Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Has anyone discontinued insulin?
    Michael Dansinger, MD posted:
    I'd like to hear from folks with type 2 diabetes who have been on insulin in the past, and then used lifestyle changes to successfully discontinue insulin.

    In theory, some or even many type 2's who now take insulin could lose enough weight to discontinue it, but in practice this is rather rare. The doctors who prescribe very low carb diets generally claim good success with getting patients off insulin. Gastric bypass patients routinely discontinue insulin.

    I want to know more from folks who have really done it. Do you think you could ever do it?

    Michael Dansinger, MD
    phototaker responded:
    Dr. Dansinger, my mom went from Orinase(years ago, not sure of the spelling) pills for diabetes, to diet and exercise alone,(she got down to a size 12 from a 20), and then to insulin in her later years. She struggled to keep her numbers stable when she was in her 80's, while on insulin. She died at 88. She also was a HUGE walker, EVERY DAY. I'm not sure if she started off with insulin or not. I do remember helping to hold her skin while she took her shots in her arm, when I was around 9 or 10. She was 40 when diagnosed.
    arealgijoe responded:
    Good question..........

    When I started insulin I was skin and bones, so gained some after starting insulin 3 decades ago. I am on a typical normal diabetic. with a minor splurge now and then. Back before I started insulin I biked EVERY morning for exercise and did EVERYTHING I could to avoid insulin, to no avail.

    My diabetes is a bit wierd. I have been labeled IDDM, type-2 back and forth more than once and questioned if I was actually a type-1. My Islet and GAD antibodies are boarderline, so no formal T-1 label. ( test done after starting immune sys med for MS) I would not fit well anyway, as sometimes I seem to have some residual function and other periods (even years at a time) I am totally injected insulin dependent.

    Despite gaining about 10-12 lbs this past year, my total MDI insulin dose is half what it was back in 2007...go figure? In fact instead of progressing, (more like digressing) my diabetes is actually better, more stable and easier to manage than EVER BEFORE in my 3 decades since first hospitalization & actually Dx'd with diabetes.

    Do I dare try and simply STOP the insulin? I am not sure, might depend on what mode my body is in at the time. Do I dare risk it with my concurrent heart valves & CKD-3 issues (currently back up away from stage-4 of a couple years ago)

    At the moment I think I better NOT FIX things that are not broken, I don"t need more problems right now. So far NO major diabetic complictions and I want to keep it that way.
    Even if I were able to stop insulin, I still would be on shots for the MS, just 5-6 less holes in my human pincushion a day..

    OMEGA352 responded:

    I quit using insulin at the beginning of February 2011. I was turned down for a position in Kuwait due to insulin use. I asked my doctor to put me back on Metformin and he refused. I had pills left over from when I had taken Metformin so I haven't used insulin since. I went to a clinic and was given refills. I had an A1C done about 3 weeks ago, it was 7.6. I need an A1C of 7.1 or lower for the job, so my new doctor doubled my dosage of Metformin from 500 mg 2x per day to 1000mg 2x per day. I've noticed a significant drop in my blood sugar levels, especially at night (from a high of 259 to a range of 94-160). I walk an average of 2 miles 3-4 days a week (I have begun jogging during the walks up to 1/8 mile each lap). Over the past 6 weeks I've lost over 15 pounds and have maintained the loss. Diabetes had always been a bother to me but I didn't take it seriously until it disqualified me for my dream job. Now I've changed my eating habits; I take blood readings twice daily and I pay attention to how different foods affect my sugar levels. I also spend much more time on WebMD learning what foods are good for me and how to take better care of myself. My goal is to be diabetes free. By the way, insulin made me gain over 40 pounds and had some serious side-effects I no longer deal with. My blood sugar this morning was 102.
    mhall6252 replied to OMEGA352's response:
    Omega - you rock! What a great inspiration you are! Metformin really is a great drug, if you can put up with the initial gastro-intestinal distress that many people suffer. Please let us know how you are doing and when you achieve your dream job!

    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to phototaker's response:
    Thank you for sharing your story about your mom. She had tye 2 diabetes for nearly 50 years! Wow! That is unusual.
    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to arealgijoe's response:
    Ya, your diabetes is weird. Glad to know your diabetes is easier to manage than ever before. Best not to risk anything by making changes, at least for the time being.
    Michael Dansinger, MD replied to OMEGA352's response:
    Omega--that's a spectacular story!
    Michael Dansinger, MD
    auriga1 responded:
    As to your question, "Do you think you could ever do it?" Probably not. I was underweight at diagnosis and immediately put on insulin. A1C was 13.2. The doctors thought it best to use insulin. It has worked wonders; A1C now 6.0. But that is in addition to cutting carbs and exercising along with the use of insulin.

    With no insulin, my numbers are between 400-500, so I don't see discontinuing it anywhere in the near future unless something miraculous occurs.
    cookiedog replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:
    I was diagnosed Type II eleven years ago. I controlled my diabetes many years with diet and exercise but I was overweight and lax in my health habits.

    I was put on oral medications and they worked well for me. In February, my transplant lead doctor and my endocrinologist told me I need to have very, very good control and a low A1c going into the transplant. I was put on HumalinN. It was worked great for me.

    The doctors said about 1/2 of the folks who have a transplant eventually are able to stop using insulin. That seems to match up with the folks in my support group. We all have cirrhosis, all are on insulin and a good number of them stop insulin in the months after transplant.
    arealgijoe replied to Michael Dansinger, MD's response:
    Another positive, I have had psorasis since HS and for the first time my KNEES are both totally clear of the psorasis. Still have some on my elbos though. I'll take any minor positives.
    I am not putting ANYTHING on my knees. Seems to maybe be a positive side effect of the Copaxone.

    Gomer ...... IF it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    betaquartz replied to OMEGA352's response:
    Try the old military interval training-start the walk with 50 steps then run 50 then back to walk, interval the entire time. As it gets easier go to 100/100 then up again 150/150. The interval lets you do more yet not tax you in building up to it.

    Helpful Tips

    Tip for Less Severe Neuropathy Symptoms
    I was diagnosed with Type 2 over eight years ago and have been lucky enough to control my disease with weight loss, diet and exercise ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Conquering Diabetes - Michael Dansinger, MD

    Dr. Michael Dansinger provides thoughtful tips for those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes who want to reclaim their health...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.