Type 1 vs. Type 2: Medication

Melissa Dawn
By Melissa Dawn Latest Reply 2008-12-11 16:52:08 -0600
Started 2008-07-16 09:13:55 -0500

I've had type 1 diabetes for about 14 years now. I'm pretty familiar with my disease, though I'm still not perfect at keeping everything as controlled as I'd like. In trying to improve this, I've started researching more about the disease, potential treatment, and just getting to know other diabetics and their game plans.

In reading more, I feel that there is a much larger difference between Type 1 and Type 2 than I initially understood. Even the initial cause — Type 1 is caused by (if I understand it correctly) by the body failing to create insulin. Type 2 is caused by the bodies insulin resistance, which can then lead to the pancreas shutting down from over exertion. (I'm aware thats a very simple explanation)

So I'd like to start a discussion of the differences between these two diseases, starting with medication. How do you medicate? How often? Is it a successful process?

As a Type 1 diabetic, I use an insulin pump to regulate my blood sugars. Prior to that, I used Lantus insulin and Humalog. Prior to that, I used N and Humalog. Initially, I started out on N and N and R.

I love using the pump. It allows me more freedom than anything else. I also regularly exercise (or try to) and avoid certain foods.

So, whats your plan?

19 replies

billykirk 2008-12-09 15:43:42 -0600 Report

To any interested readers:
I was diagnosed a Type 1 Diabetic, Feb.1977 when I was a senior in high school, and I must admit I was quite devastated, but since I was so young & in relatively good shape I would do an alright job in controlling my diabetes,
even though in hind sight I know it could have been much better. This was a point in my life and most people lives in this age group, of transition. Well to make a long story shorter, I am now taking insulin (Humalog at each meal & Lantus once a morning) for my Type 1 & since this past June was prescribed Metformin tabs twice a day for Type 2.
I have always struggled trying to maintain my blood sugars in the normal range, however, it has been harder the older I became. I was on the pump approx. a year and a half ago, and I loved it and the freedoms and flexibilities it allowed me. One thing I would recommend to all readers, is to see if their is a camp during the summer for kids with diabetes, I volunteered at one here in Georgia, that they have for a week every summer for kids with diabetes between the ages of 8 - 12, and for kids between ages 13 - 17, to teach and show kids how to manage their diabetes and be able to do just about whatever they want to do &/or need to do, and still live well with their diabetes. The name of the camp was Camp Kudzu, it was through the local JDF in the area. All of the campers were Diabetics and most of the volunteers or at least half were Diabetics as well. This camp was a great motivation for me and a great learning tool for myself, helping these kids overcome some fears,learn some new things and make friendships that sometimes last a lifetime. I volunteered with the camp the first five years it was started, the summer of 2000, here in Georgia.

Anonymous 2008-12-09 15:46:40 -0600 Report

What a great wonderful idea. How fun that would be for the kids. Where everyone was the same as you. I wish I was a kid again. I would love to go. LOL

dj7110 2008-12-08 14:58:59 -0600 Report

I'm a type 2, currently insulin dependant. I started out controling with diet, than went one by one to all three meds Glucaphage, Metformin,Glucotrol. After being maxed out on all three and gradually increassing higher readings I was put on insulin.. started out on Lantis.. than went to Lantis + Humalin 70/30.. And now am currently on 50 units of Lantis and on Humalog on a sliding scale which runs between 10 to 20 units with all meals. My b/g levels have always leveled good for aprox one month after having an increase in my medication. Than ran high there after. I just last week had my lantis increased again but feel my numbers have been high due to being sick past week also.. average readings been in the lower 200's with lowest in the 150's and highest in lower 400's.. For me this disease just keeps getting worse with no permante stabilization. My father was the same way with it when he was alive.

Headsup 2008-12-08 22:18:38 -0600 Report

I think you might see a big difference if you tried a high protein diet. Eat meat cooked any way, fish and dairy products. The Atkins diet is good. I lost 42 pounds in 6 weeks just eating meat, eggs, fish and watching my carb intake. Truthfully, I didn't have to count the carbs because I wasn't eating but 2 pieces of bread and half an apple a day. The protein keeps you satisfied longer and you don't get hungry as soon.I never eat rice, potatoes or any kind of pasta. They just keep making sugar in your body for a long time and blood sugars stay high. I take Amaryl, Glucophage, Lantus and Apidra. The Apidra realy works well to bring down the initial climb of BS right after I eat.I developed Neurothopy from diabetes and I have a sciatic problem that prevents me from exercise, but I try to move around as much as possible. As long as I eat more protein than carbs I feel so much better. Less muscle cramps and hair doesn't fall out as bad. Hope you find this helpful.

dj7110 2008-12-11 16:52:08 -0600 Report

I was on atkins dieet and have been still, lost 50 lbs sso far.. but still have had insulin increased as sugars continued to climb. Unable to do much for exercise.. spend more days stuck in wheeelchair than able to walk anymore.. have too many other problems aside from the diabetis.. disc degeneration with multiple hurniated discs and bad arthritis with bone spurs as well.

Ginlea 2008-12-08 14:33:37 -0600 Report

My daughter who is 8 was diagnosed Sept.2008.Over the summer when school was out she dropped a dress size.Then she started getting sick in the mornings.So I called the doctor and told them about it and that I wanted to get her in for a physical.They seen us 2 weeks later.I took her and the doctor said she has always been healthy and that her not eating much is probally just a stage she is going through plus she has been drinking so much thats why she is not hungry.But just in case we will do some blood work.They called me at lunch time that day and told me her blood count was up to 700.She is a Type 1 diabetic.Take her to the ER.So I had to drive 2 1/2 hours away to Charlottesville Hospital.Because they are the only ones who have a pediatric endo.We were admitted in the Hospital for 2 days.As we were there we had dieticians,doctors talking to us and making sure we understood everything before we left the Hospital.
The Doctors put her on carb counting.Thats where she counts the number of carbs in her food she will be eating and divides that number into the ration number to determine how much insulin she gets for that meal and then we check her BG number and get another number to add that amount of insulin.Bg+Carbs=amount of insulin needed.She takes Humalog with each meal and Lantus at bedtime.She checks her blood 9-10 times a day.She eats 3 snacks a day.Right now we are doing injections but the first of the year when she goes back to see her doctor we are going to talk about getting her on the omnipod.Her A1c at the beginning was 14 then 3 weeks later she dropped to 10.I think right now her A1c is between 7-8.I am not positive if thats where its at but from the researching I have done thats where she is.She put her weight back on and she is doing great with medication.She does not take a lot of insulin with each meal it ranges from 1-3 units a meal and 5 units a night of Lantus.I am very pleased with her BG numbers and how she has so much more energy now.Yes it is succesful for her.

2008-12-08 21:57:26 -0600 Report

That is wonderful that she's doing so well. I read your other post about the whole family eating better and that's great. I'm glad that you noticed her illness quickly so you could get her going and better. She's young so this will become a way of life for her and for all of you, even though I'm sorry she has to deal with it at such a young age. Many athletes and stars are Type 1 diabetic's so always make sure that she's aware that she can be anything she wants to be as long as she takes care of herself.. :)


Ginlea 2008-12-09 06:49:54 -0600 Report

She is aware she can be whatever she wants to .Right now she wants to be a model but that will probally change.It is a good thing that she got it early because she can grow with it.When they are older I think its harder for them to change their lifestyle.She has done really good with it and she does not complain about anything.Yesterday she got M&M's for the first time since her diagoses and it was with a meal so the insulin could cover her.Her BG number did good with that.I told her today that ts week I will make diet cake cupcakes,she is looking forward to that.

marla3300 2008-12-07 21:05:18 -0600 Report

I believe there are few differences between medication as treatments between the type I and 2. It has to do with the difference in our body’s reactions, and how we can control it without the use of medication.
I am a lay person so bare with me okay. I am a type 2, I am morbidly obese. I currently take the same insulin (Humalog and Lantus) you were taking before the pump. It seems as if the pump is more proactive for those who are type 1.
If I eat right and exercise and ultimately lose weight I may not have to take any medications. Whereas type 1’s has to always take medications and or check their sugar levels. Types 1s’ can be skinny and most type 2s’ have food and weight issues. Not always true but I think I am safe in this statement.
For those of you, who know more, please correct my remarks. I won’t argue I would like to learn more also.

Maxine E. Frederick
Maxine E. Frederick 2008-12-06 19:46:48 -0600 Report

Hi, when I was on the pump my sugars was great. Now I'm taking Lantus and Humlog. I really miss the pump. I have no insur.so please keep the pump it's great!


Anonymous 2008-12-06 14:52:41 -0600 Report

I just came across this discussion today and would like to make a comment. I was recently with a friend who has Type I and a pump and I have Type 2. We went to soul food place and I was picky about what to eat and he got all kinds of things fried chicken, banna pudding and I said to him i wish I could eat all of that and he said that being on a pump is better because he can control the carbs by the pump where I have to teast and take pills and watch all carbs. I thought that was an interesting concept. I take 2 pills for my diabetes. so far I have not needed anything else. KNock on wood.

eggie 2008-12-06 20:00:42 -0600 Report

I'm a T2 on an insulin pump and still watch what I eat. I also take metformin to help with insulin resistance. A T1 can eat what they want and bolus for the amount of carbs, but that is a very slippery slope. Weight gain in a T1 can cause double diabetes, that's a type 1 with insulin resistance. Double diabetics take medication to help with insulin resistance also.

