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How Do You Take Insulin For Diabetes?

Insulin, Medicines, & Other Diabetes Treatments

Insulin, Medicines, & Other Diabetes Treatments

Taking insulin or other diabetes medicines is often part of treating diabetes. Along with healthy food choices and physical activity, medicine can help you manage the disease. Some other treatment options are also available. What medicines might I take for diabetes? The medicine you take will vary by your type of diabetes and how well the medicine controls your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar. Other factors, such as your other health conditions, medication costs, and your daily schedule may play a role in what diabetes medicine you take. Type 1 diabetes If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin because your body no longer makes this hormone. You will need to take insulin several times during the day, including with meals. You also could use an insulin pump, which gives you small, steady doses throughout the day. Type 2 diabetes Some people with type 2 diabetes can manage their disease by making healthy food choices and being more physically active. Many people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes medicines as well. These medicines may include diabetes pills or medicines you inject under your skin, such as insulin. In time, you may need more than one diabetes medicine to control your blood glucose. Even if you do not take insulin, you may need it at special times, such as during pregnancy or if you are in the hospital. Gestational diabetes If you have gestational diabetes, you should first try to control your blood glucose level by making healthy food choices and getting regular physical activity. If you can’t reach your blood glucose target, your health care team will talk with you about diabetes medicines, such as insulin or the diabetes pill metformin, that may be safe for you to take during pregnancy. Your health care team may start you on diab Continue reading >>

Injecting Insulin

Injecting Insulin

Tweet Injecting insulin is an essential part of the daily regime for many diabetics. Although insulin that can be inhaled is now available and approved, the reality is that most type 1 diabetics (and type 2 diabetics who require insulin) will have to continue injecting insulin until it is more common. Does injecting insulin hurt? Needle technology for insulin injection has become much better in recent years, meaning that the injection process, although not pain-free, does not hurt as much as it used to. Many patients still find injecting insulin to manage their diabetes an unpleasant process, however. Is injecting insulin and having diabetes going to change my life? Unfortunately, having diabetes does lead to lifestyle complications. For insulin therapy to be effective, it is necessary to make certain lifestyle changes. These should include: eating healthily exercising regularly testing blood glucose regularly and following a strict insulin regimen Although adhering to all these changes does influence your daily routine, the benefits for diabetics are enormous. Into what part of my body should I inject insulin to best help my diabetes? The abdomen is the most common site for injecting insulin. For some people, this site is not suitable, and other sites must be used. These include the upper arms, the upper buttocks and the outside of the thigh. All of these sites are most effective because they have a layer of fat to absorb the insulin better. This process directly injects insulin into the subcutaneous tissue. These areas also have fewer nerve endings, meaning that they are the least painful areas in which to inject. Should I switch the site where I inject insulin? Your healthcare team should be able to help you to decided the best places to inject insulin, when you shou Continue reading >>

Taking Insulin For Diabetes

Taking Insulin For Diabetes

Insulin and other injectables Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas. If your pancreas does not make any insulin or does not make enough insulin, your health care provider may want you to take injections (shots) of insulin. Your health care provider or diabetes educator will decide what types of insulin you should take, when you should take them and how often. It is not unusual to take more than one type of insulin. Have your health care provider or nurse write down this important information for you. Your type of insulin Circle type(s) of insulin: Other ____________________________________________ Your times and amounts Record times and amounts: before breakfast: _____________________________________ before lunch: ________________________________________ before evening meal: _________________________________ before bed: _________________________________________ As a rule, take your insulin 30 minutes before your meal if you take Regular. If you take Humalog®, NovoLog® or Apidra®, take it right before your meal. Insulin can be used with a bottle and syringe or a pen device. Ask your diabetes educator to help you find the best technique for you. Things to remember about taking insulin The timing of insulin injections and meals is important to controlling your blood glucose* levels. Ask your health care provider or diabetes educator to review your individual plan with you. Take your insulin every day, even if you are feeling sick. If you cannot eat normally because you are sick, follow sick day guidelines. Do not change the amount of insulin that you take without talking to your health care provider or diabetes educator (unless you have been trained to do so). See the end of this page for information on how to safely dispose of used sharps (needles, syringes Continue reading >>

What Is Insulin And Why Do Some Diabetics Need To Take It?

