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How Insulin Can Help

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Facts About Insulin

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Facts About Insulin

ELISSA
When treatment plans change, sometimes new medications are part of that change.

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Elissa, Diabetes Educator

ELISSA
Your doctor may decide to add insulin. I've asked Dr. Anderson back to help us get a handle on how it might help.

Hi, Dr. Anderson.

ANDERSON
Hi, Elissa. Yes, let’s talk about insulin.

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Dr. Anderson, Internal Medicine, Diabetes Expert

ANDERSON
I have experienced many attitudes towards it. Typically, when I bring it up, patients tend to have a lot of guilt, misconceptions, and fear about it, because they feel like they have personally failed.

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Fact
Insulin is not a sign of personal failure.

ANDERSON
The truth is type 2 diabetes can get harder to manage over time, and eventually, when certain lifestyle modifications and treatments aren’t enough, insulin is the most effective way to get blood sugar control.

ELISSA
So at a certain point, you’re saying it makes sense to start insulin?

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Fact
Insulin is the most effective way to get blood sugar control.

ANDERSON
The fact is insulin is the most effective way to lower your blood sugar levels. And it’s certainly better to add insulin than to go on with uncontrolled blood sugar because uncontrolled blood sugar leads to complications in the short and long term.

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Fact
The insulin used today is similar to the insulin that your body makes naturally

Important Safety Information About Insulin
The most common side effect of insulin is low blood sugar. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision, while some experience no symptoms at all. That's why it's important to check your blood sugar often.

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Today’s Insulin

ELISSA
But you know what insulin means... needles.

ANDERSON
Yes, it does. Of course the idea of giving yourself an injection can be scary. But across the board, patients who have started insulin will tell you that the idea of it is much scarier than it really is. And your physician or a CDE will be able to take you through the injection process. And injecting insulin has been simplified a lot over the years.

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Fact
An insulin pen may make taking insulin easier.

ANDERSON
Today, there are insulin pens that may make taking insulin easier. You know, I’ve seen statistics saying almost three quarters of patients prefer using the pen, so if your doctor wants to start you on insulin, you should ask about the pen.

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Fact
74% of patients prefer an insulin pen over a vial and syringe

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When is it Time to Consider Insulin?

ELISSA
How do you know when patients need to go on insulin?

ANDERSON
Patients should go on insulin when their blood sugar levels are out of control...

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Fact
If your A1C is higher than 7% then your blood sugar level is out of control.

ANDERSON
...which, for most, means their A1C is higher than 7% or their daily blood sugar levels are out of control.

ANDERSON
Everyone is different, so I can’t say exactly when a patient will need to start insulin. Diabetes doesn’t follow an exact timeline.

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Fact
Over time, uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to diabetes-related complications. If diet, exercise, and oral medications alone have not worked, talk to your doctor

ANDERSON
But I can say this uncontrolled blood sugar is uncontrolled blood sugar, so it needs to be managed. Insulin is the most effective way to do that.

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Fact
Insulin is the most effective way to control blood sugar.

ELISSA
So should patients wait for their doctors to tell them it’s time to start insulin?

ANDERSON
No way. If you are thinking “I’m not out of control enough for insulin,” think again. If you feel like you are having a lot of trouble controlling your blood sugar levels, you should ask. Don’t delay the conversation.

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Fact
5 million people take insulin every day.

ELISSA
Thanks, Dr. Anderson, for clearing that up.

ANDERSON
Wasn’t so bad, was it?

ELISSA
Talking about insulin shouldn’t be scary. The real conversation is about blood sugar control, and taking the right steps to achieve it.

ANDERSON
That’s my goal for my patients, and that should be the goal for everyone with type 2 diabetes. Thanks again for having me.

ELISSA
Thank you, Dr. Anderson. Remember, you have the power to achieve blood sugar control.

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Fact
If your blood sugar is out of control, talk to your doctor about insulin.

Important Safety Information About Insulin
The most common side effect of insulin is low blood sugar. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision, while some experience no symptoms at all. That's why it's important to check your blood sugar often.

Insulin plays an important
role in the body

The role of insulin in the body is to help move blood sugar from your blood stream into your cells. This gives your cells energy. Everyone’s body needs insulin. But when you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make any or enough insulin and/or your body does not properly use the insulin it makes.

Insulin is an essential part of treatment for people whose bodies cannot produce insulin on their own or are not producing enough. It’s proven to lower blood sugar levels when used as part of an overall diabetes treatment plan, which includes diet, exercise, and other diabetes medications. In fact, adding insulin is the most effective way to control blood sugar.

"With the help of my family and the insulin prescribed by my doctor, I got the blood sugar control I was looking for."

Learn More From People Like JoAnn

JOANN: Taking Insulin Since 1998

If you have uncontrolled blood sugar, or if your current diabetes treatment plan is not helping you reach your blood sugar goals, you should talk to your doctor right away. Not only for you, but for those who depend on you. You and your doctor can decide if adding insulin will help you with blood sugar control.

Some quick facts to know about insulin:

  • Blood sugar monitoring is important for anyone taking insulin.
  • Many people lead active, independent lives with insulin.

Important Safety Information About Insulin

The most common side effect of insulin is low blood sugar. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision, while some experience no symptoms at all. That's why it's important to check your blood sugar often.

Insulin Fact or Fiction

Do you think you know all about insulin? Play the game of Fact or Fiction and find out. You may be surprised to find out what the truth really is.

Play the Game Now

"My doctor told me once that blood sugar control doesn't begin and end in his office. It's also up to me to stay on top of it."

Watch how Robert and Dr. Wysham discuss personalized treatment plans.

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The health information contained herein is provided for general educational purposes only. Your healthcare professional is the single best source of information regarding your health. Please consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health or treatment.