Like oral diabetes medications, insulin is an alternative
for some people with noninsulin-dependent diabetes who can't control their
blood glucose levels with diet and exercise. In special situations, such as
surgery and pregnancy, insulin is a temporary but important means of
controlling blood glucose.
Sometimes it's unclear whether insulin or oral medications
are more effective in controlling blood glucose; therefore, a doctor will
consider a person's weight, age, and the severity of the diabetes before
prescribing a medicine. Experts do know that weight control is essential for
insulin to be effective. A doctor is likely to prescribe insulin if diet,
exercise, or oral medications don't work, or if someone has a bad reaction to
oral medicines. A person also may have to take insulin if his or her blood
glucose fluctuates a great deal and is difficult to control. A doctor will
instruct a person with diabetes on how to purchase, mix, and inject insulin.
Various types of insulin are available that differ in purity, concentration,
and how quickly they work. They also are made differently. In the past, all
commercially available insulin came from the pancreas glands of cows and pigs.
Today, human insulin is available in two forms: one uses genetic engineering
and the other involves chemically changing pork insulin into human insulin. The
best sources of information on insulin are the company that makes it and a
Sometimes, living with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to
keep up with everything you need to do for proper diabetes care.
"Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says
Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and
education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food,
the physical activity -- you add life in general to that whole picture and it
ends up being quite challenging."
"The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases of The National Institutes of Health. Noninsulin-Dependent
Diabetes. NIH Publication No. 92-241. September 1992. Last updated February 10,
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.