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Patient information: Diabetes mellitus type 1: Insulin treatment (Beyond the Basics)

INTRODUCTION

Diabetes mellitus is a lifelong condition that can be controlled with lifestyle adjustments and medical treatments. Keeping blood sugar levels under control can prevent or minimize complications. Insulin treatment is one component of a diabetes treatment plan for people with type 1 diabetes.

Insulin treatment replaces or supplements the body’s own insulin, restoring normal or near-normal blood sugar levels. Many different types of insulin treatment can successfully control blood sugar levels; the best option depends upon a variety of individual factors. With a little extra planning, people with diabetes who take insulin can lead a full life and keep their blood sugar under control.

STARTING INSULIN

The pancreas produces very little or no insulin at all in people with type 1 diabetes. All patients with type 1 diabetes will eventually require insulin. Insulin must be given as a shot.

Dosing — When you are first starting insulin, it will take some time to find the right dose. A doctor or nurse will help to adjust your dose over time. It is important to check your blood sugar level several times per day during this time.

Insulin needs often change over your lifetime. Changes in weight, what you eat, health conditions (including pregnancy), activity level, and work can affect the amount of insulin needed to control your blood sugar

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