes more difficult, you always need a frige, a bigger bag, make sure you have candy around, so when I was T2 (lol) I tried everything I could NOT to be on insulin. I do mean everything…Didnt quite work out like that but it has become my blessing…If you need it then you need it no matter the type but I never wanted to be dependent on it…Ever

A lot of people have a fear of insulin. Historically, T2s only went on insulin after they had spent years with really bad blood sugars and they were suffering terrible complications. To this day, you will still find people who believe that it is the insulin that causes you to have an amputation. DiscoveryHealth did a video series of type 2s and their feelings about going on insulin.

In my case, oral medications did little good. I ended up on Byetta and Victoza for more than 2 years. They are injected. I actually “wanted” to start insulin, but had trouble getting it prescribed. Today, I am relieved to be on insulin. My blood sugars are dramatically better and I have actually lost a few pounds since the change.

I am a T2 married to a T1, who,of course, has no alternative to using insulin. I think the real trouble with T2s using insulin, is the false sense of security it gives that all you need to do to keep control is to increase the insulin dose… this is what the medical profession seems to do here in the Uk. comstantly increasing doses. that means weight gain and also the risk of hypos.
I, as a T2 diagnosed in 2003 keep tight control [A1c in the 5% range for several years] by eating a low carb diet. I use very little medication 2 x 500 mg Metformin per day. I firmly believe that ALL medication is toxic to some degree. Thus the smallest amount needed, is the safest. Remember the Avandia debacle!
Of course many people are just cared of injections!

I had this discussion with my endo a couple of months ago. I’m a T2 on insulin because I wanted to go on insulin, not because I had to do so. My endo claimed that he has a hard time convincing T2s to go on insulin, and that it is usually their fear of needles and the stigma of being on insulin that are the barriers.

As just about anyone on insulin knows, the needles these days are so short and fine that they are less painful than a finger stick to check blood sugar.

I am one T2 who is so glad to be off the meds and using only insulin (Lantus and NovoLog). I wish I had made the move many years earlier.

It isn’t necessary for many T2s to use insulin. However there are loads who are not willing to restrict their diet. I regard insulin[especially modern synthetics] as “meds”. I wonder that you think you are “off the meds”. I know that insulin can make control seem easier in the short term, but there’s a price to pay.
PS does your endo try to convince his/her patients to manage their diet?

Not sure if you’re referring to my post, Hana, but perhaps I should have been more clear. The meds to which I am referring are oral medications such as Metformin, Actos, Januvia, Glipizide, etc. For the most part, some of the side effects of the oral meds were bothersome to entirely intolerable for me. That was the reason for my interest in using insulin. With insulin, I haven’t had any unpleasant side effects and my blood sugar is under much better control.

While it is true that just feeding food with insulin will cause problems in the long run such as excessive weight gain and other health issues, if a T2 on insulin approaches blood-sugar management seriously with regard to diet and exercise, then insulin can be an excellent choice of treatment. Exercise is especially important for T2s since they are battling insulin resistance, and exercise makes a T2s less insulin resistant.

Regardless of treatment choice, managing diet should ALWAYS be a something ALL T1s, T2s, and LADAs do. In other words, irrespective of using insulin or not, lack of dietary control is a bad thing for ALL diabetics, not just T2s.

I’d add that managing diet is something all people do! Admittedly, people with diabetes are better at it! :wink:

Diabetes is progressive so I expect that I will be looking at that at some point. I’m not afraid of needles or lows, but I am concerned about weight gain since like many T2s I’m insulin resistant and might end up needing a relatively large dose. I would really restrict carbs if I went on insulin.

Maybe the insulin manufacturers will put a Needle Fear Course in all Community Colleges - like the airlines did with Knock the Fear out of Flying courses? (By the way, that is the tip of an elevator of a plane in the pic, childhood again.) Elevators make planes go up and down like BG. :slight_smile: Nothing bad about elevators intrinsically. But they can make planes crash. … Handle gently.

I still doubt that T2 is inevitably progressive.
I had this discussion with a veterinarian just the other day and his opinion matches mine, which is that if the micro blood vessels are protected from damage by high blood glucose, there’s no reason why it should be.
I have met MANY fellow diabetics and observed that loads of them need to go to insulin within about 10 years. This hasn’t happened to me. I still use 2 x 500mg Metformin per day,[after 8 years] which is much less than the 3 x 500 with 20mg Gliclazide I was prescribed when first diagnosed. I followed that regime for about a year and then discovered the Bernstein and the controlled carb method. I also EXERCISE

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