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Type II Diabetes: Oral Meds vs Insulin

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Old 07-12-2003, 12:32 PM   #1
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Post Type II Diabetes: Oral Meds vs Insulin

My doctor recently said I was "borderline" diabetic and put me on Glucophage to prevent me from developing Type II diabetes. I know several people who take this medication and most of them experience unpleasant side-effect, which include kidney failure with my mom. I guess my question is if I eventually develop diabetes, is it possible to be treated with insulin alone instead of combining it with oral antidiabetic medications? My mom takes both insulin and Glyburide. When she started taking the insulin, her blood sugar levels, along with her Hb A1C dropped to normal levels. Since insulin is a naturally-occuring hormone, I would assume the side effects are minimal. Does anyone else here take only insulin for their Type II diabetes? Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 07-12-2003, 03:33 PM   #2
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IMO tablets are much better and easier to live with than insulin, there are many different types of diabetes tablets, diabetes often runs in families

type 1 means insulin dependant

type 2 means tablets only
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Old 07-12-2003, 03:40 PM   #3
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I am type 2 I take glyberide and glucophage
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Old 07-12-2003, 07:43 PM   #4
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Just a minor correction:

Type 2 does not necessarily mean tablets only. There are varying degrees of Type 2 diabetes, plus it is usually a somewhat progressive illness, meaning the longer you have it, the more severe it gets. There are thousands of Type 2 diabetics who must take insulin.

Old 07-12-2003, 10:11 PM   #5
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bird123 HB User

Insulin causes weight gain and Glucophage doesn't.
Glucophage doesn't cause kidney failure, diabetes does.
Glucophage is contraindicated in renal failure because of decreased renal clearance.

Old 07-13-2003, 06:03 AM   #6
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Originally posted by JimboRam:
My doctor recently said I was "borderline" diabetic and put me on Glucophage to prevent me from developing Type II diabetes.

Something about that first sentence has me a bit concerned. Did your doctor tell you that oral meds can be used to prevent the development of diabetes? It is possible that they can be used to treat diabetes in lieu of using insulin for now (sometimes type IIs can be treated without meds, sometimes with oral meds only, sometimes they need insulin, sometimes things get worse, sometimes they can be reversed). What I will urge next falls into the reversal realm...

Anyway, the way I look at oral meds (now) is they are a treatment best used when all other modifications have been tried and the net result is still higher glucose readings, whether due to inability of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin or due to impaired glucose tolerance.

There is a tendency to use oral meds as a way to compensate and avoid changes in lifestyle (exercise) and diet. I played this game and paid the price the hard way.

I firmly believe, and have learned, that the better way to prevent/stave off/delay diabetes is to make changes where you can. If you don't exercise, or if you exercise only a little, increasing exercise will improve the glucose uptake by your muscles. If your diet has room for improvement, target that also. Finally, if you are carrying a few extra pounds, lose them if you can.

In my case, at 227 lbs, it was a struggle to keep my 2hr post prandial readings <120 mg/dL glucose, and my fasting was ~105 mg/dL. I needed 2 mg Amaryl just to reach this level, else my sugars would remain in the >300 mg/dL range (fasting). (HbA1c=7.2)

At 205 lbs, I was able to reduce the Amaryl to 1 mg because I started to notice a lower fasting glucose, and afternoon readings in the 50-60 mg/dL (HbA1c=6.0)

At 190 lbs, I was able to control my sugars without mediciation; however, I did go a bit over 140 mg/dL when I had more carbs than usual at a meal.(HbA1c=5.0)

At 175 lbs, my glucose peaked at 126 mg/dL after one meal, which is excellent for diabetics and non-diabetics.

At 155 lbs, I can eat a quarter of an apple pie and a pint of vanilla ice cream after having sushi rolls, check my sugars at 30 min, 60, 90, and 120 mins, and peak at 117 mg/dL before heading back down to my average of ~80 mg/dL (at 120 min mark). (HbA1c=4.7).

Anyway, the point to all of this--if you can improve in any of the areas (diet, exercise, weight), you owe it to yourself to make those changes first. There are many here who don't have that option. In my case, I am lucky, and was able to impact it. A few months ago, I read that it is estimated that 70% of type II cases can be reversed. Its not the easiest path to follow, but (potentially) can be the most beneficial.

[This message has been edited by ubernier (edited 07-13-2003).]

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