Normally insulin levels are not measured in type-2 diabetes. Why?

In summary, type-2 diabetes patients have higher levels of glucose in their blood and may have insulin resistance. Their treatment often involves insulin-based drugs, but insulin levels are not routinely tested. This is because blood sugar levels are a more accurate and quick measure of the condition, and there are other factors that can affect insulin levels. Additionally, the drugs used in treatment have effects beyond just stimulating insulin production. Therefore, monitoring blood sugar levels is the main focus in managing type-2 diabetes.
  • #1
mktsgm
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TL;DR Summary
Type-2 diabetes is generally correlated to hyperglycemia. The patients are routinely measuring glucose levels in their blood, but not their insulin levels. Why?
Type-2 diabetes patients generally display higher levels of glucose circulating in their blood. While type-1 is considered a lack of insulin disease, in type-2 it is considered that insulin may be present, but it is not working properly. It is called Insulin-resistance.

Most of the drugs for type-2 diabetes are insulin based (except some like Metformin etc), ie., they are either induced-endogenous or prescribed-exogenous insulin.

These type-2 patients are routinely prescribed to check their blood glucose levels (both fasting and pp) usually a test on their insulin levels is not tested. Even if the drugs are insulin-based, insulin levels are not tested in them.

I wonder, why it is so?

Is the information on insulin levels redundant or wasteful? Will it not be helpful to get the insulin levels routinely, for further treatment/understanding of the disease?
 
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  • #2
I suspect the main reasons are pragmatic, really, in diabetes it is the blood sugar levels that cause the adverse health effects and testing this is simple, accurate and quick. The trouble with insulin testing is that there are a range of things that can affect the levels, and that there are factors other than insulin that can affect the blood sugar. They can and do check insulin production, but usually this is to help clarify the diagnosis, the blood sugar is a better measure to monitor the condition.

Type 2 diabetes is actually a bit more complex in terms of its pathophysiology, and the drugs used in treatment often have effects beyond just stimulating insulin production. The aim of treatment is to control the blood sugar levels, so that's what's measured, regardless of the way in which it's achieved.
 
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