Treating Diabetes With Insulin
When you start taking insulin, you may be concerned about its impact on your daily life. But insulin treatment is easier to manage if you keep some simple thoughts in mind.
Taking Insulin Doesn't Mean You've Failed at Managing Your Diabetes
Nora Saul, RD, a nutrition manager with the Joslin Diabetes Centers in Boston, says she often hears patients say, "I'm eating better and more healthfully. So why am I being put on insulin?"
Getting put on insulin doesn't mean you’ve failed at keeping diabetes in check.
When you have type 2 diabetes, over time, your body may make less and less insulin. So eventually you’ll need to get insulin through injections.
"That doesn't mean it's your fault," Saul says. "By about 10 or 15 years of living with diabetes, most people are tending toward insulin. This is a way that you can get your blood sugars back under control and reduce the possibility of complications."
Giving Yourself Insulin Shots Doesn't Have to Hurt
Some people with diabetes say that early on, they were concerned that insulin shots would be painful. But they were soon put at ease.
"You usually give yourself a shot on your stomach or your thighs, and it's not that sensitive," says Tammy Williams, a North Carolina children's librarian with type 2 diabetes. "I actually think the finger prick when you test your blood sugar hurts much more, because your fingers are more sensitive."
If the initial prick bothers you, Williams has learned a trick from going to the dentist.
"Jiggle your skin just a bit as you put the needle in," she says. "My dentist would do this when giving me Novocain, and it made the shot much less painful."
If you're using a pen syringe, take it easy.
"Sometimes the syringes stick a little and you have to force them a bit, and you don't realize you're pushing so hard," she says. "I used to think, 'Hey, where'd I get that bruise on my leg from?' Now I hold onto the bottom of the syringe as I press down so I don't push too hard."