Many people can manage their type 2 diabetes through a combination of lifestyle changes—such as healthy eating and moderate to vigorous aerobic activity—and medication(s). If one combination of lifestyle changes and medication isn't enough, then you can work with your doctor and find out which additional medications you should add to your diabetes care plan; this is called "treatment intensification." And since your diabetes can change over time, your doctor will let you know if your medicine also has to change.
Insulin is one type of diabetes medication that is taken to help keep blood glucose within target range.
There are many factors that determine when your doctor may choose to introduce insulin into your care plan. Depending on your blood glucose levels or your specific situation, your doctor may decide to begin insulin therapy earlier on. Other times, insulin can get added later on in your diabetes treatment journey as a treatment intensification.
No matter when insulin gets added to your care plan, it’s important to remember that this does not mean failure. Think of it as giving your body the extra support and tools it needs to help stay on track.
There are different types of insulin and most are taken through an injection.
InsulinInsulinA hormone made by the beta cells in the pancreas that helps glucose move from the blood into the cells. Insulin is also an injectable medicine that is used to treat diabetes by controlling the level of glucose in the blood. is a hormone that your body makes naturally and is important for producing energy from food. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not be able to use their own insulin well. This is called insulin resistance, and it causes blood glucose levels to increase.
As diabetes changes over time, the body makes less insulin, making it difficult to control blood glucose levels. This is where insulin may come in. It can be injected to help lower blood glucose levels back to their normal range.
Different insulin medicines work in different ways to replace the insulin you’re missing. They are grouped together based on:
Human insulin is actually made in a lab. It’s called “human” because the structure is identical to the insulin your body makes.
There are 3 types of human insulin:
Insulin analogs are human insulin with small changes made to the hormone so that it is absorbed faster or lasts longer in the body.
The 3 main types of insulin analogs are:
While each type of insulin helps manage blood glucose, no particular type is right for everyone. Each person’s insulin need is different and may change over time. Your doctor will prescribe the insulin that is best for you.
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Factors such as food, physical activity, and even exciting events can all affect your blood sugar. Checking your insulin level before injecting allows you to make decisions about your insulin dose.