Is it true that once you're on insulin, you're on it for life?

Patty Bonsignore


It depends on what type of diabetes you have. If you have type 1 diabetes, the answer is “yes” you will need to take insulin for the rest of your life. If you have type 2, however, the answer is “yes” and “no.” Most people with type 2 diabetes who start insulin will usually stay on it, but not everyone. Sometimes, if the blood glucose levels are really high, especially if someone is newly diagnosed, insulin is taken to stabilize the numbers. Once the numbers are lower, the oral medications can work better and the person may be able to eventually get off the insulin. The other situation in which insulin can be reduced or eliminated is when a person loses a significant amount of weight and starts to be very physically active. However, for most people who have type 2 diabetes, once insulin is started they will need to continue taking it to keep their blood glucose levels within a healthy and safe range.

3 replies

Rod213 2016-06-20 14:00:54 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with Diabetes February 2016 (apparently I was Pre-diabetic in 2005 and no one informed me so can't pinpoint how long I've been diabetic). I was placed on insulin, and followed everything Dr. told me to do. Reduce carb intake in my meals, continue exercising, and taking medication. I was removed from insulin in just three weeks. I was able to drop my numbers dramatically in that time.

Mid-Wales 2014-06-30 15:40:31 -0500 Report

With type 2 diabetes what is considered a safe reading - morning 7-8, mid-day 12 -14' early evening 14 - 15 late evening the same, then I take 48 units of Lantus Solo. Daytime insulin is Nova Rapid

swanieb 2012-01-02 09:57:15 -0600 Report

I'm a Type 2 and i'm on 70/30insulin 36-38 units am and 16-18 units pm with metformin 1g am and pm , i also take bp meds atenolol 20mg amlodipine 5mg and lisinopril 10mg. my problem is although i watch my diet . and wallk almost evryday, i'm still gaining weight and my face is puffed . i'm not like this before . can you help me about this. and i want to be on oral meds anyway my BS is controlled . pls. advise! Thanks