Moving on to insulin therapy can seem
overwhelming. You may be worried about injections, or even see it as a
personal failure. These are quite normal reactions. At the same time
it's important to keep in mind that type 2 diabetes is a progressive
disease, and switching to a treatment that gives you better control of
your health is a success on its own terms.
This section covers some of the common questions and concerns about starting on insulin.
Meet Gordon. He had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, but rejected the
idea of taking insulin for years. Having started on insulin therapy,
he has realised that the only big difference it makes to his daily
life is the improvement to his blood glucose levels.
Watch Gordon's story about starting insulin
Insulin therapy doesn't have to slow you
down. Once you've mastered your injection technique, you'll find it
only takes a minute or two and can be done almost anywhere. Insulin
pens are light, easy to carry and ultra-discreet.
You don't need to keep the insulin you are using in the fridge all the time, but try to store it between 2°C and 8°C (35°F and 47°F). Your disposable pen or insulin cartridge will last four weeks at room temperature (not above 30°C) or fridge (2°C to 8°C). Just don’t leave it in a car or anywhere it could get too hot or cold.
Get tips on managing type 2 diabetes in daily life
Taking insulin can help you manage your blood glucose levels – but the benefits don't stop there. Better blood glucose control can in turn have a positive effect on how you feel, your mood, your ability to concentrate and your energy levels.
We asked 40 people with type 2 diabetes how they felt before and after starting insulin therapy
High blood sugar, also known as
hyperglycaemia – or a 'hyper' – can also make you to feel unwell.
Again, knowing the warning signs (thirst, hunger, excessive urination)
and how to deal with them is the best way to overcome anxiety.
Another benefit of being on insulin therapy is that it helps you to get more control over blood glucose highs and lows. If you keep experiencing hypos or hypers, your healthcare professional will be able to help you adjust your dose.
People often put on weight when they
start insulin therapy, although the amount gained differs from person
to person, and some people do not put on any weight at all. Why does
When your diabetes is not well controlled, excess blood glucose is flushed out in your urine. Starting on insulin therapy improves your body's ability to absorb glucose from the food you eat, and what you don't use for energy gets stored as fat. This means you may put on weight – even if you eat the same amount as before. You may also gain weight if you snack more to avoid hypoglycaemia.
Tips to avoid weight gain on insulin therapy
Being on insulin therapy requires daily
injections. The good news is that modern needles are tiny, virtually
painless, and are usually built into a discreet and convenient pen
device. Some devices even have hidden needles. If you are about to
start on insulin therapy, we have all the information you need for
Learn more about our pens, needles and injection support
DISEASE EXPERIENCE EXPERT PANELS
At Novo Nordisk, we consider people living with serious chronic diseases to be experts in their own right. That's why we invite them to become members of our Disease Experience Expert Panels (DEEPs). DEEP members are able to provide disease-specific insights and advice based on real-world experiences. This input guides us as we work to develop better treatments and meaningful support for people living with chronic diseases worldwide.
Insulin pumps are small portable devices that provide your body with mealtime insulin throughout the day. Pumps remove the need for multiple injections, and may offer more flexibility to fit your daily routine.
A type 2 diagnosis doesn't mean you should expect less out of life.
But you will need to learn how to manage your blood glucose for
different situations and activities so you can stay healthy and
active. We have lots of information and resources to help you get
Get tips for living well with type 2 diabetes
2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk