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When Diabetes Needs Insulin

Treatment

Treatment

There's no cure for diabetes, so treatment aims to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible and to control your symptoms to prevent health problems developing later in life. If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, you'll be referred for specialist treatment from a diabetes care team. They'll be able to help you understand your treatment and closely monitor your condition to identify any health problems that may occur. Type 1 diabetes occurs because your body doesn't produce any insulin. This means you'll need regular insulin treatment to keep your glucose levels normal. Insulin comes in several different preparations, each of which works slightly differently. For example, some last up to a whole day (long-acting), some last up to eight hours (short-acting) and some work quickly but don't last very long (rapid-acting). Your treatment is likely to include a combination of different insulin preparations. Insulin Insulin injections If you have type 1 diabetes, you'll probably need insulin injections. Insulin must be injected, because if it were taken as a tablet, it would be broken down in your stomach (like food) and would be unable to enter your bloodstream. When you're first diagnosed, your diabetes care team will help you with your insulin injections, before showing you how and when to do it yourself. They'll also show you how to store your insulin and dispose of your needles properly. Insulin injections are usually given by an injection pen, which is also known as an insulin pen or auto-injector. Sometimes, injections are given using a syringe. Most people need two to four injections a day. Your GP or diabetes nurse may also teach one of your close friends or relatives how to inject the insulin properly. Insulin pump therapy Insulin pump therapy is an alter Continue reading >>

Diabetes Treatment: Using Insulin To Manage Blood Sugar

Diabetes Treatment: Using Insulin To Manage Blood Sugar

Understanding how insulin affects your blood sugar can help you better manage your condition. Insulin therapy is often an important part of diabetes treatment. Understand the key role insulin plays in managing your blood sugar, and the goals of insulin therapy. What you learn can help you prevent diabetes complications. The role of insulin in the body It may be easier to understand the importance of insulin therapy if you understand how insulin normally works in the body and what happens when you have diabetes. Regulate sugar in your bloodstream. The main job of insulin is to keep the level of glucose in the bloodstream within a normal range. After you eat, carbohydrates break down into glucose, a sugar that serves as a primary source of energy, and enters the bloodstream. Normally, the pancreas responds by producing insulin, which allows glucose to enter the tissues. Storage of excess glucose for energy. After you eat — when insulin levels are high — excess glucose is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. Between meals — when insulin levels are low — the liver releases glycogen into the bloodstream in the form of glucose. This keeps blood sugar levels within a narrow range. If your pancreas secretes little or no insulin (type 1 diabetes), or your body doesn't produce enough insulin or has become resistant to insulin's action (type 2 diabetes), the level of glucose in your bloodstream increases because it's unable to enter cells. Left untreated, high blood glucose can lead to complications such as blindness, nerve damage (neuropathy) and kidney damage. The goals of insulin therapy If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin therapy replaces the insulin your body is unable to produce. Insulin therapy is sometimes needed for type 2 diabetes and gestational diabete 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 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 >>

Regulating & Monitoring A Diabetic Cat Using Insulin

Regulating & Monitoring A Diabetic Cat Using Insulin

Not all cats with diabetes will need to be treated with insulin (some cats with mild diabetes may respond to and dietary change), but a majority of them will. The goal of treatment is to resolve the signs of the disease, maintain proper body weight, eliminate or reduce the likelihood of any complications, and provide the cat with a good quality of life. This can be accomplished by maintaining the blood glucose at an acceptable level (100-290 mg/dL; normal is 55-160 mg/dL). In addition to treating the diabetes, any other concurrent diseases such as pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, Cushing's disease, and infections need to be treated as well. What should an owner know before trying to 'regulate' a cat with diabetes? Before treatment is started, it is important that the owner be well-informed and have the time necessary to make the correct decision since regulating a diabetic cat requires commitment. Owners should know: The cat will need to be hospitalized for a number of days and one or more blood glucose profiles (described below) will need to be performed. The initial regulation of a cat on insulin generally takes 2-8 weeks. The process of getting a cat regulated can be costly. Insulin must usually be given twice a day, every day at specific times, probably for the life of the cat. Insulin must be handled properly (refrigerated, not shaken, etc). There is a proper technique for administering insulin to a cat that must be followed. The type of insulin and insulin syringe that are used should not be changed unless under guidance by the veterinarian. The type and amount of food and when it is fed must be consistent. In most cases, foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates are recommended. These are usually canned foods. The cat will need to be caref Continue reading >>

