Reasons For Temporary Insulin Use with Type 2 Diabetes

There are several reasons why people with type 2 diabetes might be put on insulin temporarily.

Short-term insulin is typically used during times of physical stress or change, and to help people establish, or reestablish, glucose control. It does not usually reflect poor diabetes management, or a worsening of the illness.

Grounds for temporary insulin use include:

  • Pregnancy. Because there is concern about oral diabetes medications crossing the placental barrier, women planning to conceive who require medication for glucose control are typically switched to insulin for the duration of their pregnancy.
  • Illness and Injury. Surgery, infections, broken bones, and other illnesses cause increased levels of stress, anxiety, periods of forced inactivity, and often unpredictable eating patterns. All these internal and external changes alter the body’s insulin production and ability to process glucose. Insulin may be recommended to regain and maintain stability until normal routines resume.
  • Glucose Detox. Toxic, high blood sugar levels can eventually damage the pancreatic cells that manufacture insulin. This gluco-toxic state, or glucotoxicity, may be owed to a prolonged infection, or having undiagnosed, untreated diabetes. Short-term insulin therapy might be recommended to effectively get a patient's blood sugar under control.
  • Med Side Effects. Steroid medications such as prednisone can cause extremely elevated blood sugar, so insulin may be prescribed to bring it down. Once steroid use is discontinued, most individuals no longer require insulin therapy.
  • Kick Start. - To treat insulin resistance, people are usually asked to eat well, lose weight, exercise regularly, and maybe take an insulin sensitizing medication (e.g., Actos, Avandia Glucophage). Until those glucose lowering measures take effect, some individuals might be put on insulin.

The use of insulin with type 2 diabetes - even temporarily - sometimes triggers a sense of guilt in those with type 2 diabetes, but that feeling is generally unwarranted. Even people engaged in excellent diabetes management may at some point be asked to consider short-term insulin use for long-term benefit.

Sources: Joslin Center; Diabetes Self Mgmt; Diabetes New Zealand; Diabetes Self Mgmt
Photo credit: Nicu Buculei

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

A mood is an internal state or condition of feeling. It colors everything else we experience, much like colored sunglasses add a tint to...

More Articles

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

The HbA1c blood test, more commonly known as the A1C, is both a very useful and a very cool calculation of your average blood glucose levels over...

A mood is an internal state or condition of feeling. It colors everything else we experience, much like colored sunglasses add a tint to...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

Oil pulling therapy derives from Ayurveda, a holistic healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine maintains that...

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

A diabetes meal plan is a guide indicating what types of foods, and how much of them, people should eat at meal and snack time. Following a meal...

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by Sarah Havemann, a 21-year-old type 1 diabetic who developed the disease...

There are many causes for both male and female hair loss, including heredity, diet and illness. Could taking prescription insulin be one more...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...