Questions About Insulin for and from Your Doctor
What is my target blood sugar level?
Ask your doctor how often you need to check your blood sugar level using your blood glucose meter. Find out your target blood sugar range before and after meals, as well as at bedtime. For most people with diabetes, the targets are:
- 70 to 130 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal
Ask what to do if your blood sugar isn't staying within range, and how often you need to have your A1C level tested.
What side effects could I have from the insulin?
Insulin can have side effects, most commonly low blood sugar and weight gain. Ask your doctor what side effects you might have, and what to do if you experience them.
How should I store my insulin?
Most insulin manufacturers recommend storing insulin in the refrigerator, but injecting cold insulin can be uncomfortable. Make sure it’s at room temperature before injecting. Ask your doctor whether to store your insulin in the fridge or at room temperature. Also find out how long your insulin will last, and how to tell if it has gone bad.
Can I reuse syringes?
Reusing syringes can lower your costs. Ask your doctor whether you can safely reuse your syringes, and how to keep them clean to prevent infection. If you throw out your syringes after each use, learn how to safely dispose of them.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask You
You won't be the only one asking questions at your visit. Your doctor may also ask a few questions of you, including:
- How are you feeling while taking your insulin?
- Are you having any side effects?
- How are you responding to your insulin dose? Are you having any problems with high or low blood sugar?
- Have you had any trouble using your insulin syringe, pen, or pump?
- Do you know how to store and dispose of your used syringes/needles?
Make the most of the time you have with your doctor. Keep a record of your questions so that you can address any insulin-related concerns as they arise. Your doctor can help monitor your progress so that you can successfully manage your diabetes.