Insulin & Medication

Understanding Your Body’s Chemistry

When we eat, insulin moves glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells within the body. If you have diabetes, your pancreas may have stopped making insulin, or your body may be unable to use the insulin it makes.

You may need to check your blood sugar level several times each day. You’ll do this through a simple blood test, using a machine at home. As you work to keep your blood sugar under control, doctors may prescribe insulin or oral medication.

Things to Know About Insulin:

  • It is important to administer insulin at the same time every day, usually within 15 minutes before meals.
  • You’ll use a syringe to inject insulin into fatty tissue, typically in the abdomen.
  • There are different types of insulin which have different action times.
  • You should avoid skipping or delaying meals when taking insulin.
  • If you take insulin, you must always be prepared to treat a low blood sugar.

Things to Know About Oral Medications:

  • Oral medications are pills that may be prescribed by your doctor for type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels.
  • Oral medications are not insulin or a substitute for insulin.
  • These pills help to lower blood sugar by affecting different systems in the body.
  • The total dose may be taken once or twice a day. It is important to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • The effects of oral diabetic medication may not be seen for up to two weeks after you start using it.
  • Pills should be taken at the same time every day.
  • The use of alcohol is not recommended with oral diabetic medications.
  • Watch for symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when on an oral diabetic medication.

You’re Not Alone!

It can be intimidating to use needles and syringes on yourself. The certified diabetes educators and registered nurses at ThedaCare’s Diabetes Education Program will coach you through every step of the process, easing your fears and helping you feel more confident about taking care of yourself.

If you have questions about the supplies you need to test your blood sugar or to give yourself insulin shots, you can also get help from the trained professionals at ThedaCare At Home


Getting a Referral

Diabetes education starts with a referral from your doctor. Don’t have a primary care doctor at ThedaCare? Find one now