What can be done to get off in­sulin in­jec­tions?

Manteca Bulletin - - Local/ State/ Opinion - Keith Roach, M.D.

DEAR DR. ROACH: My doc­tor placed me on in­sulin for di­a­betes be­cause I was not able to bring my glu­cose be­low 100. The blood­work re­sults are now 120 glu­cose and 6.6 he­mo­glo­bin A1C. I have been av­er­ag­ing 6.5 he­mo­glo­bin A1C for over two years. I have been tak­ing glu­cose read­ings three times a day, with re­sults be­tween 108 and 147 mg/dl. My blood pres­sure reads 117/61, and my heart rate av­er­ages 55. All my blood­work is within nor­mal lim­its. I’m 65 years old and was won­der­ing if tak­ing the in­sulin is needed at this time. I still work, and I’m very ac­tive for my age. I take 15 units of in­sulin in­jec­tions at night be­fore bed. I also take XIGDUO XR 10 mg/1,000 mg in the morn­ing af­ter break­fast. The other med­i­ca­tion I take is 10 mg of sim­vas­tatin be­fore bed­time for my choles­terol, which is within the limit when I do my blood­work. What can I do to get off the in­sulin? -- S.R.

AN­SWER: I un­der­stand why peo­ple want to stop tak­ing in­sulin. Many peo­ple do not like giv­ing them­selves an in­jec­tion ev­ery day. How­ever, it is hard to ar­gue with the suc­cess you have had on your cur­rent reg­i­men. Your blood sug­ars, con­firmed by your A1C, are in the near-nor­mal range, and your re­sults are very close to what most ex­perts would rec­om­mend.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is that the in­sulin you are tak­ing keeps your own pan­creas from hav­ing to make in­sulin. This might help your longterm abil­ity to reg­u­late blood su­gar. Your in­sulin is a long-act­ing form of hu­man in­sulin, which is the most nat­u­ral way of re­plac­ing the in­sulin your body can’t make enough of. You also take a po­tent com­bi­na­tion of oral medicines to help the in­sulin work bet­ter.

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