Diabetic Shock And Insulin Reactions

Diabetic Shock And Insulin Reactions

Severe hypoglycemia, or diabetic shock, is a serious health risk for anyone with diabetes. Also called insulin reaction, as a consequence of too much insulin, it can occur anytime there is an imbalance between the insulin in your system, the amount of food you eat, or your level of physical activity. It can even happen while you are doing all you think you can do to manage your diabetes. The symptoms of diabetic shock may seem mild at first. But they should not be ignored. If it isn't treated quickly, hypoglycemia can become a very serious condition that causes you to faint, requiring immediate medical attention. Diabetic shock can also lead to a coma and death. It's important that not only you, but your family and others around you, learn to recognize the signs of hypoglycemia and know what to do about them. It could save your life. Hypoglycemia is a low level of blood sugar. The cells in your body use sugar from carbohydrates for energy. Insulin, which normally is made in the pancreas, is necessary for sugar to enter the cells. It helps keep the levels of sugar in the blood from getting too high. It's important to maintain the proper level of sugar in your blood. Levels that are too high can cause severe dehydration, which can be life threatening. Over time, excess sugar in the body does serious damage to organs such as your heart, eyes, and nervous system. Ordinarily, the production of insulin is regulated inside your body so that you naturally have the amount of insulin you need to help control the level of sugar. But if your body doesn't make its own insulin or if it can't effectively use the insulin it does produce, you need to inject insulin as a medicine or take another medication that will increase the amount of insulin your body does make. So if you need to me Continue reading >>

Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes: Who, When, And Why?

Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes: Who, When, And Why?

Physicians who treat people with type 2 diabetes face difficult choices when selecting the best medical therapy for each patient. The decision process is further complicated by the fact that because type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, therapeutic agents that were initially successful may fail five or ten years later. As recently as 1994, there were only two options for patients with type 2 diabetes: insulin and the sulfonylureas (such as glyburide and glipizide). The good news is that today, seven totally different classes of medications are available, as well as much better insulins. The bad news is that many physicians are more confused than ever, especially when faced with the option of combining two, three, or even more drugs at one time. In addition, the past several years have seen the advent of six combination drugs (such as Glucovance, Avandamet, and Janumet), with more on the way. Faced with this explosion of therapeutic options, many physicians are reluctant to start insulin therapy even when it is clearly indicated. Insulin Resistance and Deficiency in Type 2 Diabetes Most patients with type 2 diabetes suffer from two major defects: insulin resistance and beta cell “burnout.” Insulin resistance typically precedes outright diabetes by several years, appearing in adults and children who are overweight, sedentary, and have a genetic predisposition to diabetes. Patients with insulin resistance are often diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome, which predisposes them to both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When food is ingested, insulin is secreted by the beta cells into the bloodstream. The insulin travels to the liver or muscles, where it attaches to receptors on the surface of the cells like a key in a lock. In non-diabetic people, this proc Continue reading >>

The Truth About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

The Truth About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

Most people associate taking insulin with type 1 diabetes. However, some people with type 2 diabetes also need to take insulin. We talked with Andrea Penney, RN, CDE, Joslin Diabetes Center, to find out the truth about insulin and type 2 diabetes. Why would someone with type 2 diabetes who has been controlling their diabetes with diet and exercise need to start taking insulin? There are several reasons why someone would require insulin, even if they hadn’t needed it before. Temporary insulin usage– Some people need to take insulin for a short amount of time, because of things like pregnancy, surgery, broken bones, cancer, or steroidal medicines (like Prednisone). Permanent insulin usage - Sometimes the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin. This happens frequently with aging. People can also become insulin resistant due to weight gain or chronic emotional or physical stress. Simply put, pills can no longer control diabetes. So, it’s not usually “bad” behavior that would cause someone to start insulin? Correct. However, non adherence to diet and exercise might result in high blood glucose levels that only insulin can control. Is insulin dosage different for someone who has type 2 rather than type 1? The doses will vary; either type may require very little or a lot of medication. It depends on weight, eating habits, exercise levels, existence of other illnesses and level of insulin resistance. Can someone start taking insulin and then not need to take it anymore? Absolutely! But only for those with type 2 diabetes. Often weight reduction and /or exercise can allow insulin to be stopped. Also, if any of the temporary situations listed above resolve, insulin might be stopped. Continue reading >>

