How Diabetes is Managed

Your diabetes care team will work with you to make your diabetes care plan. Your plan will try to match your likes and dislikes and your blood sugar goals.

A typical diabetes care plan includes:

  • A meal plan
  • A physical activity plan
  • A plan for how and when to check your blood sugar
  • Your personal blood sugar goals
  • When to take your diabetes medicines
  • Other health goals (such as managing your weight and blood pressure)
  • A schedule for regular health checkups

As part of your care plan, be sure to keep track of your ABCs:

  • A1C
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol

Indications and Usage for Insulin

What is Insulin?

  • Insulin is used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Important Safety Information for Insulin

Who should not use insulin?

  • Do not use Insulin if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking Insulin?

  • About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to do either.
  • About all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take, including supplements, as your dose may need to change.

How should I take Insulin?

  • Eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after using a fast-acting insulin, to avoid low blood sugar. Do not inject Insulin if you do not plan to eat right after your injection or insulin pump infusion.
  • Do not mix different types of insulin when used in a pump or with any insulin other than NPH when used with injections by syringe.
  • Do not change your dose or type of insulin unless you are told to by your health care provider.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes.
  • Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your health care provider.

What should I consider while using Insulin?

  • Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar.
  • Be careful when driving a car or operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Talk to your health care provider if you often have low blood sugar or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of Insulin?

  • Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
  • Serious allergic reactions may occur. Get medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, or sweating.
  • Other side effects include injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, vision changes, low potassium in your blood, and weight gain.

Insulin is a prescription medicine.

Talk to your healthcare provider or diabetic educator about the importance of diet and exercise in your treatment plan.