Caring For a Senior 2016 News

Are you using Insulin?

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By VHA

The Importance of Insulin

Many people with Type 2 diabetes require medications and/or insulin to stay healthy. This is normal and important because taking medications will help you or your loved one prevent and manage possible health complications.

There are a number of diabetes medications, which work in different ways. For example, some medications:

  • Help the body produce insulin.
  • Help the body use the insulin it produces.
  • Prevent the body from creating excess glucose.
  • Helps the body take glucose from blood and use it where it’s needed.
  • Slow down the rate at which glucose is absorbed, and/or helps with weight loss.

There are also many types of insulin available. This offers more flexibility in terms of the number and timing of injections needed. Differences between insulin’s include:

  • how long they work;
  • how quickly they start working and;
  • when they are most effective.

Your doctor will prescribe the medications and/or insulin that meet your needs.

Using Insulin: The Right Device Makes it Easier

Insulin can be taken with a syringe, a pen, a jet injector or a pump depending on specific preferences. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about the right device for you or your loved one. For example:

  • Pens are very portable and convenient but if more than one type of insulin is required, two pens and two injections are needed.
  • Jet injectors have no needles, but force insulin through the skin with pressure.
  • Syringes today have very fine needles to make injections as painless as possible. If more than one type of insulin is needed, you can mix the insulin into one, single injection.

An insulin pump uses a small catheter inserted into the skin and a pump that is worn outside of the body, delivering insulin according to the schedule that is programmed in.