What Is Insulin And Why Do Some Diabetics Need To Take It?

Question: What is insulin and why do some diabetics need to take it? Answer: Insulin is a hormone. It's made by certain cells in the pancreas, which are called the beta cells of the pancreas, and the beta cells from the pancreas are part of these little islets called the Islets of Langerhans. That's where insulin normally comes from, and in type 2 diabetes there is always some insulin coming out from those beta cells; in type 1 diabetes, you tend to lose the beta cells and make no insulin. Since 1921 or so, though, insulin has been available as a pharmacologic approach, so you can take insulin by injection, and you can replace what's not being made in the pancreas. Who needs insulin? Well, it really is two situations. First of all, in type 1 diabetes, insulin is always necessary because the beta cells in the pancreas are not making any insulin. So, people with type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes always need insulin injections. In type 2 diabetes, you may also need insulin if your pancreas has sort of worn out to the point that it's not making anywhere near enough insulin, and you do need insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes often can be treated by different pills that might improve the insulin release by the pancreas or improve the response of the body to insulin, but eventually even type 2 diabetes may simply not be making, the pancreas may not be making enough insulin, and the person may need insulin by injection. Next: What Causes Diabetes? Previous: What Is Gestational Diabetes And Can It Hurt My Baby? Continue reading >>

Insulin For Diabetes Treatment (types, Side Effects, And Preparations)

Insulin For Diabetes Treatment (types, Side Effects, And Preparations)

What is the dosage and how is insulin administrated? A meal should be consumed within 30 minutes after administering regular insulin Insulin usually is administered by subcutaneous injection into the abdominal wall, thigh, buttocks (gluteal region), or upper arm. Injection sites should be rotated within the same region. Some insulins (for example, regular insulin) also may be administered intravenously. The dose is individualized for each patient. A combination of short or rapid acting and intermediate or long acting insulin typically are used Some patients may develop resistance to insulin and require increasing doses. Multiple daily insulin injections or continuous subcutaneous infusions via a pump closely mimic pancreatic insulin secretion. Insulin sliding scales (doses of insulin that are based on the glucose level ) may be used for managing critically ill hospitalized patients. What are the contraindications, warnings, and precautions for insulin? Hypersensitivity to insulin or its excipients (inactive co-ingredients) Hypoglycemia may occur and is the most common side effect of insulin treatment. Severe, life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may occur. Hypokalemia (low blood potassium) may occur because insulin stimulates movement of potassium from blood into cells. Combining insulin with potassium-lowering drugs may increase the risk of hypokalemia. Hepatic (liver) impairment may reduce the insulin requirement. Renal (kidney) dysfunction may reduce the insulin requirement. Illness, emotional disturbance, or other stress may alter the insulin requirement. Intravenous administration increases the risk of hypoglycemia and hypokalemia. Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes And Insulin

Type 1 Diabetes And Insulin

It’s necessary to take insulin when you have type 1 diabetes. Your body doesn’t produce the hormone insulin, and without that, your body can’t properly get the energy and fuel it needs from glucose. Because people with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin, it was formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes. To learn about how the hormone insulin works, we have an article that explains the role of insulin. As soon as you are (or your child is) diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you will be immersed in the world of insulin, and it may feel overwhelming at first. There are doses to calculate, different types of insulin to consider, and the pressure of needing to keep blood glucose in a normal range to prevent short- and long-term complications. Your diabetes treatment team is there to help you. They can walk you through the basics of insulin dosing, answer any questions, and help you figure out how to balance food, exercise, and insulin. You will learn to take care of your diabetes with your diabetes team. If you are a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, we also encourage you to visit our Patients' Guide to Managing Your Child's Type 1 Diabetes. It's often comforting to hear stories about others who are also going through the same things you are. Jay Cutler, quarterback for the Chicago Bears, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008, and he is still getting used to regular blood sugar testing and insulin injections. To learn more about his journey with type 1 diabetes, read Jay Cutler's interview with EndocrineWeb. This article will provide basic details on insulin treatment. You can also visit our Patients' Guide to Insulin for more details. Types of Insulin With type 1 diabetes, you will need to take insulin on a daily basis, and there are several types of insulin you Continue reading >>

