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Misunderstandings about Insulin

When many patients with type 2 diabetes are told to use insulin, many of them will say no because diabetic people have many misunderstandings of insulin. The following is of summary of misunderstandings about insulin:

Misunderstandings 1: Use of insulin indicating a worsening conditions
Use of insulin indicating a worsening conditions is a misunderstanding. In fact, many patients with type 2 diabetes follow such glucose control protocols as a strict diet, exercises and weight loss, but they still need to use insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a slowly progressing disease, suggesting that patients with type 2 diabetes need to adjust and change their treatment regimens with the elapse of time accordingly so as to ensure that their blood glucose levels are kept within the normal and reasonable range. Reasonable diets and exercises represent important glucose control protocols, while the medication needs may change. A large proportion of patients with type 2 diabetes will turn to insulin eventually, while it is not considered worsening conditions by the medical community.

Misunderstandings 2: Insulin will lead to dependency: the more diabetic patients use it, the greater the dose will be. Besides, it will increase patients’ weight.
The aim of using insulin is to better control diabetic patients’ blood glucose, while the natural course of diabetes is the gradually declined islet β-cell function. Therefore, even if the blood glucose is well-controlled, the amount of insulin will increase with the change in the function of the islet. However, in the early to middle stages of patients with type 2 diabetes, if the blood glucose level returns to normal after insulin treatment, the amount of insulin can be gradually reduced and replaced by oral antidiabetic drugs ultimately. The use of insulin can lead to weight gain, for which the most important reason is that your diet has changed. You will usually see that you will feel good after using insulin and eating a variety of foods will be a pleasure. Therefore, the key is not in insulin, but whether you can continue to control your diet and exercises.

Misunderstandings 3: Insulin injection can lead to pains
When it comes to injections, you will think of the big needles in hospital injection rooms, which are very long in size since they are used for intramuscular injection. In comparison, the needle of insulin injection is much thinner because you only need to inject insulin into the skin. Besides, the insulin injection needle has a layer of coating for lubrication, so that it will be easier for the needle to pierce the skin. As a matter of fact, most people basically do not feel pain during the injection of insulin.

Misunderstandings 4: Insulin is addictive
Many diabetic patients often find it difficult to accept and refuse the insulin therapy with the main reason that when they use insulin, they will be dependent on it in the future. In fact, these are wrong concepts. Insulin is a hormone naturally occurring in the human body, and insulin injection is just a clinical method of supplementing exogenous insulin to control the blood glucose, just like people need to eat meals when they are hungry and breathe with air. Can we say that we are addicted to food and air? Obviously not, and insulin injection is also the same.

Misunderstandings 5: The use of insulin will lead to weakened islet secretory function
Many diabetic patients think that after insulin injection, their islets do not need to work and they will naturally decline. In fact, your islet β-cells will constantly secrete basic insulin whether we use the insulin therapy or not due to the regulation of our own neurohormones. Generally speaking, the constant decline in the β-cell function is caused by the natural course of diabetes itself, and it has nothing to do with insulin injection. While in patients with early-stage diabetes, the addition of exogenous insulin reduces the blood glucose, which can reduce the burden on β-cell secretion, helping restore the β-cell function.

Misunderstandings 6: Insulin treatment can result in severe hypoglycemia(low blood sugar)
Your initial treatment dose of insulin is very low, so you are at a low risk of hypoglycemia(low blood sugar), which, coupled with good self-monitoring, can completely avoid the occurrence of hypoglycemia. However, just in case, you have to understand your symptoms in time of hypoglycemia, let doctors teach you how to deal with it, and bring diabetes first aid cards when you go out.

Misunderstandings 7: Insulin has severe side effects
On the contrary, insulin injection is the most physiological treatment, with the fewest adverse reactions. Using insulin can avoid the many side effects due to oral hypoglycemic agents, such as gastrointestinal reactions, liver and kidney dysfunction, etc.
Some oral agents are used to promote β cells to secrete insulin as much as possible. You need to know that diabetes occurs due to secretion deficiency of insulin by β-cells by different causes. For β cells with already decreased insulin secretion capacity, additional use of drugs for stimulating the secretion of insulin leads to β-cell failure, causing its secretion function to completely lose.

Misunderstandings 8: Insulin injection is very inconvenient
Insulin therapy warrants needle injection, while diabetic patients are afraid of pains and trouble. Now insulin can be made into a pen-type syringes and needle-free syringes, and unopened insulin can be stored at room temperature for 4 weeks. It is also very convenient to carry insulin injection pens, and your various outdoor activities will not be affected. Insulin can usually be injected only once a day, which is much more convenient than originally.

Misunderstandings 9: The effects of oral drugs are superior to insulin
Oral hypoglycemic drugs show quite good effects. Many diabetic patients have been using oral medication for many years, and the efficacy is safe, such as metformin. However, oral agents are not suitable for all diabetic patients. For some diabetic patients, insulin is the easiest and the optimal treatment method because it always works.

Misunderstandings 10: After insulin injection, oral medication ca not be reused.
Whether type 2 diabetes patients can use oral agents again after insulin use depends on the cases:
The first case: Patients really lack insulin, and the administration of oral hypoglycemic drugs is still ineffective. Then, they can only turn to long-term injection of insulin. In the second case, after insulin use, insulin within their bodies can still secrete enough insulin. Then after a period of time of insulin use, patients turn back to oral hypoglycemic agents.
To know which case you belong to, you need to examine your blood insulin le

See also:
item Principles of the Treatment of Diabetes
item Five Contraindications for Diabetes
item Insulin:

item Hypoglycemic drugs:

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