Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

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Medications & Diabetes

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Insulin Therapy

If you need to take insulin your doctor will help you plan what kind of insulin to take, how much, and when. It is important to follow this plan carefully so that your blood sugar levels will not be too high or too low.

There are two types of insulin plans:

  • Standard Insulin Therapy
  • Intensive Insulin Therapy

Standard insulin therapy means that you inject insulin at the same dose one or two times a day at the same time each day. Usually you give yourself one insulin injection in the morning and one in the evening.

If standard insulin therapy leaves your blood glucose levels too high you may need intensive insulin therapy.

Intensive insulin therapy means that you inject insulin three or more times a day or use an insulin pump. In this type of therapy you change your insulin dose depending on how much you are planning to eat and what exercises or activities you are planning to do. Intensive insulin therapy allows you more flexibility, but it also increases your chances of having severely low blood glucose levels because you are keeping your blood glucose levels lower.

It is important to talk with your doctor about which insulin therapy is best for you. The best insulin therapy is one that allows you to meet your blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test goals.

This handout contains general information on diabetes medication. It is not intended to replace medical advice. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your dosage and any other questions that you may have.

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