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Diabetes: Giving Yourself an Insulin Shot

Insulin is used for people who have type 1 diabetes. It's also used if you have type 2 diabetes and other medicines are not controlling your blood sugar. If you have gestational diabetes, you may need to take insulin if diet and exercise have not helped to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range.

With little or no insulin, sugar (glucose) in the blood can't enter your cells to be used for energy. This causes the sugar in your blood to rise to a level that's not safe. When your blood sugar rises past about 180 mg/dL, your kidneys start to release sugar into the urine. This can make you dehydrated. If that happens, your kidneys make less urine, which means your body can't get rid of extra sugar. This is when blood sugar levels rise.

Taking insulin can prevent symptoms of high blood sugar. It can also help to prevent emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis (in type 1 diabetes) and hyperosmolar coma (in type 2 diabetes). Insulin can help lower blood sugar too. This can prevent serious and permanent health problems from long-term high blood sugar.

Remember these key tips for giving insulin shots:

  • Make sure you have the right dose of insulin, especially if you are giving two types of insulin in the same syringe.
  • Practice how to give your shot.
  • Store the insulin properly so that each dose will work the way it should.

how.gif  How to prepare and give an insulin injection

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Other Works Consulted

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007). Guideline for isolation precautions: Preventing transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings 2007. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007IP/2007isolationPrecautions.html.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofJune 20, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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