AskNadia: Going Off of My Insulin While Cleansing

Dear Nadia,

I have type 2 diabetes and am overweight. I want to get off my insulin and have decided to fast to lose weight and stop taking my insulin. I bought a cleanse and diet package. I do not want to go to my doctor because I am scared he will talk me out of it.


Dear Shauna:

As a person living with Type 2 diabetes, you certainly can get your blood sugar levels to where you can go off your medication. I cannot emphasize enough, why you must work with a healthcare professional without sharing my personal loss with you.


In 2000, my mother, a type 2 for 13 years with an A1c of 10, passed away from diabetes complications. My Aunt Grace, not a blood relative, a close family member who was at my birth, attended my mother’s memorial. In my grief, I sat next to my Aunt Grace for comfort at my mom’s wake. I could see my Aunt was not feeling well. I asked her about her diabetes and if she had tested her blood sugar. She confessed that she did not have her blood glucose meter with her. My former husband, a type 1 for 45 years with no complications, tested her blood sugar. Her reading was over 600 mg/dl. Grieving the loss of my mother, I did not want to lose my Aunt Grace as I did my mother.  I told her she needed to follow her healthcare professionals training on how to take insulin to bring her blood sugar down. She decided to inject injected 12 units of Novolog and waited an hour before taking her blood sugar reading the second time. To our surprise, one hour later, her blood sugar reading was still 600 mg/dl after taking 12 units of Novolog. She decided to inject another 12 units of NovoLog. Shortly after her second insulin injection, she left my mother’s memorial.


In my grief, I neglected to check up on her. I do remember saying Aunt Grace, “please speak to your healthcare professional to help you bring your blood sugar is in the normal range.”


Four months later, my best friend called me in tears, two days before her birthday to inform me that her mother, my Aunt Grace, passed away. She asked me to come to her mother’s house immediately. I asked my life long friend “what had happened?” She said that her mother decided to go off of her insulin by going on a fast. She did not discuss this with her physician in fear that her Western medical doctor would discourage her from an alternative way of managing her diabetes. As brilliant as my Aunt Grace was, she missed a crucial fact. Going off of insulin requires a gradual life style change. It does not happen over night. Especially, if you are taking insulin.


People that are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are usually prescribed metformin. Once metformin losses its effectiveness in maintaining normal blood sugars, physicians will prescribe other medications until insulin is the last option.


Going off of insulin requires a lifestyle change. Going on a low carbohydrate  diet and exercising is a good start. You must do this with the oversight of your healthcare professional. There are stages to changing medication dosing.  As you change your diet, start exercising you may be less insulin resistant. Your healthcare professional will teach you how to adjust your insulin dosing in relation to your blood sugar reading. 


Be safe. Best of all? You don’t need to do it alone.


Nothing is more gratifying for a healthcare professional than seeing their patients achieve better blood sugar control. Know that your healthcare professional is invested as you are in helping you achieve the outcomes that you so desire.





Nadia’s feedback to your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:

Nadia is a diabetes advocate that was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has received 14 nominations for her work as a diabetes advocate.
 She has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.


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