The Downsides of Supplemental Insulin

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Although most people think injected insulin is reserved for type 1 diabetes, more than one in four people with type 2 diabetes use insulin. And, in most of those cases, it just makes things worse.

“Bill”, a patient of mine, had type 2 diabetes for 10 years prior to coming to the Whitaker Wellness Institute. At the time of diagnosis, his physician started him on a drug that stimulates insulin production. It worked for a while, but slowly and surely, he was unable to manage blood sugar levels effectively. Plus, his weight began to increase.

His doctor responded by increasing his medication dose. Again, his levels improved for a time, but eventually both his blood sugar and his waistline inched up.

After a time, Bill was no longer able to manage his diabetes with oral drugs, so his doctor prescribed a low dose of insulin. Over the next few years, his insulin dose was periodically ratcheted upward to keep pace with his rising blood sugar levels, and with every increase, he gained more and more weight. After 10 years, he was taking 100 units of insulin daily and had put on 100 pounds! Folks, that’s just bad medicine.

Bill’s diabesity, which was contributing to a number of health problems, was clearly exacerbated by insulin. Following the Whitaker Wellness diabetes treatment program, Bill lost those 100 extra pounds (over the course of several years), and his blood sugar normalized without any medication at all.

Another testament to the link between diabetes and weight is the fact that 90 percent of teenagers with type 1 diabetes sometimes skip their insulin doses in order to prevent weight gain. Clearly, this is not a good thing (especially since people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive), but it goes to show just how many people experience this potential downside to supplemental insulin.

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