Insulin Myths and Misconceptions
Here at dLife, we love to debunk myths, and this time we're determined to get the facts straight on insulin. How much information out there about insulin is actually true? Can insulin cure diabetes? Do insulin injections hurt? Can I get addicted to insulin? If you're looking for the facts, read on to discover the truth behind the top ten most common insulin myths.
1. MYTH: Insulin cures diabetes.
Currently there is no cure for diabetes. Instead, insulin is a method of controlling diabetes. Insulin supplements what the beta cells of the pancreas cannot make. Insulin converts glucose into energy and is used to manage diabetes and control blood glucose levels.
2. MYTH: Insulin injections will disrupt my life.
If your doctor prescribes insulin, don't panic. You will not be confined to home, destined to never travel again. Instead you will find in time that insulin injections will simply become a part of your daily routine. Your doctor can design a dosing schedule that will fit your lifestyle and various types of insulin are available for different needs. Convenience devices like insulin pens and pumps may provide even more flexibility in your daily life.
3. MYTH: Taking insulin means I have failed at managing my diabetes.
Using insulin is not a sign of failure to control your diabetes. Nor is it an indication of severe health problems or proof that your risk of diabetes complications has increased. Try as you might, the beta cells in your pancreas are not under your control. All people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin. And after years of successful management, it is not uncommon for people with type 2 diabetes to reach a point where improved glucose control can only be obtained by using insulin. This is not your fault. It is a natural progression of type 2 diabetes.
4. MYTH: Insulin injections hurt.
A fear of needles is a common complaint for many people taking injections. However, today's insulin syringes and pens are virtually painless. The best way to overcome this fear is to try insulin injections yourself. Your primary care physician can show you how to administer the injection. If you try it yourself and still feel pain, discuss this with your doctor. Your injection method and even the temperature of the insulin could be a factor.
5. MYTH: If I take insulin, I will have more hypoglycemic events.
Using insulin can increase your risk of hypoglycemia but there are insulins available that make hypoglycemia less likely to occur. Among people with type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemic events are rare.1 Learning how to properly determine how much insulin you need is the first step to preventing hypoglycemic events. But it is important to also learn how to treat low blood sugar in case of an emergency. Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent hypoglycemia.
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On endo appointment days, we first go into a small room where Charlie has his height and weight measured and recorded. The nurse also pricks his finger and absorbs a small drop of blood to which she feeds into an A1c machine. “Do you want?” Charlie asked, offering up his blood like a potato chip. “No,” I said. “We’re fine.” In the past, we wouldn’t let the blood go to waste without also checking blood sugar. ...