Insulin is great stuff, but don't fool yourself into thinking you can eat whatever you want if you go on it due to a bad example. The name of the game here is controlling your blood glucose in order to prevent complications in the future.

shastadiabetes 2008-12-07 20:53:03 -0600 Report

Hello, Diabetics of all Types. Insulin is what you need to keep in control of your Blood Sugars. It is any easy way out when exercise and Diet's are not followed as perscribed. Not eating at the proper times set or perscribed or skipping Type 2 Diabetic Meds. If Type 2 , try and avoid Insulin and stay on Track. Follow steps presented to you when you first learned you had Diabetes, it is Basic Diabetic Management Treatment. It's the Holidays. Learn how to say NO.

kdroberts 2008-12-08 14:08:37 -0600 Report

Wow. That is probably one of the most misinformed, narrow minded and wrong statements about diabetes I've ever heard. It's quite apparent that you have a very, very basic understanding of diabetes and that can be dangerous.

Let me ask you this. What happens when your body doesn't produce insulin or produces very little? Heres the answer. All the exercise and correct diets in the world wouldn't help you. In fact you could actually die in the end of DKA. This can happen to a type 2 as well as a type 1. Insulin is not the easy way out, it is not a license to eat what you want and it is not bad.

It would also be helpful if you think before posting. Your "advice" could cause some very serious problems for people if they took it at face value.

Anonymous 2008-12-08 14:42:53 -0600 Report

Very well put KD. I agree with you 100 percent. Insulin is not the answer. And if you need it, it will be worth it. If you do not follow what the doctor tells you and take the proper steps to control your sugars. While diet and exercise are great for all of us. soemtimes that is not enough. That is why we should do what our doctors tell us or at least ask before we try something new. Doing something on your on will cause dangerous results if you are not treated right. Very good KD.

Judy A
Judy A 2008-12-06 14:24:34 -0600 Report

I have been a Type 2 since 1995. I began diet alone until 2002. Then I began Glucophage, added Glucotrol XL 1 yr later. In 2006 I heqrd from a friend about Byetta, an injection before meals 2x/day. My last A1C was 5.6. All of these meds plus being careful of carb intake helps me immensely. I watched a brother-in-law not take charge of his Type 1 & passed away suddenly @ the wheel of his car from a heart attack 4yrs ago. He had 2 toes amputated & I NEVER want to go that route, Believe me, it's a serious disease that YOU CAN LIVE WITH. Enjoy life by helping yourself LIVE LONG! It;s just the taste of food you crave, not quanity! Judy A.

Lanore 2008-07-17 03:10:11 -0500 Report

Hi!! My Fellows Diabetics,
I have been diabetic for over twenty yrs now type 2. I started out with just Glyburide four a day, wow didn't know there were so many meds. I now take glyburide; metformin; actos, and the Dr put insulin in there too, I take 15-18 units of Lantus @ bed time. Oh and now I also take Januvia. Along with other meds for other things that i have.
I just want for my blood work up on Tues and i hope to stop or at the most lower the insulin again this time around…I am hoping to stop it at together at some point.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2008-08-16 19:37:37 -0500 Report

I diagnosed myself 10 years ago by noticing I felt rotten after eating huge lunches (I was a hospital food service director) so asked the director of nursing to check my blood glucose for the fun of it. The number was 180, and she frightened me into calling the doctor ASAP. For 4 years I controlled with diet and exercise, then Metformin was added which I have been taking ever since. So far I have no complications, my A1C is 5.7, but my creatinine is increasing. Due to anemias I am still eating 30% diet from protein (40% fat, 40% CHO). And I feel pretty good, too. I'm 66 years old.

seawolf1944 2008-07-16 11:59:31 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic six years ago. When,I was diagnosed, My PCP wrote a prescription for a blood glucose testing kit.She also supplied me with very important information both verbally and medical instructions on paper. The doctor started me on Glucaphage. I was on it approximately one year. However,At the time was under state insurance(TennCare). They decided the state was paying too much formy medicine. The state decided to put me on Metformin. As far as,Im concerned that was a blessing in disguise. As far as me and my diabetes , I feel alot better since going on Metformin. However,I realize that each diabetic has their type of diabetes. Therefore,Each person must be treated with different medications. I remember about one and a half years ago. My diabetes treatment plan was going fine. Suddenly,one day, I began to feel ill. I thought,It was a virus. Finally,I had to go to the ER.After Lab results were back,I realized, I had a case of Pancreaitis. To say,I was a sick dude would have been an understatement. I didnt have an ideal what the problem was much less,what caused it until, I talked to the doctor at the hospital. Evidently, The problem was caused by a blocked bile duct in the pancreas. Whether, one is Type 1 or Type 2, diabetics are under the same rules. Being on specific schedue as far as meds,meal times,types of food,exercise and the careful protection of our bodies. Also,We can learn from each other on this site. If a person on this site discovers a new link(site) Theyare willing to share it with others. Im very thankful, I found Diabetic connect.