How Will Insulin Help Lower A1C?
Q: My doctor wants to put me on insulin. I have type 2 diabetes; my A1C was 8.2. I don't want to take shots. How will insulin help?
A: An A1C of 8-9 percent equates to an average estimated glucose level of 183-212 mg/dl. Long-term glucose levels in this range drastically increase the odds of developing a complication such as kidney failure, vision loss, or damage to blood vessels or nerves that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and neuropathy.
As type 2 diabetes progresses, the pancreas makes less and less insulin. Many oral medications can help control your glucose levels early on. But once insulin production declines to a certain point, insulin is necessary.
Today's insulin needles are super thin. You may find injections hurt less than blood glucose testing: The place you inject (abdomen, preferably) has far fewer nerve endings than the fingertip.
Keep an open mind about insulin as your diabetes therapy. Set up a one-on-one session with a diabetes educator who can coach you through that first injection and teach you how to best time your doses.
Virginia Zamudio Lange is an R.N., M.S.N, and CDE.
Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."
Pay $0 for a Full Year + FREE Gift! Order NOW and pay nothing for your second year of Diabetic Living® Magazine! That's 2 full years (8 issues) issues for just $16.00 (plus $3.97 postage and handling), plus you'll get Our Best Diabetic Snack Guide instantly! HURRY this offer won't last! (U.S. orders only)