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Insulin: why, when, who, how, and what?

Why might my health professional recommended insulin to me?

Insulin is very effective for lowering blood glucose levels. Typically, doctors recommend insulin when other medications are unable to keep your blood glucose within your target range.

They also do recommend insulin when your body can’t tolerate other diabetes medications.  For example, your body may not respond to other medications, or you may have had serious side-effects from other medications. Insulin might also be recommended if you have other health conditions or personal circumstances that make it difficult to use other diabetes medications.

When is insulin needed?

For many people with type 2 diabetes, insulin is recommended several years after they are diagnosed with diabetes—but some people may benefit from taking insulin much earlier, even when they are first diagnosed. Everyone is different.

Who injects insulin?*

Around one in three Australians with diabetes (approximately 400,000 people) currently inject insulin. This includes people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes and other forms of diabetes.

Over 270,000 people with type 2 diabetes currently manage their diabetes with insulin; that’s one in four Australians with type 2 diabetes.

One in four Australians with type 2 diabetes manage their diabetes with insulin.

*NDSS Insulin Therapy Statistical Snapshot 31 December 2018

Did you know?

You don’t have to have type 1 diabetes to need insulin. In Australia, more people with type 2 diabetes inject insulin than people with type 1 diabetes

  • ~120,000 Australians with type 1 diabetes inject insulin
  • ~277,000 Australians with type 2 diabetes inject insulin

Next: Insulin: how, how often and how much?

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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