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. What is insulin, and why do I need it? Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar (also called glucose) in your body. People with diabetes may not have enough insulin or may not be able to use it properly. The sugar builds up in the blood and overflows into the urine, passing out of your body unused. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems. All people with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. (The box below lists the different types of insulin.) The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range. Do I need to monitor my blood sugar level? Yes. You need to check your blood sugar level regularly using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor or the office staff can teach you how to use the monitor. You'll need to write down each measurement and show this record to your doctor, so your doctor can tell you how much insulin to take. How often will I need to take insulin? Your doctor will give you a schedule. Most people with diabetes need at least 2 insulin shots a day. Some people need 3 or 4 shots for good blood sugar control. When should I take insulin? If you take Regular insulin or a longer-acting insulin, you should generally take it 15 to 30 minutes before a meal. If you take insulin lispro (brand name: Humalog), which works very quickly, you should generally take it less than 15 minutes before you eat. What is different Continue reading >>

Insulin Treatment

Insulin Treatment

Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas, which lies just behind your stomach. It helps our bodies use glucose for energy. Everyone with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes need to take insulin – either by injection or a pump – to control their blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels). Injecting insulin Insulin is injected using a syringe and needle, or an insulin pen or needle. The needles used are very small as the insulin only needs to be injected under the skin (subcutaneously) – not into a muscle or vein. Once it's been injected, it soaks into small blood vessels and is taken into the bloodstream. As your confidence grows and you become more relaxed, injections will get easier and soon become second nature. The most frequently used injection sites are the thighs, buttocks and abdomen. You may be able to inject into your upper arms, but check with your diabetes team first as this isn't always suitable. As all these areas cover a wide skin area, you should inject at different sites within each of them. It is important to rotate injection sites, as injecting into the same place can cause a build up of lumps under the skin (also known as lipohypertrophy), which make it harder for your body to absorb and use the insulin properly. The three groups of insulin There are three groups of insulin – animal, human (not from humans but produced synthetically to match human insulin) and analogues (the insulin molecule is like a string of beads; scientists have managed to alter the position of some of these beads to create 'analogues' of insulin). Nowadays, most people use human insulin and insulin analogues, although a small number of people still use animal insulin because they have some evidence that they otherwise lose their awareness of Continue reading >>

Insulin: The Holy Grail Of Diabetes Treatment

Insulin: The Holy Grail Of Diabetes Treatment

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 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 by daily injections is required. 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 condition. RMIT University have produced a short overview of insulin, a drug that keeps in excess of one million Australians alive. Watch the video to understand why insulin is important and why so many Australians rely on it to stay alive. Copyright © 2015 RMIT University, Prepared by the School of Applied Sciences (Discipline of Chemistry). At this stage, insulin can only be injected. Insulin cannot be given in tablet form as it would be destroyed in the stomach, meaning it would not be available to convert glucose into energy. Insulin is injected through the skin into the fatty tissue known as the subcutaneous layer. You do not inject it into muscle or directly into the blood. Absorption of insulin varies depending on the part of the body into which you inject. The tummy (abdomen) absorbs insulin the fastest and is the site used by most people. The buttocks and thighs are also used by some people. While i Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Type 2 Diabetes Faqs