12 Myths About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

12 Myths About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin facts vs. fiction When you hear the word “insulin,” do you picture giant needles (ouch!) or pop culture portrayals of insulin users with low blood sugar (like Julia Roberts losing it in Steel Magnolias)? Either way, most people think of insulin as a difficult, painful, or potentially scary medical treatment. The problem is that if you have type 2 diabetes, you need to know the real deal before you can make an informed choice about whether or not this potentially lifesaving therapy is right for you. Here, we take a look at the facts and fiction about insulin when it comes to treating type 2 diabetes. Diabetics always need insulin Not necessarily. People with type 1 diabetes (about 5% to 10% of diabetics) do need insulin. If you have type 2, which includes 90% to 95% of all people with diabetes, you may not need insulin. Of adults with diabetes, only 14% use insulin, 13% use insulin and oral medication, 57% take oral medication only, and 16% control blood sugar with diet and exercise alone, according to the CDC. The point is to get blood sugar—which can be a highly toxic poison in the body—into the safe zone by any means necessary. Taking insulin means you’ve ‘failed’ “This is a big myth,” says Jill Crandall, MD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the diabetes clinical trial unit at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, N.Y. “Many people who try very hard to adhere to a diet, exercise, and lose weight will still need insulin.” The fact is that type 2 diabetes is a progressive illness, meaning that over time you may need to change what you do to make sure your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Eating right and exercise will always be important, but medication needs can vary. “A large percentage of people with ty Continue reading >>

Starting On Insulin In Type 2 Diabetes

Starting On Insulin In Type 2 Diabetes

Tweet If type 2 diabetes develops, your body’s ability to produce sufficient insulin may decrease and it may be appropriate to take insulin injections to control your diabetes. Some people may be apprehensive about switching onto insulin injections. Benefits of insulin injections Insulin is a stronger medication for lowering blood glucose levels and can help with the following aspects: Decrease the effects of symptoms of high blood sugar, such as fatigue and frequent need to urinate Reduce the risk of developing diabetic complications Decrease pressure on the pancreas to produce insulin Disadvantages of being on insulin injections Raises the risk of hypoglycemia Can promote weight gain Some people may be uncomfortable about injecting Could affect employment if you drive for a living The needles used for insulin injections are very slim and many people who start injections are surprised by how painless the needles are. How many injections will I need to take each day? A number of different injection regimes are available, ranging from one injection a day to multiple injections a day. Your health team will be able to help you to choose an injection regime that best fits in with your lifestyle. Learning to inject Your health team should instruct you on injection technique to ensure insulin is delivered correctly. Watch a video on how to inject insulin Blood glucose testing People starting insulin therapy may need to regularly test their blood sugar levels to monitor the effect that insulin is having and to help prevent low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) from happening. Watch our video on how to perform a blood glucose test Insulin therapy and hypoglycemia Insulin is a powerful medication for lowering blood glucose levels and can cause blood glucose levels to go too low if Continue reading >>

Patient Education: Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Insulin Treatment (beyond The Basics)

Patient Education: Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Insulin Treatment (beyond The Basics)

TYPE 2 DIABETES OVERVIEW Type 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas (an organ in the abdomen) produces insufficient amounts of the hormone insulin and/or the body's tissues become resistant to normal or even high levels of insulin. This causes high blood glucose (sugar) levels, which can lead to a number of complications if untreated. People with type 2 diabetes require regular monitoring and ongoing treatment to maintain normal or near-normal blood sugar levels. Treatment includes lifestyle adjustments, self-care measures, and medications, which can minimize the risk of diabetes-related and cardiovascular complications (eg, heart attacks and strokes). Learning to manage diabetes is a process that continues over a lifetime. The diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming at the beginning; however, most people are able to lead normal lives, and many patients become experts in their own care. This topic review discusses the role of insulin in blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes. Separate topic reviews about other aspects of type 2 diabetes are also available. (See "Patient education: Diabetes mellitus type 2: Overview (Beyond the Basics)" and "Patient education: Self-monitoring of blood glucose in diabetes mellitus (Beyond the Basics)" and "Patient education: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in diabetes mellitus (Beyond the Basics)" and "Patient education: Diabetes mellitus type 2: Alcohol, exercise, and medical care (Beyond the Basics)" and "Patient education: Preventing complications in diabetes mellitus (Beyond the Basics)".) IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL IN TYPE 2 DIABETES Keeping blood sugar levels in control is one way to decrease the risk of complications related to type 2 diabetes. The most common complication of type 2 diabetes is heart d Continue reading >>

What Type Of Diabetes Requires Insulin Injections?

What Type Of Diabetes Requires Insulin Injections?

People with Type 1 diabetes always require insulin injections in order to control blood sugar readings because they make little or no insulin. Insulin is also prescribed for Type 2 diabetes when oral medications or other injectable meds are not controlling blood sugar levels adequately. Anyone taking insulin of any kind is at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Taking insulin does not mean you have a “bad type” of diabetes. The purpose of using insulin is to get the best management of blood sugar readings as close to normal blood sugar readings as possible to help avoid complications from diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in destruction of the insulin producing cells. People with this type of diabetes must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a multimolecular disorder that causes 2 things (at least). First insulin secretion is inadequate. It may be the amount or the way it is secreted. Second most people with this type of diabetes also have a resistance to the insulin they do put out. So it's a double whammy. There are three factors that come into play that might determine the need for insulin: physical activity, dietary intake and age. A lot of exercise, a proper diet to control weight may minimize the amount of medication you need for many years but this is a progressive disorder and as you get older so does your ability to produce insulin. Sooner or later, even under the best of circumstances you will need insulin. Now, it may be of advantage to start insulin way before that time to keep your blood glucose normal which leads to a better quality of life and reduce risk for complications. Actually, all types of diabetes (type 1, type 2 and gestational) can require insulin injections. With type 1 diabetes, a person's beta cells stop pr Continue reading >>

Insulin: Who Needs It And Who Doesn't?

