If I am insulin dependent am I type I or type 2?

Patty Bonsignore


“Insulin dependent” or “juvenile diabetes” are terms we used in the past to describe what we now refer to as “type 1 diabetes.” Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body is not making any insulin and insulin injections need to be taken to sustain life, hence the term “insulin dependent.” If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be managing it with physical activity and dietary changes, oral medications, insulin, or a combination of all of these. In other words, people with type 2 diabetes may also take insulin. In fact, about 50 % of patients with type 2 diabetes who have had the disease at least 10 years will need to take insulin in order to control their blood glucose levels. So whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes is not determined by whether or not you need to take insulin. Which type of diabetes you have is determined by how soon after diagnosis you were put on insulin and the symptoms you had at the time of diagnosis. People with type 1 diabetes tend to be thinner, younger and have higher blood glucose levels upon diagnosis. If you’re not sure, it is best to ask your physician which type of diabetes you have.