Misconceptions about insulin treatment abound. Here, we demystify three common insulin fears:
Fear of needles
"Today's needles are very fine and almost painless," says Amber Taylor, MD, director of the Diabetes Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Plus, a certified diabetes educator can demonstrate techniques that will make injections easier.
For example, if you pinch the area where you are going to insert the needle, this makes the skin's surface taut, which helps make the injection less painful.
Fear of complications
"Patients say things like, 'My grandmother had diabetes and as soon as they put her on insulin, she went downhill,'" says Sue Cotey, RN, CDE, a certified diabetes educator at Cleveland Clinic. "But chances are, she started insulin way too late and complications were already in progress." Insulin therapy is usually prescribed earlier in the course of diabetes than it was years ago.
You may also be afraid of hypoglycemia, or abnormally low blood sugar levels. However, a diabetes educator can provide you with information on how to identify, treat, and avoid the condition.
Fear of gaining weight
It's possible that you will put on a few pounds when you first start insulin. But working with a nutritionist or diabetes educator can help you learn ways to keep your weight under control.
From our sister publication Diabetes Focus Spring 2015