Which Diabetes Needs Insulin?

Which diabetes needs insulin? Without enough insulin to meet the body’s needs, or if the insulin that is made by the body is not used as it should be, blood glucose levels rise.

Diabetes is a disease marked by high blood glucose (blood sugar) and affects the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin, causing damage to many of the body’s systems — especially the heart and circulatory system, eyes, kidneys, and feet.

Diabetes Mellitus Types

There are two types of diabetes mellitus are Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Both have similar symptoms that people get confused to diagnose one from another. Here are some general differences between these diabetes types.

  1. Type 1 Diabetes appears at a much earlier age that is in childhood or early adulthood, while type 2 diabetes occurs in adults over the age of 40.
  2. In the case of type 1 diabetes, people cannot produce insulin naturally by their body because the pancreas stops producing it whereas when in the case of type 2 diabetes, the insulin is not used properly by the body cells.

Which type of diabetes needs insulin?

This type of diabetes occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. The amount of insulin produced becomes very low or absent and the body cannot use glucose as a fuel for its cells which leads to high blood glucose.

People with Type 1 diabetes require insulin treatment to stay alive. Hence, they need insulin or other injectable medications to help control their blood sugar.

Why Do Type 1 Diabetics Have to take Insulin?

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that requires careful management and insulin for treatment. It occurs due to the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called pancreatic beta cells which produce insulin.

Insulin is a hormone responsible for maintaining blood glucose levels within certain limits by allowing glucose to enter cells and permitting them to use it as an energy source.

It also prevents glucose from building up in the blood, which could damage organs and tissues and result in a dangerous condition called hyperglycemia (high blood glucose).

Moreover, people with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin because there are cells in other parts of the body, such as the brain and muscles, that require this hormone for proper functioning.

All individuals with Type 1 diabetes need insulin injections or use an insulin pump to supply their bodies with a steady amount of this hormone throughout the day and night. The injections are administered subcutaneously, which means just under the skin.

Taking insulin is not a choice but an absolute requirement for staying alive. Without insulin injections throughout the day and before eating meals, people with Type 1 diabetes will become severely ill and possibly pass away.

Types of Insulin

These are the  basic types of insulin:

●     rapid-acting

It is usually taken before meals and to correct high blood glucose levels; and

●     short-acting

For controlling the sugar levels, you will take it half an hour before a meal.

●     intermediate-acting insulin

You will administer insulin twice a day for a longer period of time.

●     long-acting insulin

It is usually taken at bedtime to provide coverage for the longer part of the night. It may also be used in combination with some rapid-acting insulins, such as 70/30 insulin.

●     mixed insulin

This type of insulin is 70% isophane insulin and 30% NPH. It provides both a long-acting effect as well as some fast-acting or “mealtime” activity to control blood sugar levels after meals.

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Types of Insulin Treatments

To get information about which diabetes needs insulin, you should know that there are two types of insulin treatments:

Multiple daily injections

With the MDI regimen, a person with Type 1 diabetes typically has to give himself or herself several insulin injections throughout the day. Carbohydrate consumptions & glucose level determine total number of shots.


With the MMD regimen, a person with Type 1 diabetes has three or more insulin injections per day. Since this method relies on both basal and bolus insulin, it is much more complex than the MDI regimen and requires rigorous blood sugar monitoring and often multiple injections throughout the day. You can also use an insulin pump.

The most common form of treatment for Type 1 diabetes is multiple daily injections (MDI).

Types of Insulin Pumps

There are different types of insulin pumps that deliver insulin via catheter or tubing into your body 24 hours a day. Some have sensors that help the pump measure the amount of glucose in your blood and respond accordingly by delivering more or less insulin as needed.

You can wear some pumps on your belt or keep them in your pocket. Upper arms, thighs and abdomen can incorporate pumps under the skin.

Disposable pumps: These are one-time-use devices that attach to a replaceable catheter and infusion set. You must insert a new set each week or two.

Continuous glucose monitor (CGM) pumps: These devices continuously monitor blood sugar levels, then alert you by vibrating or beeping when your blood sugar is too high or low.

Pumps that consist of a small computer about the size of a cell phone. They should store information and trends for up to two weeks in order to help you manage your diabetes.

Insulin pump therapy is a safe and effective way to take both bolus and basal doses of insulin.


Type 1 diabetes does not go away, but most people with the condition live happy and healthy lives. Hence, in most of the cases, Type 1 is the answer to ‘which diabetes needs insulin’.

It’s not easy having Type 1 diabetes, but if you can learn how to properly inject insulin. Keep your levels in control, and cope with the stress of daily injections, you’ll be just fine.

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