Common questions about type 2 diabetes: How do you treat type 2 diabetes? When you have type 2 diabetes, you first need to eat a healthy diet, stay physically active and lose any extra weight. If these lifestyle changes cannot control your blood sugar, you also may need to take pills and other injected medication, including insulin. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and losing any extra weight is the first line of therapy. “Diet and exercise“ is the foundation of all diabetes management because it makes your body’s cells respond better to insulin (in other words, it decreases insulin resistance) and lowers blood sugar levels. If you cannot normalize or control the blood sugars with diet, weight loss and exercise, the next treatment phase is taking medicine either orally or by injection. Diabetes pills work in different ways – some lower insulin resistance, others slow the digestion of food or increase insulin levels in the blood stream. The non-insulin injected medications for type 2 diabetes have a complicated action but basically lower blood glucose after eating. Insulin therapy simply increases insulin in the circulation. Don’t be surprised if you have to use multiple medications to control the blood sugar. Multiple medications, also known as combination therapy is common in the treatment of diabetes! If one medication is not enough, you medical provider may give you two or three or more different types of pills. Insulin or other injected medications also may be prescribed. Or, depending on your medical condition, you may be treated only with insulin or injected medication therapy. Many people with type 2 diabetes have elevated blood fats (high triglycerides and cholesterol) and blood pressure, so you may be given medications for these problem Continue reading >>

Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes: When, Why, And How

Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes: When, Why, And How

Blood sugar control is one of the most important parts of type 2 diabetes management. Although you may be able to treat the condition at first with oral medication and lifestyle changes, such as exercise and weight loss, most people with type 2 diabetes eventually need to take insulin by injection. "There are several scenarios in which insulin treatment should start, including in patients with significant hyperglycemia who are symptomatic," explained Alaleh Mazhari, DO, an associate professor of endocrinology at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois. "In these cases, the need for insulin may be short-term. Other situations include patients who are on multiple diabetic medications with uncontrolled diabetes, and uncontrolled diabetes in pregnancy, to name a few." Here's what you need to know about taking insulin in the short term and the long term. Insulin for Short-Term Blood Sugar Control Doctors use a blood test called a hemoglobin A1C test to measure average blood sugar control over a two- to three-month period. The treatment target for most people with diabetes is an A1C of 7 percent or less; those with higher levels may need a more intensive medication plan. "The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends starting a person with type 2 diabetes on insulin if their A1C is above 9 percent and they have symptoms," said Mazhari. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include thirst, hunger, frequent urination, and weight loss. Research published in February 2013 in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reviewed several studies that focused on the temporary use of insulin to restore sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. The results showed that a two- to five-week course of short-term intensive insulin therapy (IIT) can induce remission in patients Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Getting Started When most people find out they have Type 2 diabetes, they are first instructed to make changes in their diet and lifestyle. These changes, which are likely to include routine exercise, more nutritious food choices, and often a lower calorie intake, are crucial to managing diabetes and may successfully lower blood glucose levels to an acceptable level. If they do not, a drug such as glyburide, glipizide, or metformin is often prescribed. But lifestyle changes and oral drugs for Type 2 diabetes are unlikely to be permanent solutions. This is because over time, the pancreas tends to produce less and less insulin until eventually it cannot meet the body’s needs. Ultimately, insulin (injected or infused) is the most effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes. There are many barriers to starting insulin therapy: Often they are psychological; sometimes they are physical or financial. But if insulin is begun early enough and is used appropriately, people who use it have a marked decrease in complications related to diabetes such as retinopathy (a diabetic eye disease), nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease), and neuropathy (nerve damage). The need for insulin should not be viewed as a personal failure, but rather as a largely inevitable part of the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. This article offers some practical guidance on starting insulin for people with Type 2 diabetes. When to start insulin Insulin is usually started when oral medicines (usually no more than two) and lifestyle changes (which should be maintained for life even if oral pills or insulin are later prescribed) have failed to lower a person’s HbA1c level to less than 7%. (HbA1c stands for glycosylated hemoglobin and is a measure of blood glucose control.) However, a recent consensus statement from Continue reading >>

