A Day in the Life of an Insulin-Using Patient

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To manage their blood sugar levels, it is recommended that insulin-using patients do the following:5

  • Measure blood glucose levels often throughout the day
  • Discuss treatment regimen regularly with a healthcare provider and follow the regimen carefully
  • Pay attention to exercise and diet, ensuring proper nutrition

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 sugar correction. This is called the bolus insulin replacement.7

Did you know?

An insulin dose plan is prescribed for patients by their healthcare provider 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 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 provider's recommendations on a daily basis or multiple times a day to stay healthy.

Abbott's FreeStyle brand of blood glucose monitors is easy to use, requires small blood samples and provides fast and accurate test results.8

Did you know?

Some people find it helps them manage their blood sugar 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. Sometimes patients will use a mixture of different types of insulin to meet their specific needs as directed by their healthcare provider. A syringe is the most common form of insulin delivery, but there are other options, including insulin pens and pumps.

Morning

Info

Wake Up

The morning begins with a fingerstick, 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 monitor and then a blood sample is applied to generate a reading.

If a patient's blood glucose result is very high or low or still not consistent with their symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider 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 blood sugar 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 blood, take a carefully calculated dose of insulin if needed and rest while their blood sugar level returns to normal.

To increase glucose levels between meals, patients can eat an appropriate snack such as fruit or a specialized nutrition product formulated specifically for people with diabetes.

  • 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 consumed at each meal as this can really help people to plan their insulin dose. Insulin injections may be required before or after eating depending on the patient's blood glucose level.

Feeling light-headed, irritable or hungry could be a sign of low blood sugar. Patients experiencing these symptoms may need to have a mid-afternoon snack.

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

Afternoon

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At the Gym

Muscles use sugar for energy so exercise may lower blood glucose levels. It's important to talk to a healthcare provider in advance and follow their recommendations on managing blood glucose levels when exercising.

People with diabetes should test their blood 30 minutes9 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.10

It helps to try and eat dinner at the same time each night, which can be difficult when dining out with others. Some tips for eating out include selecting restaurants with varied menus that provide plenty of choice and trying to eat the same portion sizes as usual.

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

Night

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Bedtime

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

Sleep may need to be interrupted for additional tests if blood glucose levels have been unpredictable.

  • Fingerstick prick
  • Test strip
  • Blood glucose monitor
  • Insulin shot
  • Meal or snack
x
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A Day in the Life of an Insulin-Using Patient

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, which is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, the body does not produce insulin. In type 2, which accounts for most cases of diabetes, the cells in the body don't recognize the insulin that is present.

Approximately 26% of the 18.8 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes use insulin to manage their condition.2

People diagnosed with either type of diabetes can progress to three or four injections per day of insulin of different types3 — 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 diabetes 1
26% of Americans
diagnosed with
diabetes use insulin 2

Choose your character > and learn what life can be like for an insulin-using patient.

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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 www.abbott.com.

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. Treatment of Diabetes in the United States, 2007-2009 (National Health Interview Survey). National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011.
  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. The FreeStyle brand of products is intended for testing outside the body (in vitro diagnostic use) as an aid to monitor the effectiveness of diabetes control. The products should not be used for the diagnosis of or screening for diabetes or for neonatal use.
  9. Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-and-exercise/DA00105. Accessed September 12, 2013.
  10. This is dependent on the last insulin dose taken as there may still be residual insulin in the body.