If you're wondering if you can ever stop insulin injections, here are answers

Not necessarily. Sometimes people with type 2 diabetes are put on insulin temporarily to bring very high blood glucose levels under control quickly.

This step is commonly taken when the body is undergoing a certain stress, such as an acute illness, after surgery, during pregnancy, or when treated with a medication like a corticosteroid that increases insulin resistance. Other insulin treatment can be stopped once the stress has ended.

When your blood glucose is too high under normal circumstances, you may be able to stop (or at least reduce) insulin therapy if you can lower your blood glucose to near-normal levels by losing weight or changing your oral medication.

That said, type 2 diabetes is usually progressive. When first diagnosed, many people can manage their blood glucose with lifestyle measures and oral medications. Over time, the body gradually produces less of its own insulin, and these measures may not be enough to control blood glucose levels.

Talk to your doctor to see if eliminating insulin is a viable option for you, but keep in mind that blood glucose needs to be well controlled to prevent complications. Don’t avoid insulin if doing so might lead to more trouble later.

Publication Review By: Christopher D. Saudek, M.D. and Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.

Published: 06 Dec 2011

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015