The goals of insulin therapy

If you have type 1 diabetes, insulin therapy replaces the insulin your body is unable to produce. Insulin therapy is sometimes needed for type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes when other therapies have failed to keep blood glucose levels within the desired range. If your doctor says that you need insulin therapy, take the recommendation seriously. Insulin therapy can prevent diabetes complications by helping keep your blood sugar within your target range.

Your treatment plan

  • Type and amount of insulin. There are several types of insulin available that vary in how quickly and how long they can control blood sugar. Frequently your doctor may recommend combining more than one type of insulin. To determine which types of insulin you need and how much you need, your doctor will consider several factors. These include the type of diabetes you have, your glucose levels, how much your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day and your lifestyle.
  • Insulin delivery options. Insulin is injected underneath your skin, often several times a day. You may choose among syringes, injection pens or an insulin pump that provides a continuous infusion of insulin through a catheter underneath your skin.

    In 2015, an inhaled insulin product, Afrezza, became available in the United States. Approved for adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Afrezza is a rapid-acting insulin that you inhale at the beginning of each meal. It does not replace long-acting insulin, and isn't appropriate for everyone. People who smoke or have lung problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should not use Afrezza. Your doctor can help determine if Afrezza is right for you.

Insulin therapy can be demanding, but it doesn't have to dictate your life. By choosing a program that fits your needs and lifestyle, you can prevent diabetes complications and lead an active, healthy life.

April 29, 2016 See more In-depth