Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. When we eat, insulin is released into the blood stream where it helps to move glucose from the food we have eaten into cells to be used as energy. In people with diabetes the body produces little or no insulin.
For Type 1 - In people with type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin as the cells that produce insulin have been destroyed by an autoimmune reaction in the body. Insulin replacement is required by daily injections.
For Type 2 - In people with type 2 diabetes the body produces insulin but the insulin does not work as well as it should. This is often referred to as insulin resistance. To compensate the body makes more but eventually cannot make enough to keep the balance right. Lifestyle changes can delay the need for tablets and/or insulin to stabilise blood glucose levels. When insulin is required, it is important to understand that this is just the natural progression of the disease.
At this stage, insulin can only be injected.
Insulin cannot be given in tablet form as it would be destroyed in the stomach. This means that the insulin would not be available to convert glucose into energy.