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Why Do Some Diabetics Not Need Insulin Injections?

Life With Insulin Injections

Life With Insulin Injections

When you have to start using insulin to control your diabetes, the thought can seem overwhelming. How can you learn when you need injections? How will the shots affect your job, social life, and hobbies like sports or traveling? The truth is that most insulin users can do just about anything they want. Once you get the hang of it, it’s not that hard to fit this medication into everyday life. "It can be a big change, but you'll soon realize that lots of people do this and it's not as big an inconvenience as you thought," says Erin Kelly, RN, a diabetes educator at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Before you begin, sit down with a certified diabetes educator (your doctor can recommend one) to learn how to give yourself the shots and to figure out a routine that works for you. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into how insulin injections might be part of your day-to-day life. A Day With Insulin If your doctor has prescribed insulin just once or twice a day -- which may be the case if you have type 2 diabetes -- then your diabetes care probably won't interfere with your daily life very much. In fact, you can probably leave your supplies at home while you're out and about for the day. Sometimes, the routine is more involved. If you have type 1 diabetes (or you have type 2 but it's not well-controlled), you may need three or four shots a day. Some of that insulin may be the "short-acting" type, which means you have to calculate how big your dose should be before you take it, usually before a meal. That means you’ll be testing your blood sugar with a glucose meter, doing some math, and then taking a shot. It can seem like a lot to learn at first, says Toby Smithson, a certified diabetes educator in Hilton Head, SC. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibrat Continue reading >>

Do You Worry About Getting Insulin Shots For Type 2 Diabetes?

Do You Worry About Getting Insulin Shots For Type 2 Diabetes?

When your doctor says you have type 2 diabetes, you may worry about getting shots of insulin to control the disease. But that’s seldom the first step, and some people don’t need insulin for years — or ever. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin, as the body is unable to use it properly. Without insulin, blood glucose (sugar) levels rise. High blood glucose levels can damage your organs, including blood vessels, nerves, kidneys and eyes. But with lifestyle changes and medications, many people are staying healthier longer with type 2 diabetes. Endocrinologist Richard Shewbridge, MD, says there is lot you can do to live well with diabetes. What’s behind type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes develops because the body becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas to turn blood sugar into energy. “Type 2 diabetes means the process to turn food into energy isn’t working as well,” says Dr. Shewbridge. Poor choices in diet and lack of exercise work to worsen insulin resistance, he says. And genetics can play a role, too. Additionally, people with type 2 diabetes tend to make less and less insulin over time and that causes a rise in blood sugar after meals. The role of eating right and exercising Many people with type 2 diabetes aren’t put on medication right away. Your doctor will likely suggest changes in your eating and exercise habits first. “Once someone is put on medication, they may need it for the rest of their life. But, they also can treat diabetes with a healthy lifestyle and exercise,” says Dr. Shewbridge. Healthier eating habits are a good place to start. “Cut out simple sugars. Eat less starchy bread, pasta, noodles and cereal. These foods don’t necessarily taste sweet, but they break down Continue reading >>

Insulin Injection

Insulin Injection

Insulin injection is used to control blood sugar in people who have type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not make insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood) or in people who have type 2 diabetes (condition in which the blood sugar is too high because the body does not produce or use insulin normally) that cannot be controlled with oral medications alone. Insulin injection is in a class of medications called hormones. Insulin injection is used to take the place of insulin that is normally produced by the body. It works by helping move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy. It also stops the liver from producing more sugar. All of the types of insulin that are available work in this way. The types of insulin differ only in how quickly they begin to work and how long they continue to control blood sugar. Over time, people who have diabetes and high blood sugar can develop serious or life-threatening complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye problems. Using medication(s), making lifestyle changes (e.g., diet, exercise, quitting smoking), and regularly checking your blood sugar may help to manage your diabetes and improve your health. This therapy may also decrease your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage (numb, cold legs or feet; decreased sexual ability in men and women), eye problems, including changes or loss of vision, or gum disease. Your doctor and other healthcare providers will talk to you about the best way to manage your diabetes. Insulin comes as a solution (liquid) and a suspension (liquid with particles that will settle on standing) to be injected subcutaneousl Continue reading >>

