INSULIN: Is It Necessary?
What makes this diabetes-related hormone so important to you and the person you care for
Not everyone with diabetes requires insulin therapy, but many do.
People with type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin and must take insulin to survive. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the body produces some insulin but fails to use it properly. Many people with type 2 diabetes control their blood glucose levels through diet, exercise or other medication. However, if those methods become ineffective, they may need to start insulin therapy.
If a doctor prescribes insulin, consider it necessary. "It is important to never skip a dose," says Donna M. Rice, Donna M. Rice, MBA, BSN, RN, CDE, FAADE, past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and current president of the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute, Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, TX.
Fluctuations of insulin levels can result in dangerously high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) or alarmingly low levels (hypoglycemia). Over time, insufficient insulin can cause life-threatening complications for anyone with diabetes.
For type 1 diabetics, the regimen is finely tuned. The person with type 1 in your care might need insulin three or more times a day. A person in your care with type 2 diabetes might start with one insulin injection a day (perhaps in the evening, because the liver produces glucose overnight), while continuing with oral medications during the day.
Proper dosing and vigilant monitoring of your loved one's blood glucose is essential to manage diabetes. Work with the healthcare provider or a certified diabetes educator (CDE) to develop an effective routine.
For more about Insulin, click on:
INSULIN: How to Administer It
INSULIN: What It Does
INSULIN: Non-Insulin Drug Therapy