If you have
type 1 diabetes—or if you have
type 2 diabetes and medicines are not
controlling your blood sugar—you have to take
insulin. If you have
you may need to take insulin if diet and exercise have not been able to keep
your blood sugar levels within your target range.
With little or
no insulin, sugar (glucose) in the blood cannot enter your cells to be used for
energy. As a result, the sugar in your blood rises above a safe level. When
your blood sugar rises past about 180 mg/dL, your kidneys begin to release
sugar into the urine, which can make you
dehydrated. If you are dehydrated, your kidneys make
less urine, which means your body can't get rid of extra sugar. This is when
blood sugar levels rise. If you can drink enough fluid to prevent getting
dehydrated, you'll be able to release excess sugar in your urine.
Taking insulin can prevent the symptoms of high blood sugar and emergencies
diabetic ketoacidosis (in type 1 diabetes) and
hyperosmolar coma (in type 2 diabetes). Insulin also
can help prevent serious and permanent complications from long-term high blood
Most people use insulin in an injection, or shot. It is
given into the fatty tissue just under the skin. It also can be given through
insulin pump, an
insulin pen, or a device that sprays the medicine
into the skin (jet injector). And now skin patches are available with insulin in them, which can be worn for days. Experts are studying other ways of giving
insulin, such as in an implantable pump. But this information is
about insulin in syringes.
After you get past the initial anxiety,
giving yourself a shot will become a routine part of your day. It's quite easy
to learn the basics of drawing the insulin up into a syringe and injecting it.
Although never pleasant, the sting of the injection is not bad and does not
last long. More than 500,000 people do it every day. You can, too.
The three most important elements of success in giving insulin injections
- Making sure you have the right dose of insulin,
especially if you are giving two types of insulin in the same
- Practicing how to give your injection.
the insulin properly so that each dose will work effectively.
What does it mean to prepare and give an insulin injection?
Why give insulin?
How to prepare and give an insulin injection
Where to go from here