If I Lose Weight, Can I Stop Taking My Diabetes Medications?

Read Transcript

A lot of people ask me, could I get off of all these medications, could I get off of insulin? And typically, for the most part, I would say no, unless there was some major changes in lifestyle. Most folks with type 2 have weight problems and that's part of their genetic make up not because they're just overeating and total [xx], most of the time, it's related to the gene for type 2, but I would say that a lot of folks are picking those 10, 20 pounds not even 30, 40, 50, but lose 5-10% of their body weight, start exercising regularly, they can go off medications, most likely. They could reduce their insulin dosage and maybe get off insulin altogether but to lose 20, 30 pounds and start exercising, and you [xx] restriction together, that's tough, and I think everyone in America with weight problems knows that it's tough, there's no magic bullets out there.

So I don't like to say, hey, when someone says to me, could I get off of insulin, I would say, your first goal should be to control your blood sugar but you are type 2, you are 25 to 30 pounds overweight, and if you did lose 5% to 10% of your body weight, you'll become most more sensitive to that insulin and for sure we have to reduce it and maybe withdraw.

So I try not to put too much emphasis on that to reflect, if I can motivate someone to change their lifestyle, that's key, and every once in a while we have individuals that a light bulb goes off, taking control of your diabetes has a problem called extreme diabetes make over, where we educate, motivate someone, usually starting off with about conferences and then giving them support afterwards, and it's just amazing how these folks turn around. People say, what's the key.

The key is really this, educating folks and then giving them support, and getting their trust, and it takes time. And unfortunately, our healthcare system is really stressed in terms of time that patients have with any professional, whether it's a clinical psychologist, exercise physiologist, dietitian or their caregiver.