Insulin: Who Needs It And Who Doesn't?

Does getting a diagnosis of diabetes automatically mean you will need to start taking insulin? The answer depends on the type of diabetes and how much your condition has progressed. People with type 1 diabetes require supplemental insulin because their bodies can no longer produce insulin themselves. However, type 2 diabetes is different. Less than one-third of those with type 2 diabetes take insulin. The CDC puts the number at about 28 percent. Some experts have long believed that more patients with type 2 diabetes should be on insulin in order to reach their blood glucose and lipid (cholesterol) targets. When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes you will probably wonder if, or when, you will need insulin. You may fear injections or you may believe that needing insulin represents a personal failure. So, you resist taking the drug, even when you need it. Whether or not a person with type 2 diabetes needs insulin is based on individual circumstances. The first step? Knowing the facts. Does Everyone With Diabetes Need Insulin? Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are conditions in which you don't have enough insulin or don't react to it well enough to remove glucose from the blood. This creates two problems: High blood glucose levels A lack of stored glucose, the body’s major fuel source The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes lies in the cause of this condition. Beta cells, found in the pancreas, produce the body’s insulin. In type 1 diabetes, most of those beta cells have been destroyed, limiting the supply of insulin. As a result, individuals with type 1 diabetes must take insulin to control their blood glucose levels. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may still produce insulin, but it either produces insufficient amounts or the body resists the insulin itself. Di Continue reading >>

Insulin Therapy For Diabetes: Everything You Need To Know

Insulin Therapy For Diabetes: Everything You Need To Know

Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience Fact-checked by Aditya Nar, B.Pharm, MSc. Public Health and Health Economics Whether you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes or have been coping with it for some years, the best way to manage it is to be properly informed about what the treatment involves. While most people are aware of the role of insulin in diabetes, many don’t know about it beyond basic information. So, what are some of the important details that every diabetic should know about insulin? Let’s find out. What is insulin? The carbohydrates in the food you eat are broken down into glucose by your digestive system. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps in absorbing this glucose and regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism in your body. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, while in type 2 diabetes, the body either does not produce enough or is unable to effectively use the insulin it does produce. Insulin medication is, therefore, an inevitable part of the treatment in most cases. Who needs external administration of insulin? When your body fails to produce enough, insulin, the medicated form is used to replenish it. In most cases, doctors will advise insulin therapy if: You have type 1 diabetes, You have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes,[1] Your diet, exercise and oral medications are failing to achieve adequate sugar control,[2] You have type 1 or type 2 diabetics, and become pregnant,[2] You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and are undergoing an operation. [3] Why do type 2 diabetics need insulin? Generally, a stepwise introduction of different oral medications over the years, along with healthy eating and exercise, is used to manage type 2 diabetes. Treat Continue reading >>

Diabetes Treatment: How Much Insulin Do You Need?

Diabetes Treatment: How Much Insulin Do You Need?

If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor thinks it might be a good time to start insulin therapy, there are two important factors to consider: How much insulin do you need to take? When do you need to take it? And both are very personal. “You can’t paint everyone with type 2 diabetes with the same brush,” says Mark Feinglos, M.D., division chief of endocrinology, metabolism,\ and nutrition at the Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C. “You need to tailor the regimen to an individual’s needs.” A person with type 2 diabetes might start off on half a unit of insulin per kilogram of body weight per day, especially if there is not much known about the nature of his or her diabetes. Still, it is not unusual to need more like one unit, says Dr. Feinglos. (One unit per kilogram would be 68 units per day for someone who weighs 150 pounds, which is about 68 kilograms.) A lot depends on your specific health situation. People with type 2 diabetes suffer from insulin resistance, a situation in which the body loses its ability to use the hormone properly. Early in the course of the disease, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas respond to insulin resistance by churning out even more of the hormone. Overtime, though, insulin production declines. Taking insulin can help you overcome the body’s insulin resistance, though many factors can affect your dosage. If your body is still sensitive to insulin but the pancreas is no longer making much insulin, for example, Dr. Feinglos says that you would require less insulin than someone who is really resistant to insulin. “But the most important issue is not necessarily how much you need to take,” he adds. “Rather, it’s the timing of what you to take. Timing is everything.” One Shot A Day Or More? If Continue reading >>

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