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Injecting Insulin…

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Injecting Insulin…

But Didn’t Know to Ask Just take your shot. What could be easier, right? Well, you’d be surprised how many errors are made by “veteran” insulin users. It turns out there’s nothing basic about the basics of insulin injections. However, you can improve your technique. This article takes a look at the nitty-gritty details behind successful insulin delivery, why they matter, and how to avoid common pitfalls. The gear Realistically, there are two delivery systems when it comes to injecting insulin: syringes and pens. Yes, there are pumps, but that’s a whole other subject. And yes, there are jet injectors, but they are not widely used. Syringes. The first-ever human insulin shot was delivered by syringe in 1922, and here in the United States, more than half of all insulin is still delivered via syringe. Syringes used to be made of glass, had to be sterilized between uses, and had long, thick, steel surgical needles that could be resharpened on a kitchen whetstone. (No kidding.) But syringes have come a long way since then. Syringes are now disposable, the barrels are made of plastic, and the needles are thin, high-tech, multi-beveled, and coated with lubricants to make them enter the skin smoothly. (Bevels are the slanted surfaces on a needle that create a sharp point.) In the old days, the needle and the syringe were separate components. Nowadays most insulin syringes come with the needle attached. People who use syringes almost always purchase insulin in vials. Vials are glass bottles that generally hold 1,000 units of insulin. Pens. Insulin pens date from the mid-1980s, and while syringes still predominate in the United States, much of the rest of the world has traded in syringes for insulin pens. Pens currently come in two varieties: disposable, prefilled pens 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 Medication Misconceptions

Diabetes Medication Misconceptions

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may have some questions about how the diseases are treated. There are many misconceptions about diabetes medications, mainly because the treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be very different. One of the most pervasive myths about diabetes--both forms of it--is that the disease can be treated by simply refining your diet or exercising more. While this is certainly an option for some people with type 2 diabetes, it is absolutely untrue for people with type 1. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease that occurs when the body’s disease fighting system, the immune system, destroys all your body's insulin-producing cells. Insulin is a vital agent that your body needs to convert food into energy. If your body is not producing insulin, you must take it by injection or a pump to live. Insulin currently cannot be taken by mouth because the digestive juices in your stomach and intestine will break down the insulin before it has a chance to get into your bloodstream to do its job. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may or may not have to take insulin injections, depending on a variety of factors. Contrary to popular belief, insulin injections are not for people with diabetes who have been "bad"—instead, taking insulin is a reflection of insulin production by the pancreas. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in general are still producing some insulin, although the amount they produce is not enough for their needs. Their cells may also be resistant to the effects of insulin, which makes them require more insulin than a person who does not have diabetes. Frequently when type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, weight loss, exercise, and changes in how much you eat can bring blood glucose levels Continue reading >>

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

The young people we talked to tell us what it is like to inject insulin every day, the problems they've had and how they've coped with them. Where and how to inject Young people are taught by specialist diabetes nurses and doctors how and where to inject. Arms, legs and the stomach are all parts of the body recommended for injection. Most people said that their preferred place was the stomach. But they also said that it's important to vary the place where they inject, over a wide area. They said that injecting in the same place can cause lumps or other changes, called hyperlipotrophy, to develop under the skin. Your healthcare team can teach you how to recognise these changes. Injecting into the areas that have developed this problem is usually completely painless but the insulin may then be absorbed unevenly, which makes blood sugar much harder to control. Some young people who were small children when diagnosed said that they have grown up with doing daily injections and thought it was normal. Other children were scared of needles at first and their parents had to inject them, to begin with. Young people have different opinions as to whether insulin injections hurt or not. Some said that the needles they use are so thin that they don't feel it, but others said it depends on how relaxed and comfortable they are at the time of the injection. Several young people commented that it's much easier and painless to do the injections themselves because they know their own body. Most young people said that it is down to practice and that 'practice makes it perfect'. The people we talked to said that doing their own injections made them feel in control and gave them a feeling of independence. Getting used to injecting everyday It could take a long time to get used to injecting e 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 >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

