How to Start Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes?

Updated at: Mar 30, 2012
How to Start Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes?

To start insulin therapy in type 2 diabetes there are some absolute and relative indications, which should be taken into consideration.

Written by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Mar 27, 2012

The vast majority of type 2 diabetics gradually need insulin to put effectively control their elevated body glucose level.  Taking insulin therapy as soon as diabetes is diagnosed is beneficial in preventing diabetic complications such as neuropathy, nephropathy, eye damage, foot damage, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.

The primary concern of a type 2 diabetic and his/her physician is to decide the exact time when insulin therapy can begin. Some common problems in deciding the exact time include patient’s misguided fear about needles, hypoglycaemia, sudden weight gain and pre-existing obesity. These problems result in the patient’s reluctance to take insulin injections and baffles physician. Starting insulin soon is the solution for improved control of blood sugar and a healthier life for type 2 diabetics. The below mentioned points show absolute and other indications of when a type 2 diabetics should start insulin therapy.  


Absolute Indications

  • Blood sugar level over 500.
  • Infection such as pneumonia.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • During and after major surgery.
  • During pregnancy.
  • A1c over 7.5 % plus fasting glucose over 250.

Other Indications

  • Underweight patients or losing weight without dieting.
  • Hospitalised patien.
  • Patients requiring steroids for other disorders.
  • Onset of diabetes prior to age thirty.
  • Diabetes for over fifteen years.
  • Painful diabetic neuropathy.
  • Nephropathy.


In some cases in which insulin is clearly indicated, the patient and his/her physician are often reluctant to do inject insulin as the patient may be needle-phobic though modern insulin syringes  are painless. If a doctor is reluctant to initiate insulin therapy for a patient with poor glucose control even after two or three drugs, the patient should immediately consult an endocrinologist. The earlier insulin is started the better is the prognosis and treatment of a type 2 diabetes.


How does Insulin work in Type 2 Diabetes?

Insulin helps to keep blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics within a normal range by transporting glucose from patients’ blood into their body cells. Body cells then use the glucose for producing energy for the body.   Bodies of non- diabetics produce enough amount of insulin on their own.

Type 2 diabetes can be controlled by adhering to a well-balanced diet and exercise regimen. At the same time, patients’ are prescribed with oral medications to control body’s insulin level and blood sugar. In some cases, oral medication fails to give desired control on blood sugar, in that cases diabetics need to add insulin injections to their treatment.


Read more articles on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.






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