A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PERSON THAT USES INSULIN

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To manage their glucose levels, it is recommended that people using insulin do the following.5

  • Measure blood glucose levels often throughout the day
  • Discuss their treatment or their insulin therapy regularly with a healthcare provider and follow the regimen carefully
  • Have regular physical activity and eat a healthy, balanced diet

Why is Careful Diabetes Management So Important?

Skipping blood glucose monitoring or insulin doses can result in serious health consequences. Administering too much or too little insulin can result in coma or even death.6

Did you know?

Approximately 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight and between meals. This is called background or basal insulin replacement.

The other 50-60% of the total daily insulin dose is for carbohydrate coverage (food) and high blood glucose correction. This is called the bolus insulin replacement.7

Did you know?

An insulin dose plan is prescribed for patients by their healthcare professional but patients will still need to calculate some of their insulin doses themselves. These calculations are based on blood glucose levels, the amount of residual insulin in the body, the amount of carbohydrates they plan to consume, the duration of insulin and their activity levels.

Did you know?

It's important for people with diabetes to test and monitor their blood glucose levels according to their healthcare professional's recommendations on a daily basis or multiple times a day to stay healthy.

Did you know?

Some people find it helps them manage their blood glucose levels when they stick to familiar foods. As they start to learn how certain foods affect their blood glucose levels they can plan ahead.

Did you know?

There are several different types of insulin that can be categorized as short-, intermediate-or long- acting.

Some people will use one type of insulin and others will use more than one type to meet their needs as directed by their healthcare professional.

Morning

Info

Wake Up

The morning begins with a blood glucose test, a procedure in which a finger is pricked with a lancet to obtain a small quantity of capillary blood for testing. A test strip is inserted into the glucose meter and then a blood sample is applied to generate a reading.

If a person's glucose levels result in very high or low or still not consistent with their symptoms, they should follow the advice of their healthcare professional and follow their treatment advice.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
x

Breakfast

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Breakfast

It's important to eat a balanced, nutritious breakfast, opting for whole grains and proteins instead of sugary cereals that can cause glucose levels to spike.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x

Daytime

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On the Job

Being at work doesn't mean blood glucose levels can be ignored. Even on their busiest days people with diabetes will have to make time to manage their condition. Some people may prefer to find a private space to test their glucose levels and take a carefully calculated dose of insulin.

If glucose levels are low between meals, an appropriate snack can be eaten. If this trend persists, insulin dosage may need to be adjusted.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x

Lunch

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Lunch

Another blood glucose test may be taken before eating a healthy lunch. It's important to count and log the amount of carbohydrates planned to be consumed at each meal as this can really help people to plan their insulin dose.

Feeling light-headed, irritable or hungry could be a sign of low blood glucose. If glucose levels are low mid-morning or mid-afternoon, a low glucose snack may be taken. If the pattern continues, the insulin regime needs to be adjusted. There is no reason that adults need a mid-morning snack, except pre-exercise or during pregnancy.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x

Afternoon

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At the Gym

Muscles use glucose for energy so exercise may lower blood glucose levels. It is important to talk to a healthcare professional in advance and follow their recommendations on managing blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise.

People with diabetes should test their blood 30 minutes8 before exercising as well as again immediately before, after and sometimes even during exercise depending on symptoms. It can help to keep a glucose drink handy to help regulate blood sugar when exercising.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Meal or snack
x

Dinner

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Dinner

Another blood glucose test is taken before eating a healthy dinner. Again, carbohydrates should be counted and logged and another insulin injection may be required.9

There is no reason that people need to eat at the same time everyday, as long as the meal insulin is taken before the meal. Modern insulin regimens mean that there is more flexibility with meal times, making dining out much easier. Some tips for eating out include selecting restaurants with varied menus that provide plenty of choice and selecting a meal that matches the dose of mealtime insulin. Bear in mind that portion sizes are likely to vary in different restaurants compared to eating at home so a different dose of insulin may be needed.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x

Night

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Bedtime

A final glucose test is taken before bed and patients may need to snack or take insulin again before going to sleep based on their healthcare professional’s recommendations.

Sleep may need to be interrupted for additional tests if glucose levels have been unpredictable or if waking up sweating, or from a bad dream, since this may indicate low glucose.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x
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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PERSON THAT USES INSULIN

Did you know?

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to use insulin properly to keep the level of energy-providing glucose from becoming dangerously high
or low.

In type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, the body does not produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively.

Approximately 15% of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK use insulin to manage their condition.2

People diagnosed with either type of diabetes can progress to three or four injections per day of different types of insulin3 — that could equate to more than 1,400 injections a year!4

The information provided by Abbott is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or qualified health provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Individual symptoms, situations and circumstances may vary.

371M people in the world today
have diabetes1

15% of people
diagnosed with
diabetes in the UK
use insulin2

Choose your character > and learn what life can be like for a person that uses insulin.

Look for this icon and click it to reveal facts and information.

info

THE END

Abbott is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of products for people living with diabetes, including nutritional products, diagnostics and medical devices. To learn more about Abbott's products to help with effective diabetes management, visit https://freestylediabetes.co.uk/our-products/.

The information provided by Abbott is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or qualified health provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Individual symptoms, situations and circumstances may vary.

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Footnotes

  1. Diabetes: Facts and Figures. International Diabetes Federation. http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/facts-figures. Accessed September 13, 2013.
  2. How many people inject insulin? UK estimates from 1991 to 2010. Journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Volume 16, Issue 6, pages 553–559, June 2014. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dom.12260/abstract
  3. Insulin Routines. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-routines.html. Accessed October 16, 2013.
  4. Four injections per day multiplied by 365 days in one year equates to 1,460 injections.
  5. American Family Physician. Tight Control of Type 1 Diabetes: Recommendations for Patients. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0915/p971.html. Accessed October 16, 2013.
  6. Diabetic Coma: Causes. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetic-coma/DS00656/DSECTION=causes. Accessed October 16, 2013.
  7. Calculating Insulin Dose. University of California, San Francisco. http://dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type2/treatment-of-type-2-diabetes/medications-and-therapies/type-2-insulin-rx/calculating-insulin-dose/. Accessed October 29, 2013.
  8. Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-and-exercise/DA00105. Accessed September 12, 2013.
  9. This is dependent on the last insulin dose taken as there may still be residual insulin in the body.