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From Palm Coast, Florida, USA:

Once you start taking insulin injections, is it possible to go back to oral medications? My grandson was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.


There is no pill for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Insulin is too large a protein to avoid digestion by the gut. The oral medications used to treat type 2 diabetes do not contain insulin. They contain agents that can enhance the body's responsiveness to insulin or agents that further stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin - but this hinges on the fact that in type 2 diabetes there generally is a very good ability of the pancreas to produce insulin yet the person is rather resistant to the effects of insulin.

In true, classic Type 1 diabetes, which typically has at it's fundamental cause an immune system "auto-destruction" of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, the treatment must involve supplemental injections of insulin. The lack of insulin can be deadly.

As time progresses, insulin given by other routes, such as skin patches, inhaled insulin, or maybe insulin in pills, and of course pancreas transplants may, be reality and not a dream.

Sorry to possibly burst a bubble of hope. Please talk with your grandchild's diabetes provider and their Certified Diabetes Educators so you can learn more and be a great help to your grandchild!


Original posting 6 Feb 2004
Posted to Insulin and Pills for Diabetes


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:54
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