People with type 2 diabetes do not always have to take insulin right away; that is more common in people with type 1 diabetes. The longer someone has type 2 diabetes, the more likely they will require insulin. Just as in type 1 diabetes, insulin is a way to control your blood glucose level. With type 2 diabetes, though, dietary changes, increasing physical activity, and some oral medications are usually enough to bring your blood glucose to a normal level. To learn about how the hormone insulin works, we have an article that explains the role of insulin. There are several reasons people with type 2 diabetes may want to use insulin: It can quickly bring your blood glucose level down to a healthier range. If your blood glucose level is excessively high when you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor may have you use insulin to lower your blood glucose level—in a way that’s much faster than diet and exercise. Insulin will give your body a respite; it (and especially the beta cells that produce insulin) has been working overtime to try to bring down your blood glucose level. In this scenario, you’d also watch what you eat and exercise, but having your blood glucose under better control may make it easier to adjust to those lifestyle changes. It has fewer side effects than some of the medications: Insulin is a synthetic version of a hormone our bodies produce. Therefore, it interacts with your body in a more natural way than medications do, leading to fewer side effects. The one side effect is hypoglycemia. It can be cheaper. Diabetes medications can be expensive, although there is an array of options that try to cater to people of all economic levels. However, insulin is generally cheaper than medications (on a monthly basis), especially if the doctor wants yo Continue reading >>

Insulin Therapy

Insulin Therapy

Why do I need to take insulin? When you digest food, your body changes most of the food you eat into glucose (a form of sugar). Insulin allows this glucose to enter all the cells of your body and be used as energy. When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it properly, so the glucose builds up in your blood instead of moving into the cells. Too much glucose in the blood can lead to serious health problems. All people who have type 1 diabetes and some people who have type 2 diabetes need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. The goal of taking insulin is to keep your blood sugar level in a normal range as much as possible so you’ll stay healthy. Insulin can’t be taken by mouth. It is usually taken with injections (shots). It can also be taken with an insulin pen or an insulin pump. How often will I need to take insulin? You and your doctor will develop a schedule that is right for you. Most people who have diabetes and take insulin need at least 2 insulin shots a day for good blood sugar control. Some people need 3 or 4 shots a day. Do I need to monitor my blood sugar level? Yes. Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing the complications of diabetes. If you don’t already monitor your blood sugar level, you will need to learn how. Checking your blood sugar involves pricking your finger to get a small drop of blood that you put on a test strip. You can read the results yourself or insert the strip into a machine called an electronic glucose meter. The results will tell you whether or not your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Your doctor will give you additional information about monitoring your blood sugar. When should I take insulin? You and your doctor should discuss when and how you 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 >>

Can Dogs With Diabetes Be Treated Without Insulin Injections?

Can Dogs With Diabetes Be Treated Without Insulin Injections?

In almost all cases of canine diabetes, insulin is the recommended treatment. Insulin must be injected and often needs to be given twice daily. However, many dog owners are less than enthusiastic about the thought of giving their dog insulin injections. If you are one of those people who do not like the thought of administering insulin to your dog, you may be wondering if there are other options available for treating your diabetic dog. Are Options Other than Insulin Available for Dogs with Diabetes? Unfortunately, other options for treating diabetes in dogs have proven to be less than successful. At one time, there was hope that the oral hyperglycemic agents that act to lower blood glucose when given by mouth would be useful in treating diabetic dogs. That has not proven to be the case in most instances. Reasons Why Insulin Is the Best Treatment for Diabetic Dogs The primary reason that insulin is the best treatment for canine diabetes is the fact that dogs with diabetes almost always suffer from insulin-dependent diabetes. This means that the cells in the pancreas that normally secrete insulin are no longer functional and the pancreas can no longer secrete insulin in quantities sufficient to regulate your diabetic dog's blood glucose levels. This differs from feline diabetes because, especially early in the disease, cats may suffer from non-insulin dependent diabetes, meaning that their pancreas still retains some ability to secrete insulin. Because some insulin-secreting ability exists for these cats, oral hypoglycemic products may (or may not) be effective. However, in dogs, these products do not work well because the canine diabetic pancreas simply cannot rally to secrete insulin. So, in most cases of canine diabetes, insulin is a necessary part of treatment. In fa 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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