Insulin therapy helps to move glucose from your body’s bloodstream into your cells, where it’s needed to do work. Many people with Type 2 diabetes don’t need insulin as part of their diabetes management plan. Others do need insulin, either to help during an illness or recovery from surgery, or on a more permanent basis.
Forms of Insulin Therapy
Some forms of insulin therapy work immediately to help correct an immediate problem with too much blood glucose. Other forms work slowly to provide glucose control over a long period of time. Most people use a syringe to inject insulin, but others use an insulin pump, which delivers insulin on a consistent basis through a catheter placed beneath the skin.
While the insulin pump sounds like a convenient option for everyone, this may not be the best way for you to treat your Type 2 diabetes, as you may not require high levels of insulin consistently. Talk to your doctor to find out if an insulin pump is right for you.
Adjusting to Insulin Therapy
Using insulin as part of your diabetes management plan takes practice, but you’ll soon find that it becomes part of your daily routine. These tips may help as you get started:
- Administer your insulin in the same region, but not the same place. For example, inject your insulin into your abdomen, rotating the exact location of the injection.
- Don’t store your insulin in extreme heat or extreme cold. It’s best to keep it in the refrigerator for long-term storage, but you can keep the bottle you’re using at room temperature. This can make your injections less painful.
- Find out exactly when you should inject your insulin. Some types work best when given during meals, while others are best given 30 minutes after a meal. Talk to your doctor and find out the specifics.
- Keep track of your blood sugar levels so your doctor can determine if your insulin therapy level should be raised or lowered.
While it may be depressing to think of giving yourself a shot every day, remember that insulin will help you avoid the serious complications of Type 2 diabetes. Always follow the diabetes management plan your doctor has outlined.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Insulin. Retrieved January 10, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2010). What I need to know about diabetes medicines. Retrieved January 10, 2011, from http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/medicines_ez/#what