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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:
Your health professional or certified diabetes educator (CDE) will help you learn to prepare and give your insulin dose. Here are some simple steps that can help.
To get ready to give an insulin shot, follow these steps.
How you prepare will depend on whether you are giving one type of insulin or mixing two types.
When you mix types of insulin to be given in one syringe, follow these precautions.
If you are using an insulin pen, follow the manufacturer's instructions for attaching the needle, priming the pen, and setting the dose.
You may need someone to prepare your insulin injections ahead of time. Get help if you have poor eyesight, have problems using your hands, or can't prepare a dose of insulin.
Before giving your shot:
Follow the steps for giving an insulin shot in the belly. It's also possible to give a shot in the arm.
Follow the steps for giving an insulin shot into the belly with a reusable insulin pen.
After giving your shot, be sure to:
Other Works ConsultedCenters 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 StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes EducatorDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofMarch 13, 2017
Current as of: March 13, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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