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Diabetes treatment: Using insulin to manage blood sugar
The goals of insulin therapy
If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin therapy replaces the insulin your body is unable to produce. Insulin therapy is sometimes needed for type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes when other therapies have failed to keep blood glucose levels within the desired range. If your doctor says that you need insulin therapy, take the recommendation seriously. Insulin therapy can prevent diabetes complications by helping keep your blood sugar within your target range.
Your treatment plan
- Type and amount of insulin. There are several types of insulin available that vary in how quickly and how long they can control blood sugar. Frequently your doctor may recommend more than one type of insulin. To determine which types of insulin you need and how much you need, your doctor will consider several factors. These include the type of diabetes you have, your glucose levels, how much your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day and your lifestyle.
- Insulin delivery options. Insulin is injected underneath your skin, often several times a day. You may choose among syringes, injection pens or an insulin pump that provides a continuous infusion of insulin through a catheter underneath your skin.
Insulin therapy can be demanding, but it doesn't have to dictate your life. By choosing a program that fits your needs and lifestyle, you can prevent diabetes complications and lead an active, healthy life.Previous page
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- Insulin basics. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-basics.html. Accessed May 27, 2013.
- What I need to know about diabetes medicines. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/medicines_ez/. Accessed May 27, 2013.
- Mantzoros C, et al. Insulin action. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 27, 2013.