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What happens to a diabetic when they don't have their insulin?

By Anonymous June 25, 2014 - 11:39am
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I know a few diabetics and I have always wondered, what happens when a diabetic eats sugar and doesn't take their insulin?
What would happen if you didn't take your insulin for a few days?
I know there are other types of diabetes that do not require insulin, in that case, are there any signs to look out for that signify that someone is not taking their medicine?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post! 

The short answer is that a diabetic who doesn't take their insulin can die. 

A person with type 1 diabetes cannot make their own insulin. Therefore they must take insulin daily via a syringe and monitor their sugar levels by taking a prick test on a very small, portable device.  Diet and exercise are important too - diabetics will be given a folder with recommendations and may see a nutritionist that specializes in diabetic care. 

Not taking your insulin for days can result in diabetic coma and death for some people. 

For those with Type 2, which is caused by poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity, they may be put on a strict diet-and-exercise regime as well as a medication called Metformin. This regulates blood sugar but doesn't contain insulin. Type 2 diabetics can make insulin but cannot control it due to poor health habits. 

Signs of someone not taking their meds include fatigue, extreme thirst, hunger, skin rashes and flushes and frequent urination. 

Read all about Diabetes here:


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June 26, 2014 - 10:46am
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