Insulin is one of the most commonly prescribed conventional therapies for type 2 diabetes treatment.
If you have type 1 diabetes, taking insulin is an appropriate course of action because your body can’t produce it on its own. Therefore, you need injected insulin to survive.
However, if you have type 2 diabetes, you’re better off not taking insulin. Here’s why.
Insulin Causes Weight Gain
One of the worst side effects of using insulin for type 2 diabetes is weight gain—one of the key risk factors that lead to type 2 diabetes in the first place.
This is insane! Type 2 diabetes treatment with insulin is like treating alcoholics with martinis!
Insulin makes overweight patients gain more weight, and this excess weight drives blood sugar up even more. Seeing this, doctors usually respond by increasing the insulin dose, which in turn drives weight and blood sugar still higher. Before long, the patient is taking an obscene amount of insulin and doesn’t have a prayer of controlling his or her ballooning weight.
This effect was first documented in the 1970s when a large, long-term, government-funded study, demonstrated—contrary to expectations—that insulin use conferred no advantages as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Yes, it lowered blood sugar levels, but compared to study participants who implemented only lifestyle modifications, there were no significant differences in fatal and nonfatal complications of diabetes.
Furthermore, participants who took insulin gained an average of 14 pounds.
Insulin Increases Blood Pressure
Taiwanese researchers looked at more than 87,000 patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with either oral drugs or insulin. They found that patients using insulin had a higher prevalence of hypertension (61.3 versus 53.9 percent), and the longer they used it, the greater their risk.
This is not surprising. Injected insulin increases sodium retention and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. It induces oxidative stress, leading to free-radical damage that impairs the function of the endothelial cells lining the arteries. It also has growth factor–like activity that thickens blood vessels and increases risk of atherosclerosis.
Because people with diabetes are already at dramatically increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, the last thing they need is a type 2 diabetes treatment that amplifies this risk.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diabetes