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I'm Learning, Which Type is Insulin Dependent?

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Old 08-26-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
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Question I'm Learning, Which Type is Insulin Dependent?

I am learning about diabetes, I am waiting to be tested, have some autoimmune disease and issues going on, so now I am learning what I can about diabetes. Which type is insulin dependent and requires injections? How often do you do injections? Do you do them yourself or do you have others do it for you? Where do you inject yourself at?


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Old 08-26-2009, 07:53 PM   #2
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Re: I'm Learning, Which Type is Insulin Dependent?

Hi Alexa,

Actually, both types can be insulin dependent, but Type 1 is always insulin dependent. With Type 2, it depends...usually T2 can be controlled with diet and exercise at first, then with oral medications, but many people end up insulin dependent the longer they have it. The mechanisms for each type are different. In T1, the body's immune system gets turned on by something, and it mistakes the insulin-producing cells for invading cells, so it destroys them. T1's, therefore, stop producing insulin pretty quickly.

For T2's, usually the problem is insulin resistance. The body initially is producing enough insulin, but the cells become resistant and can't use the body produces more and more insulin, but the blood sugar levels stay high. For t2's, this can result in the insulin-producing cells eventually becoming burnt out and dying, but it's a much, much longer process than it is for T1. T1 usually develops over a few months, while it can take T2's many, many years to become insulin dependent.

How often you inject depends on what type of insulin you use and what type of management you desire. To get really good management if you're insulin dependent, it's best to learn how to count the carbohydrates in your food, and then bolus a rapid-acting insulin to cover them. This means you'd take a shot every time you were going to eat, plus you'd need one shot of a basal (long acting) insulin per day to cover your basic metabolic needs. Yes, you do give yourself the shots, but they're quite easy. The needles on insulin syringes (or pens, if you use an insulin pen) are quite short and very, very can barely feel them going in. The shot is a subcutaneous shot (jmeaning just under the skin), not an intra-muscular shot like, say, flu shots.

Another way to manage if you're insulin-dependent is with an insulin pump. You'd need to learn to manage on shots first, for a short time, but many people go on pumps rather quickly nowadays. With a pump, you have a small, flexible canula which sits just under the skin and is attached, through tubing, to a reservoir of insulin in the pump. You use the pump buttons to give yourself insulin through the tubing/canula, but the canula stays in one place for about 3 days.

You can inject in your abdomen, just avoid the area around the navel (put your fist on your navel, and avoid the area that your fist covers). You can use the backs of your upper arms, the fronts of your thighs, the love handle area, and the top of the butt. It's very important to have a good rotation schedule as injecting in the same site too often will lead to scarring, and then you won't get absorption in that area. You could probably do an internet search for "insulin shot site rotation" and come up with a good diagram.

If you have autoimmune issues, then it's more likely that if you do have diabetes it'll be Type 1, which is insulin dependent. Unfortunately, people who have one autoimmune disease are much more prone than the general public to developing another one.

So let us know what happens...and feel free to post again if you've got more questions. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people on this board.


Old 08-26-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: I'm Learning, Which Type is Insulin Dependent?

Thanks for your time Ruth, you have answered all of my questions and give me a great idea of how this works. I may have more questions in the near future. Thanks again!

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