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Diabetes & Insulin In diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or use it properly. This causes your blood sugar to go too high. Oral medications, like metformin, may help your body to use insulin more efficiently. Other oral medications can help your body make more insulin. However, these medicines often work for only a few years. When the oral medications stop working, you will need to give yourself background and/or mealtime insulin shots to help control your blood sugar. If you need insulin, it does not mean that you have failed. It is just a part of diabetes. Background insulin can help control your blood sugar when you are not eating. However, it does not cover the carbs that you eat at meals. If the dose of background insulin is raised to cover spikes in blood sugars that happen after you eat, your body will have too much insulin in between your meals and while you sleep. This can cause your blood sugar to go too low. This is called hypoglycemia. If you have high blood sugars after meals, this can cause tiredness, irritability, blurry vision, more frequent urination and thirst. Over time, high blood sugars can damage your feet, hands, and eyes. By adding mealtime insulin you can better match the insulin to what your body would produce if you did not have diabetes. This will help prevent both low and high blood sugars so that you feel better and get less damage from the diabetes. What is Insulin? Natural insulin is made from the pancreas to match what the body needs so your blood sugar stays in a normal range. The pancreas makes some amount of insulin all the time, called background or basal insulin. Background insulin helps to supply fuel to your muscles and controls the glucose that is released from your liver. Every time you eat, the pancreas releases a Continue reading >>

What Are The Side Effects Of Insulin Shots?

What Are The Side Effects Of Insulin Shots?

Insulin is at the center of the diabetes problem. In people with type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin effectively. The pancreas compensates by overproducing insulin, and in time, it simply cannot keep up with the demands of the body to keep glucose levels down. To provide enough insulin to the body to manage blood glucose levels, many diabetics are advised to take insulin shots. The insulin in these injections is a chemical that is produced artificially to resemble the insulin made in our pancreas. This insulin works just like natural insulin by escorting sugar from our blood into our cells. Type 2 diabetics deal with a condition known as insulin resistance. It is a phenomenon where cells aren’t sensitive to the action of insulin (escorting blood glucose into cells) and hence, do not respond to it. This leads to the accumulation of glucose in the blood and is called hyperglycemia. Supplemental insulin given to Type 2 diabetics helps the body ‘muscle’ sugar out of the bloodstream and into cells. Insulin injections are used to regulate blood sugar differently for the different diabetes-types: For people who have type 1 diabetes – Their bodies cannot make insulin and therefore they aren’t able to regulate the amount of glucose in their bloodstream. For people who have type 2 diabetes – Their bodies aren’t able to produce enough insulin, or use it effectively. The insulin shots are used because the blood sugar cannot be regulated with oral medications alone. They also stop the liver from producing more sugar. Every type of insulin available in a drug store works in this way. They, mainly, differ in two ways – How quickly they begin to work For how long they can regulate blood sugar levels Mechanism of Action Regulating the process in which glucose Continue reading >>

Insulin Injection Sites: Where And How To Inject

Insulin Injection Sites: Where And How To Inject

Insulin is a hormone that helps cells use glucose (sugar) for energy. It works as a “key,” allowing the sugar to go from the blood and into the cell. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin correctly, which can lead to the pancreas not being able to produce enough — or any, depending on the progression of the disease —insulin to meet your body’s needs. Diabetes is normally managed with diet and exercise, with medications, including insulin, added as needed. If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin is required for life. This may seem difficult at first, but you can learn to successfully administer insulin with the support of your healthcare team, determination, and a little practice. There are different ways to take insulin, including syringes, insulin pens, insulin pumps, and jet injectors. Your doctor will help you decide which technique is best for you. Syringes remain a common method of insulin delivery. They’re the least expensive option, and most insurance companies cover them. Syringes Syringes vary by the amount of insulin they hold and the size of the needle. They’re made of plastic and should be discarded after one use. Traditionally, needles used in insulin therapy were 12.7 millimeters (mm) in length. Recent research shows that smaller 8 mm, 6 mm, and 4 mm needles are just as effective, regardless of body mass. This means insulin injection is less painful than it was in the past. Insulin is injected subcutaneously, which means into the fat layer under the skin. In this type of injection, a short needle is used to inject insulin into the fatty layer between the skin and the muscle. Insulin should be injected into the fatty tissue just below your skin. If you inject the insulin deeper int Continue reading >>

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