If you are diabetic and take insulin daily, here are some things that you must know about insulin therapy
Before starting any treatment, you should everything about it to stay informed. The doctor may not be able to tell you everything. Diabetes is a chronic ailment and insulin is prescribed to people with a severe condition that is difficult to be controlled with only medications. While the doctor may tell you the dosage of insulin to be taken, a lot of things associated to it and important might remain untold.
1# There are two types of insulin
While insulin is usually presumed as one thing, a diabetic person should know that there are two types of insulin- basal and bolus. The doctor may either prescribe you basal or bolus or both as per your medical condition.
- Basal Insulin: Doctors may prescribe background insulin replacement that works to maintain steady insulin levels between meals. This may be either long-acting insulin or intermediate-acting insulin.
- Bolus insulin: This is prescribed when your blood sugar is high. This is also taken prior to meals to prevent a surge in sugar levels. In some cases, doctors advise both basal and bolus insulin.
2# Basal insulin should be given everyday
If you are given basal insulin, you are supposed to take it every day. If the doctor has prescribed you basal insulin, it is supposed to be taken daily. Also, the dosage has to be maintained. For example, if you are prescribed 10 units of basal insulin, you must take that amount daily. Though, this amount may be increased or decreased by the doctor.
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3# The amount of bolus insulin varies each day
If your insulin treatment plan comprises of bolus insulin, you are required to take a certain ratio that is decided by the doctor. This ratio is of insulin and carbohydrates. You get the liberty to manage your meals as per the insulin you take. For example, if you are planning to have a carb-rich diet, you’d need to take high insulin dosage beforehand and vice-versa.
4# Factors affecting insulin requirement
You should know the possible factors that affect your insulin requirement along with the type and dosage of insulin. These are:
- Amount of insulin produced by the body
- Your average carbohydrates consumption
- Average sleep time
- Average physical activeness
- Bodyweight and body mass index(BMI)
- Alcohol consumption
- Other medications
5# Insulin changes over time
Insulin dosage doesn’t remain the same, it changes over time. The aforesaid factors are the deciding factors for your body. Your treatment plan, lifestyle habits, physical activity, weight loss, etc. can alter your insulin requirements. For example, losing weight may decrease insulin amounts. Similarly, altering diet and eating low-carb meals can also help in reducing insulin intake. Your doctor would prescribe you the best treatment.
6# Your sugar test can tell the needed insulin
The best way to understand the progress of your diabetes condition and how effective the current treatment plan is, check your blood sugar reports. Apart from the basic information, they can also tell you how much insulin you need. You may get a home diabetes monitoring kit or get the HbA1C test done every 3-4 months to monitor the condition.
Hence, for proper management of diabetes, ensure that you are regular with the insulin injections and keep checking the levels on a daily basis. For better understanding, maintain a journal for proper tracking of the condition.
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