In this section, you will find:
- Typical situations that require a change in the insulin dosage algorithm
- Skills check list for successful insulin therapy
- Tips for storing insulin
- General medicine tips
These situations may require a change in insulin dosage algorithm:
Higher doses (basal and bolus) of insulin may be needed:
- If you are sick, or have an infection
- If you reduce your level of activity
- If you gain weight
- If you are prescribed a medicine that changes your insulin sensitivity (such as Prednisone)
- If you are under emotional stress
- During adolescence
- During pregnancy
Lower doses (basal and bolus) of insulin may be needed:
- If you become more active
- If you lose weight
- If you have problems with kidney function
- Monitor your blood-glucose.
(minimum: pre-meal, bedtime, when experiencing a low blood glucose and before driving)
- Count your carbohydrates.
- Know your insulin formula:
- For intensive insulin therapy, this means your insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio, blood glucose correction and background dose.
- Understand how different insulin formulations act in your body.
- Establish blood sugar goals.
(before meals, after meals, bedtime)
- Know how to troubleshoot when your blood sugar is not at your goal.
- Understand glucose emergency responses.
Periodically, discuss your insulin regimen with your diabetes team. New kinds of insulin and delivery systems are always being developed that could change your dose and schedule.
- Keep opened vials at room temperature.
- Discard opened vials after one month.
- Refrigerate unopened vials not in use between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit. The expiration date applies to unopened, refrigerated insulin.
- For some pens and other dosing devices the storage life is less. Read the label.
- Durable pens and dosing devices should NOT be refrigerated once in use.
It is very important to follow your insulin regimen. Do not miss any doses of insulin. Contact your doctor to discuss specific instructions in case you miss a dose of insulin.
Keep a record of all medicines and doses with you. Include non-prescription medicines, herbs, vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements. Share this list with all your health care providers, and if possible, bring all your medicine bottles to your visits.
Try to use only one pharmacy so the pharmacist has a record of all your medicines (to reduce risk of duplicating medicines and harmful drug interactions).
Learn about your medicines. Know the purpose of each medicine, and familiarize yourself with possible side effects. Know how to take each medicine, including the best time to take it and what to do if you miss a dose. Make sure you are storing your medicines correctly. Only take your medicines as prescribed. If you are taking a medicine differently, inform your doctor.
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